Do Not Search For Your Own Ads!

Chuck Forbes - July 3, 2018

The most tempting thing to do when your Search Ads launch is of course, go to Google and search terms that would trigger your ad to show up. It’s a simple check and balances right? My marketing agency told me my ads are live, let me search some of the keywords we agreed upon and ensure I have a presence to the audience I am trying to reach. While it seems innocent, I strongly advise against this.

Remember, your search ads are not a billboard. Once your billboard is hung up, you can drive by it as much as you want and admire your advertisement. With Search Ads, you are interacting with updated artificial intelligence that wants to serve you exactly what you are looking for. Let’s review some reasons why searching your ad in Google is a bad idea:

  • If you click on your own ad, you are using your own budget – taking away clicks from potential users who are looking for you. Your Search ads are running on a cost per click basis and Google is determining how many times they could show based on your budget. You are not the ideal user you want to target, so why waste even a few clicks on yourself, when those clicks could have gone to a user qualified to convert?
  • If you click on your ad, then go to the landing page and immediately leave – Google can calculate a high Bounce Rate and low Average Session Duration, hurting your on-site data.
  • If you search, but do not click on your ad – Click-through-Rate will decrease and Google will raise your Average CPC. Google may also deem your ads irrelevant because it is gaining impressions and no clicks for that phrase – this could lead to your ad decreasing in frequency shown, or possibly not showing at all. Keeping in mind we are dealing with algorithms in the search engine that are calculating the user’s experience by only one thing – the flow of the user. If a user searches a term, clicks an ad and consumes content on the landing page for 8 minutes – that is successful. But if you are just curious to see if your ads are showing up, a search engine will never know your intent, instead they could deem the experience not great for the user.

Two other factors that Google Search Ads are weighed with is Ad Rank and Quality Score. Quality Score is Google’s rating of the relevance between your keywords and Search Ads, as shown below:

Ad Rank in Google Ads is calculated based on your Max CPC and Quality Score, as shown below:

The advertiser that has the highest CPC bid and Quality Score wins the coveted top ad spot in Google. If you are searching for your ad on Google just to see if it shows up – you are also potentially decreasing your Quality Score and Ad Rank, given the factors that go into both.

OK Chuck, I get it – I won’t search for my own ads…but is there anything I can do? My recommendation would be to trust your advertising partner and not search at all (if you don’t trust your partner, that’s a different story) or use the Google Ad Preview Tool located here: This tool will allow you to see the exact same search results that Google would show you without counting towards real impressions and clicks. I know it is tempting to just do one or two searches in Google when your ads launch, but one or two searches can become many and you are only hurting your own performance and spending your ad dollars on yourself.


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