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SEMrush Blog

How to Check your Ads with Google Adwords Preview Tool

SEMrush Blog
How to Check your Ads with Google Adwords Preview Tool

If you aren’t familiar with Google’s Adwords Preview tool, then slide over and check it out. AdWords is a really good advertising tool and one could say that it is an internet marketer’s dream since it helps you keep track of your search campaign in the SERP results. For obvious reasons, you would want to view the ads that are run for you on Google. If you have purchased a Premium campaign, your Google Ads will show almost all the time on Google Search. Google tracks every search you make and attempts to provide you with useful information based on the past searches that have been made by you. So here’s the catch, continuing to make the same search will change the results and your view will not be similar to what the average new customer would see. The good news is that Google has a tool for that and it’s called the Adwords Ad Preview Tool. So let’s start from the top.

How Does Google Adwords Work?

Google AdWords is a system and graphical interface to administer sponsored links on Google’s search engine and its partners. AdWords is also used as an auction system for ads on the internet. Every time someone performs a search on Google, the ads are ranked based on several factors.

In case you were wondering, the format for ads on Google looks like this:

  • Title (max 25 characters)
  • Display URL (maximum 35 characters, your actual address / URL can be 1,087 characters)
  • Description Line 1 (max 35 characters)
  • Description Line 2 (max 35 characters)

The Adwords Preview Tool:

The Adwords Ad Preview tool enables you to view your ads as they would appear on a regular Google search results page without accumulating any extra impressions for your advert. It also allows users to test their ads and see them in various geographic locations without actually having to be in those areas.

How does it Work:

  • When you arrive at the Google Adwords preview tool page, before you feed in your search terms, you will have to select the region or city where we are running your Google Ads. You can begin by typing in your area or city in the Location box.
  • As you type, Google will present you with default selections. All you have to do is simply pick the location where you want to check your Google Ads.
  • Once you’ve selected the region, enter your search in the large box and click the Preview button to the right of it. Keep in mind that you can now use search terms without the city or state, since this tool has now been set as though you are in the region that you selected. That’s all there is to it.


We know it's tempting, but it's best to resist the urge to search for your own ad on Google.com. Here's why:

  • By performing searches that trigger your ad, you'll rack up impressions without clicks, which can lower your click-through rate and prevent your ad from appearing as often as it should.
  • If you repeatedly look for your own ad using Google search but never click on it, you might stop seeing it entirely. That's because Google's system stops showing you ads that it thinks you aren't interested in.

Can the Adwords Preview Tool be used for Video ads?

No, you cannot use Adwords Preview Tool for your video ads because this tool is only available for real time results on Google search for your text ads. If you have created video ads for a campaign, you will be able to see the status if your video ads are being properly served. If there are any limitations, you can actually check that section and make the required changes in the Adwords Ad Preview tool.

What Can be Controlled Using the Adwords Tool:

  • Geographical areas in which the ads will appear
  • Which searches on Google to trigger ads
  • How the ads will look like and what pages they are linked
  • Which of Google's partner sites like ads to be shown
  • What they are prepared to pay for a click on an ad


  • If you've targeted your ad to a certain language, location, or device, be sure to specify this information when using the Adwords Ad Preview tool.
  • If you've just created or changed an ad, remember that it needs to be approved according to the advertising guidelines before it appears on sites in the Google Network. You can see whether your ad is under review by looking at the "Status" column on the Adwords Ad Preview of your AdWords account.

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