The other day I had an ad group that hadn’t received any impressions, clicks or leads in a month. When I scrolled over the ad diagnostics tool it said:

low search volume

Ad showing? No
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.

However, when I did a search for my keyword a ton of other ads were showing. Plus, my quality score for that keyword was ‘great’ and the minimum bid required was only $.04 when I was bidding $.65! So what’s the deal I asked?! How could other advertisers be showing ads for that keyword but I’m not?

This is what my Google rep had to say:

To answer your question, many of the keywords in your ad groups are not triggering your ads because they are low volume keywords. This means that historically, these terms have registered very few searches on Google for long periods of time. Our system temporarily removes low volume keywords from the auction until they begin to accrue more traffic.

I understand that you’re concerned about other ads that appear to be triggered by your keywords on Google. Please keep in mind that these ads are not showing for your exact keyword, such as ‘small press websites’, but are being matched to other variations of the term due to our expanded broad match feature.

Moving forward, you can either:

  • wait until your keywords begin to drive more traffic, as this will cause your terms to reactivate automatically
  • edit your keyword list to include terms that are less specific (higher volume keywords)

So okay, this makes sense that other ads are showing for this keywords broad match. However, if the keyword that is showing the ad is the broad match version, it should be identical to my keyword. So I find it hard to believe with two identical keywords one would show ads and the other wouldn’t.

My advice if you’re getting this error is to first be sure you have your keywords in broad match and not just exact or phrase. Second is try adding some variations of less specific keywords. If you’re keyword is too long-tail, then shorten it to reach a broader audience.