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Google Analytics Offers Reporting on Site Search

 7:53 am on Nov 5, 2007 (gmt 0)


I am a bit confused with the entrance keywords result in the google analytics. I have a custom search engine in my site as well.

My question is, does the google analytics entrance keywords data consists of both - search made in search engines and also my custom search engine?

Thanks in advance.




 6:18 pm on Nov 5, 2007 (gmt 0)

The keyword information would still be in the referer, but I'm not sure whether a CSE uses a regular google.com domain in the referer or not. If you can access your own server logs you should be able to see the results of a test search and click-through that you perform.

It's hard to imagine a scenario where GA would NOT see those entry keywords, unless the referer field for CSE traffic is non-standard.


 9:06 pm on Nov 5, 2007 (gmt 0)

They just announced that GA is going to start tracking search tools - you have to enable it in your settings. This will be really useful:


[edited by: tedster at 3:13 am (utc) on Nov. 6, 2007]
[edit reason] switch to the permalink [/edit]


 3:15 am on Nov 6, 2007 (gmt 0)

Thanks netmeg - that's a nice service that Google Analytics is offering. And you don't need to be using Google's CSE, either - it can interface with many different site search solutions.

The blog announcement details some of the analytics data that becomes available:

This is a goldmine of information because every time visitors search, they literally tell you in their own words what they are looking for. You'll not only see their initial searches, but how they attempted to refine searches when they didn't find what they were looking for. You'll see which pages they searched from and where they ended up. And you'll see how site search correlates with conversion and ecommerce activity.


 9:10 am on Nov 6, 2007 (gmt 0)

Does this work for Adsense Search box as well?


 12:38 pm on Nov 6, 2007 (gmt 0)

[google.com...] reads:

Click 'Edit Profile' under Website Profiles for the profile you would like to enable Site Search for.

I do not see this link anywhere. Has the feature been turned off?

EDIT: my other sites do have the option.. cache is cleared etc.. :S


 2:03 pm on Nov 6, 2007 (gmt 0)

yeah i had that problem you have to click "edit" on the website profiles page (first one when you log in) then click "edit" again in Main Website Profile Information bar (far right).

anyone know what you're supposed to put in the Query Parameter box?


 4:12 pm on Nov 6, 2007 (gmt 0)

If you're using Google's search products, you would put a 'q' (without the quotes). If you are using another type of search, it depends on what parameter your search uses. One typical one we use on our ecommerce searches is 'keyword'. At least, that's the way I understand it - I only set mine up yesterday, and I haven't been into Analytics to check to see if it's gotten any data yet.

Does this work for Adsense Search box as well?

Yep; it's supposed to.

By the way - we have an ongoing thread going in the AdWords forum - a wishlist for Google Analytics, and AdWordsAdvisor sends it off to the proper person every week when he does his reports. So if you have any problems, suggestions, thoughts on GA - go post 'em in that item.


 3:35 am on Nov 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

ok, so I use fusionbot - where do I start to find out what parameters are used?

PS: Thanks for the tip - seems like another great way to let Google get more good info!


 5:01 am on Nov 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

Well, first off, do a search, and then take a look at your resulting url. Does the keyword show up in the url - possible with something like q=widget or keywords=widget or...?


 5:16 am on Nov 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

got it - it is "keys=" so I have put this in as a parameter.

Now we wait!


 10:51 am on Nov 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

I don't think you need the equal sign - so if it doesn't work, try just keys.


 8:26 am on Nov 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

A quote from that article tedster -
...is a goldmine of information because every time visitors search, they literally tell you in their own words what they are looking for.

I've had the adsense search box on one of my sites for a long while and the terms searched for show up in the adsense control panel under the advanced settings. A good 30% of stuff searched for is completely unrelated to the site. Unrelated to the point that they want to know where to get lunch despite it being a financial site. It has something to do with the button saying "Google search" i'm sure, they think they are searching all of Google.

I'm not complaining, they often click on ads of completely unrelated topics and somehow those clicks pay more. /shrug


 8:33 am on Nov 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

To be more clear ...

If you use the adsense for search feature, you already have all of the data without needing analytics.

In your adsense control panel under "Advanced reports" click on "adsense for search" and then on "top channels" (you remembered to set those up right?). Next click on the channel, in the top right corner toggle the "top queries date" radio button. Set the specific date range to 7 days or more because data from today or yesterday always returns no data.

Finaly click on "display report" and you'll see the total number of searches and the top 5 keyword queries. Download the .csv file and they are all in there.

Take a look at your goldmine!


[edited by: JS_Harris at 8:39 am (utc) on Nov. 8, 2007]


 3:59 pm on Nov 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

Yep. But with GA, if you are an ecommerce site and have ecommerce enabled, you can see directly how much revenue might have resulted off those searches. You can see where they searched from. And of course, if you're not using Google search, or you're using more than one search tool or search box (for example, one client has a search box for keywords and another one for part numbers) it's information you might have otherwise gotten, but here it's all in one place, nice and easy.


 7:06 am on Nov 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

Man this is wicked! Go Google!


 12:46 pm on Nov 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

I like the idea to tell apart the internal searches.

Up until now you could have guessed on your own, of course, but...


Now it'd be real nice if the sites stopped showing no 1. / 2. placements for every related generic internal search in GWT reports as well.

On sites with lower traffic / or where a lunatic keeps pushing buttons, some keywords sometimes make it to the top 20 to give you a mild panic attack that you've become no. 1 for something unreal ( I do mean completely unrealistic ), when in fact all that has happened was that someone entered the search term one time too many on your AdSense or custom search box.


 12:31 pm on Nov 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

If you're using Google's search products, you would put a 'q' (without the quotes).

What do I choose in "query parameters". Yes or NO. Please help.


 7:47 am on Nov 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

Has anyone been able to get this to work with their adsense for search box? It has been over a week, and I'm still not receiving data.


 8:44 pm on Nov 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

Same here, mic089. I don't know if I've done something wrong, or if it just doesn't work with the AdSense for Search box.


 8:56 pm on Nov 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

This is nice. It is working great with the Custom Search Engine (CSE) with adsense enabled.

What I haven't found or don't know how to identify is if the searcher has grabbed the widget (I think that's what it is called) to use on their iGoogle page and has arrived from that.

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