By Published On: March 30, 2011Categories: Paid Search Advertising

At the request of a soldier in the “sales trenches,” I am writing an entire blog on why an advertiser on Google may never see their own ad and why that doesn’t really matter. Of course, there’s more than just the few reasons I am listing… but really, do any of them really matter? What matters isn’t you seeing your ad, but customers seeing it.

There are many technological reasons that you may never see your ad. Here are a few:

  • Ads are Targeted for IP Addresses– Your IP address has a history. Your search and click history determine what ads you see. If you regular see an ad and don’t click, Google stops serving up the same time of ad to that IP address. Even if you didn’t personally ignore a relevant ad, if you are part of a company sharing an IP address, the acts of others may affect you and your ad viewing.
  • Google is an Auction Based Environment– At any given moment the bids of other companies may change, moving you up and down in ad rankings. We adjust when necessary, but there are no fixed prices or positions, so once you have bid, you could move in the rankings anyways.
  • Rotational Ad Environment – Your ad may not show 100% of the eligible times based on your total budget and your competitors’ budgets. A local insurance agent may spend $500 a month and State Farm spends $18,000+ per day. The local agent won’t show as often as State Farm. But they do show, particularly because of our next reason, personalized search.
  • Personalized Search Results – On top of all of the above, Google givers personalized searches. Your search history, whether noticed by Google or through cached cookies, determines what each person sees. That’s why what you see when you hop on Google for a quick search, your results may be different than a friend or family members’ search.
  • Google Algorithms – Quite simply, Google is not served if you don’t click. They do not get paid. So if you don’t click an ad, they decide it must be because it’s not useful or interesting to you. So they stop showing you ads you don’t click on. Many people look at their own ads and don’t click to save their budget, but this is actually the opposite of what you should be doing if you want to continue to see your ad. If you don’t you may not see it, but that doesn’t mean it’s not still out there.

Long story short — it’s okay if you never see you own PPC ad.

If you look at the Google stats and see 5000 impressions, yet you never saw the ad yourself, this doesn’t mean the numbers or wrong or that the ad isn’t showing up somewhere.

In actuality, it really doesn’t matter whether you saw it – 5000 potential customers did see the ad.

Businesses advertise to promote their brand to prospective new customers and to reinforce the choices of existing customers. When an ad runs, you target is to reach those prospective and existing customers. Just because you don’t see your ad when you check Google doesn’t mean that you should shut down the ad campaign, especially since ads are one of the most effective and fastest ways to bring in prospective customers.

Looking for your ad on Google is about the same as buying the newspaper every day and pouring through 50 pages to find your ad, or listening to the radio ALL DAY, EVERY DAY to hear your ad. If you don’t have time to do all of that (or even if you do, and you still don’t see it), don’t worry. Know that you are working with some of the most trusted companies in the world – Google, Facebook, Yahoo or whoever. Your ad does get seen/played… maybe just not when you were listening.

So sit back, relax, and make some money running your business — and trust the experts you have put your marketing faith in.