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I am often contacted directly by clients, students and others with various digital marketing-related questions.

In the interest of sharing and assisting more people who may have the same question, I will start sharing these answers.

Please note: some details have been removed/omitted/edited to preserve privacy where required.

Question:

I noticed that one of our competitors has been paying for our brand name keyword, as an ad appears when I search our company name.

However, this ad isn’t always visible… is there a reason for this?

Other people have searched our name to see if the ad appears and it doesn’t always appear.

Answer:

There are two factors that could come into play as to why you don’t see the Google Ads result consistently when searching for your branded keyword:

1. Standard delivery

By default, Google Ads Search Campaigns are set to “standard” delivery, which means they may not be shown for EVERY search for that query, but will tend to be shown more consistently throughout the day.

This is intended to maximise the ad budget throughout the day.

A sub factor of this, is that if the campaign budget has been exceeded, Google Ads will stop showing for that campaign.

Please note: Google Ads recently made a change that allows them to spend up to twice the daily budget per day (to offer greater visibility when searches are occurring), however they will not exceed the overall monthly budget (which is the daily budget x 30.4 which is the average number of days in a month).

2. Google Ads display algorithm

Google Ads use an algorithm similar to Google organic search to show relevant results to relevant people.

If the same person (based on their IP address) continually searches for the same keywords and DOESN’T click on the ads, Google assumes that person isn’t interested and may stop showing you those ads, and instead show other content you may be more likely to click on.

This is why business owners often don’t see their own ads. They search for their keywords initially to check the ads are working, but don’t click on them (as they don’t want to cost themselves money) but then they are stopped showing the ads.

It may be helpful to know that you can block particular IP addresses from even seeing ad results to prevent unwanted internal clicks.

Using brand names in Google Ads Search Campaigns

It may also be of interest to know that there are no rules regarding bidding on brand names or even trademarked keywords – so there is nothing preventing anyone from bidding on competitors’ names – however you cannot use trademarked terms in ad text.

 

Learn how to plan, set up and optimise Google Ads search campaigns in our Google Ads training workshops.

Erica Stacey

Erica is a Google Analytics and Google Ads certified professional, so you’re in qualified hands. Erica has had over a decade of experience – working for agencies and a wide range of clients – in digital and social media marketing strategy, website development, search engine optimisation (SEO) and marketing (SEM), content marketing, inbound marketing, online advertising and so much more. A professional in the field of design, branding and marketing, she is a trusted name in the South Australian and online community to help an array of businesses sort out and achieve their marketing objectives.

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