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In a perfect world for marketers, digital media budgets would be unlimited and ads would be shown every time a relevant search occurs. However, the reality is that advertisers can’t guarantee that ads will appear each and every time a search occurs. Google holds the power here as it’s algorithm makes real-time decisions for every search query.

One best practice for search advertising is to avoid searching for your own keywords in the attempt to see your own ads. When someone performs a search that triggers your ad, the number of impressions that don’t lead to clicks will increase. This will result in lowering the ad’s click-through rate (CTR) and the campaign’s reputation with Google. Doing this too often can even prevent Google’s algorithm from running ads as often as it should.

If an advertiser searches for their own keywords in an attempt to see their ads enough times, they run the risk of not being shown the ad ever again. This is because Google’s algorithm assumes they are uninterested in the ad (meaning the ad is irrelevant to them) and will start to show different ads based on what the algorithm thinks is best which almost always includes ads from competitors.  Additionally, advertisers are also advised not to click on their own ads as this will unnecessarily drive up cost metrics.  

To test search ads, we recommend using Google’s Ad Preview tool. This tool replicates the search engine in a “safe” environment which doesn’t impact real campaign performance,  ad rank or campaign history identified by the Google algorithm.