Absolutely. Finding life in the universe is a fourth-dimensional problem, 3 space dimensions plus time. We've only been technologically advanced enough to look for signs of life out there for a ridiculously short amount of time (the blink of an eye, as far as the universe is concerned). So we're not even talking about "you missed them by a billion years", but also "you missed them by a hundred years".
Think about it the other way around (for other civilizations trying to detect us). Our earliest broadcasted radio waves are barely 100 years old, and therefore they've only made it to 100 light years around earth.
A needle in a haystack doesn't even make it justice, it's more like a particular grain of sand in all of the earth's beaches.