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A better alternative to Google Ad Preview Tool to check ads and organic results

Using Ad Preview Tool might not be the best way to check ads for a particular term and location. In fact, Google’s Ad Preview Tool has quite a few limitations:

  1. You cannot use Ad Preview without being logged into your AdWords account. As such, it is impossible for you to hide your searches from Google, even if you want to.
  2. Ad Preview does not let you click on the ads, which prevents you from visiting the landing pages of your competitors. Neither can you bypass this limitation by using the copy-paste function, because often the URL provided in “Display URL” does not really work.
  3. You are limited in what you can actually see. You can’t see beyond the first page results, nor can you see organic pages by clicking the organic results.

Ad preview tool alternative

What is the best way to actually view ads and organic results in a variety of locations?

A good way of checking ads is to browse in incognito mode, as this takes away the bias introduced by your online identity. However, your IP address and location are not hidden.

VPNs are the best solution to view how ads appear in different places.

VPNs are an increasingly more popular option, since they allow users to hide their details and IP addresses by using encryption. They are now used by many people working in SEO and SEM, as it allows them to connect to the internet from a different fictional location and check what the ads and organic results actually look like to viewers. One of the advantages of VPNs is that they are inexpensive and can usually be tried for free.

What VPNs work best for checking Ads?

Having a great number of server locations available is an advantage for checking various Google domains and locations. There are VPNs that only provide a relatively reduced number of server locations, which might not necessarily address your needs in terms of ad previewing.

In the list below, which is regularly updated, we have included the top VPNs for people working in SEO and SEM. We used several criteria to rate VPN providers, including how many server locations each provides, if they offer a mobile app, and (a very important criterion) speed.

Top VPNs for SEO and SEM

At the moment you can use this VPN service in China:

Our Score
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By sharing this article, you are letting people learn how to check ads and organic results without using Ad Preview Tool!

Privacy Alert!

Your data is exposed to the websites you visit!

Your IP Address:

Your Location:

Your Internet Provider:

The information above can be used to track you, target you for ads, and monitor what you do online.

VPNs can help you hide this information from websites so that you are protected at all times. We recommend ExpressVPN — the #1 VPN out of over 350 providers we've tested. It has military-grade encryption and privacy features that will ensure your digital security, plus — it's currently offering 49% off.

Visit ExpressVPN

About the Author

Kristina is an experienced tech writer and researcher with a keen interest in cybersecurity for businesses and the general public.

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