Find your first ads

After you've created your ads, it's important to make sure they're actually appearing to customers. You can use the Ad Preview and Diagnosis tool or check your account statistics to figure out whether your ads are up and running.

This article goes over the different ways that you can check whether your ads are running.


The new Google Ads experience is now the exclusive way for most users to manage their accounts. Note, automatic targeting is only available in the new Google Ads experience.

How to preview your ads with the Ad Preview and Diagnosis tool

Use the Ad Preview and Diagnosis tool to see exactly what your text ads look like in Google search results.

  1. Sign in to your AdWords account.
  2. Visit and choose the appropriate options at the top to see exactly which ads are being triggered by the search term you enter in any given location.

Check that your ads are enabled and approved

Sign in to your AdWords account, and click Ads. An ad that is enabled will have a green dot next to its name, while a paused ad will have a pause icon. To enable a paused ad, click the pause icon, then click Enable.

Ads are reviewed to see if they comply with our advertising policies. Some ads may run on Google Search Network pages before being reviewed, while others may not run at all until they've been reviewed. If your ad is approved, it will begin to run, and you'll see impressions in your account statistics. To see the approval status of an ad, check the “Status” column on the “Ads” tab.

Check that your ads are receiving traffic from customers

Sign in to your AdWords account, and click Ads. From the Ads page, you can see statistics about your ads, such as clicks, impressions, clickthrough rates, and much more. Use the date range selector in the upper right corner of the page to filter the statistics by date. You can also click Campaigns or Ad groups to see your ad statistics by campaign or ad group.

Remember that AdWords reporting isn’t real-time. This means that you may not see clicks and impressions you've received in the last three hours.

Check that your keywords are triggering ads

  1. Sign in to your AdWords account.
  2. Click Keywords.
  3. Depending on the keyword you want to check, click Search Keywords or Display/Video Keywords.
  4. To check if a keyword is triggering your ad to show, find the "Status" column, then place your cursor over the keyword status. The status information that appears gives possible reasons why your ads don’t show in the search results.

Review additional factors that might affect how your ads show

There are many things that determine when and where your ad appears. Here are some of the main ones:

  • Targeting. Your ad will typically show only to people you've targeted, generally meaning people who are searching for your keywords in the language and location you've selected. If you're trying to find your ad, you may not see it if your settings are different from the ones you're targeting. For example, if you're searching from a computer in San Francisco but your ad targets Los Angeles, your ad won't appear in your search. To successfully preview your ad using any location targeting settings, use the Ad Preview and Diagnosis tool.
  • Ad position. If your ad rank isn't high enough, your ad might not appear on the first page of Google search results. Your ad rank is determined by the quality of your ad (your “Quality Score”) and the maximum cost-per-click bid you've set. Google doesn't show the same ads on each page, so your ad may appear on the second, third, or subsequent page. Learn more about how ad position is determined.

Troubleshoot other reasons for not seeing your ad

To find other reasons why you might not be able to see your ad, use our troubleshooter.
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