Why Isn't My Ad Showing? - Vine Street Digital

Why Isn’t My Ad Showing?

Why Isn’t My Ad Showing?

A lot of people assume that because their ad isn’t showing, Google Ads isn’t working. However, this is rarely the case. When an ad isn’t showing on a Google search it could be for several reasons that we’ll explore in this article.


Every campaign has a set daily budget, and every keyword has a cost per click (CPC). Every time an ad is clicked, it eats into that budget. If your campaigns are running all day, it’s possible that your campaign will simply run out of money quickly, so the ad will stop showing. Google gives two types of delivery methods: Standard and Accelerated. They give you some control over how your budget is used.

The Standard delivery type will try to make the budget stretch for the entire day, showing ads only when it feels that there’s a better chance for a conversion. But on Accelerated, it will try to show ads in any possible opportunity it gets. By running Accelerated, you’re more likely to run out of budget sooner, which could mean that that your ads stop showing until the next day. 

Update as of April/May 2020: Google has ceased the ability to use accelerated ad delivery. We are keeping the above information in our article as a historical note and point of reference.

Bidding Wars

Another reason why you might not see your ad is if it lost in the bidding. Every time an opportunity for your ad to show becomes available, you and anyone else bidding on that keyword goes to auction to see who gets the placements. The auction takes things like Quality Score and CPC into consideration to determine Ad Rank. This is used to allocate an Ad Position. If you do well in the auction, your ad shows higher up the page. But if you lose, your ad shows further down the page, or even misses out altogether.

Location Targeting

Sometimes location targeting can be a reason as to why your ads aren’t showing. If you have ads set to run in Sydney, but you’re searching from a Brisbane-based computer, there’s a high possibility that your location targeting options are preventing you from seeing the ad. That’s a good thing, really. It means it’s working!


Disapprovals are pretty self-explanatory, however sometimes they’re not very noticeable if you have a larger account. Ads can be disapproved if they don’t meet the criteria set by Google’s advertising policies. Google will usually give you a reason why they’ve disapproved your ad, whether it’s an error in the text copy or the destination isn’t working. Make the adjustments required and resubmit it for review.


Again, it might seem like an obvious reason, but sometimes it gets missed. If your payment method is declined for any reason, Google won’t be able to charge you for the ads and will stop them from running.

Are Your Ads Enabled?

Depending on the size of your account, it’s entirely possible to overlook something like a paused ad. If your ads aren’t showing, it’s possible that any of the following have been paused or removed: 

  • the keyword,
  • the ad,
  • the ad group, or
  • the campaign.

Account Review

Sometimes Google will review accounts for security purposes and to check the billing details. While this is being done, the ads won’t be able to run. The review usually doesn’t take too long, so hang in there! It’s done to ensure the quality and security of the Google Ads account.

Watch Out For False Impressions!

It’s also important to note that checking your own ads in a regular Google search will count as an impression on your account. This could interfere with the data and give you false readings. Check your ads using Google’s Ad Preview Tool instead, to prevent this!

This tool acts the same as a regular Google search without counting towards impressions. The link to the Ad Preview can be found on the main Google Ads interface under the “Tools” menu. See the screenshot below.

Why Isn't My Ad Showing? - Vine Street Digital

Let us know if you have any questions, we’re happy to help!

Written by Lachlan Ward