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If you’re having a hard time getting impressions for your Google Ads search campaign test ads, I’ve spoken to Google about it and I have some suggestions.

We have created a handful of test ads that we want to run in Google Search Ads. The ads were activated and approved over three weeks ago. The problem is that the new test ads are getting virtually zero impressions, and therefore we can’t accurately test their performance. For a sense of scale, our control ads (the best historical performers) are receiving thousands of impressions per week. But the new test ad’s getting only five or six impressions in the same timeframe. That’s it! Certainly not adequate to test the new ads performance.

I contacted Google Support and chatted with a CSR named Sanhya. I explained the problem. Then the wait began. I spent almost an hour on the chat, with most of the messages from Sanhya telling me she was researching the answer to my question and to please standby. In the end, the best and official answer from Google was that you can’t use the automatic optimization feature of Google Ads if you’re trying to test new ads. You have to disable auto-optimization, in which case all ads will receive virtually equal impressions in rotation. Unfortunately this means that you have to manually optimize the Ads when you feel they’ve reached sufficient impressions to validate your testing.

The other suggestion from Google was that you could instead create a new Ad Group and run all the ads there without historical performance data causing certain ads to get more impressions. The problem I see with this suggestion is that you might be competing with your own control ads for impressions, which could make it take longer to get adequate impressions to test your ads.

For now, we’ll have to revert to manually optimizing Google Ads when we create new test search ads. As winners emerge we can enable auto-optimization so that we can take advantage of Google’s algorithms.

Please contact me if you have any questions about this or anything else on the roifactory.com website.

Thank you for reading!