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Spot checking your ads in Google Adwords


We often get questions from clients who are spot checking their PPC ads on Google. It usually starts with a sales person in the field who periodically searches for their important keywords to make sure their ad is showing. Typically they are keeping an eye on the competition. When they don't see the ad they call the marketing department who then calls us. Typically one of three things is happening:

  • The campaign we are running is geo-targeted to certain markets and the searcher is not searching within targeted area.

    I checked and the keyword "pods" is displaying in position 2.1 in Denver. I realize it is a little tricky but the best way to spot check you ads is to use Google's Ad Preview tool www.google.com/adpreview. Google is really sophisticated in how they display paid search ads. They actual track each computers search history and change the ads they show based on your previous search history. That means that if you or your staff spot check by searching on google.com, google is learning that they don't seem to click on the pack rat ad and over time will stop showing it to you individually. Spot checking can also hurt your overall quality score because the lower the click through rate the more you have to pay. Without getting overly technical (although I'm happy to provide what you need), they created the www.google.com/adpreview tool to let advertisers spot check their ads in a way that reflects what the average first time searcher would see.

    I searched for a description of the issue in Google's words not mine. Here is what I found:

    http://adwords.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?answer=71301&cbid=-znr5mpvylrdo&src=cb&lev=answer (in terms of the first bullet we target each market seperately so that shouldn't be impacting your average position of 2.1 in the Denver market)