I entered some new keywords into my Adwords account and I checked them the next day and found I had received no impressions yet. I scrolled over to the magnifying glass icon (the ad diagnostic tool) next to the actual keyword, and the pop up read: “The keyword phrase you’ve entered has a low search volume and isn’t showing any of your ads. If more users start searching for your keyword, your ad will begin to show. You don’t need to do anything.”

So even though it said ‘active’ in the status column, the keyword was not showing ads. And I received no email or documentation from Google that my ads were not showing. So I called my Google rep. and asked him what was going on. He said that the policy set on keywords that have low or no search volume, will not show ads regardless of what your maximum bids are.

I began to check other keywords in the same ad group to see if they were displaying ads, and found another pop up that read, “This keyword isn’t showing ads. This keyword has a low Quality Score, so the minimum bid exceeds your current bid.” Typically when you’re bids are too low to show ads, the Quality Score column will show you how high you need to bid in order to show ads. Well, this time it didn’t. Again, I wouldn’t have known about my keywords not showing ads if I hadn’t rolled over the ad diagnostic tool. In the end all but two keywords were not displaying ads for one reason or another.

In summary, check your keyword status closely. Roll over the ad diagnostic tool to make sure you’re keywords are actually displaying ads.