Stop Google Analytics From Stealing Your Valuable AdWords Keyword Data

Are you a Google AdWords advertiser using Google Analytics? STOP! You MUST read this post because you are losing money daily and we are going to help you stop the bleeding.

There is a problem with the default functionality of Google Analytics when used in conjunction with AdWords. Google Analytics (GA) doesn’t report the actual phrase a shopper entered into the search bar, only the keyword phrase you are bidding on.

Let me explain:
- You bid on the keyword ‘shoes’ using ‘broad match’
- A shopper searches for ‘blue suede shoes’
- The Traffic Sources > Keyword report in GA shows the search as just ‘shoes’

Even worse, Google likes to use synonyms when your terms are under the broad match type (called automatic matching or extended broad match).

- You are bidding on the keyword ‘running shoes’ using ‘broad match’
- A shopper searches for ‘Adidas Gazelle’
- Google shows your ad, but wait, you don’t carry Adidas shoes

Why would Google do that?

The shopper searched on blue suede shoes, not shoes! You don’t sell blue suede shoes. You have been making decisions based on inaccurate data.

Follow these simple steps to start seeing the EXACT phrases people are using when they click your AdWords ads.

It will help you find terms to add to your negative keyword list. You can also start honing your ad and landing page copy to better reflect how shoppers search.

The Google Analytics Exact Query Solution…

This solution comes from our friends at VKI Studios, a Google Analytics Authorized Consultant and overall great bunch of people (see their analytics blog for some great tools and tips). Specifically, Brian Katz. They have evaluated various means of cracking this nut, and we have their final solution. Credit and comparison of other methods are at the bottom of this tutorial.

1. Create a new Google Analytics Profile

We do NOT want to overwrite any core data, so a new profile keeps everything intact. Even Google says it is a good idea.

Google Analytics - Create New Profile

Select Add a Profile for an existing domain, select which domain, and enter any name for the profile you choose – the more descriptive the better. You will not have to add any tracking code or tag anything, so no need to get the ponytail guys involved.

2. Create the first filter

Locate your newly created profile and click Edit under the Settings column. Then click Add Filter.

Filter 1 for exposing AdWords keyword data

Field A -> Extract A: Referral: (\?|&)(q|p|query)=([^&]*)
Field B -> Extract B: Campaign Medium: (cpc|ppc)
Output To -> Constructor: Custom Field 1: $A3

3. Create the second filter

Locate your new profile again and click Edit under the Settings column. Then click Add Filter.

Filter 2 for exposing AdWords keyword data

Field A -> Extract A: Custom Field 1: (.*)
Field B -> Extract B: Campaign Term: (.*)
Output To -> Constructor: Campaign Term: $B1 ($A1)

As with almost all multi-part filters, sequence is critical and must be ordered accordingly using the “Assign Filter Order” page for the profile.

That’s It!

Here are what the results should look like when you run the Traffic Sources > Keywords > Paid report in Google Analytics:

The following set of results were obtained using an in-line filter to show bid-terms that would be different from the search terms

Exact Keywords from AdWords using a Google Analytics filter

An unfiltered result would look as follows:

Unfiltered results of a AdWords Keyword report in Google Analytics

The above technique provides useful data as is but it does have some shortcomings in that it does not associate the newly overwritten Campaign Term field with Transactions, as is shown in the following screen shot:

Filter can omit transaction data - a fix is in the works

It is probably the result of using session-based values (e.g.: all the Campaign fields) and pageView-based values (e.g.: Referral). Caught in the middle are the event-based eCommerce transactions.

In his book “Advanced Web Metrics with GA” (Page 199) Brian Clifton documents a method attributed to Shawn Purtell of ROI Revolution that uses 3 filters to show each Transaction with its bid and search terms appended.

Hat Tips to Others Tackling this Problem

The original solution for this came from Brian Clifton, formerly of Google.

The solutions (Using Filters):
- How to Get Detailed PPC Keyword Data from Google Analytics
- NUDE: AdWords Keyword Data Exposed With Google Analytics!

An updated solution from ROI Revolution (Using JavaScript):
This solution uses the User Defined variable so it won’t be appropriate if you’re using the User Defined variable (created with _setVar()) already
- Exact Keyword Tracking with Google Analytics, Revisited
- Exact Keyword Tracking with ga.js

Comparison of the two methods

I checked out the two methods (Filters vs. JavaScript) . Since readers commented saying the filters did not work or “no longer worked”, I took a closer look. The devil is in the detail. Errors in their implementations may have been the cause of the malfunctions.

JavaScript vs. Filters

JavaScript
The two methods both extract data from the and Referrer and Campaign Medium checking the latter for “ppc” of “cpc” using regular expressions. They both concatenate the bid and search terms. The JavaScript method goes 1 step further by looking for the gclid value unique to Google AdWords. That may also be done in the filters but I don’t believe it would enhance the filter solution.

The JavaScript performs its magic at run time. It uses the “troublesome” _setVar() cookie to store the bid and search terms in the User Defined field. It does so using a generally accepted “kludge” to work around _setVar()’s issues (a topic all of its own).

The greatest disadvantage to this method is that it monopolizes the User Defined Value. With all its troubles, it is an invaluable resource that most will (should ?) be using to segment visitors. Since it is stored in a domain specific cookie it cannot store profile-specific data to different profiles (well, it can be pushed to greater limits but that is a blog post all of its own).

It should be possible to rewrite the URL of the landing page before ga.js writes the Campaign cookie (again a topic of its own)

Filters
The filters run at data processing time and so, I expect those may prove marginally more reliable than JavaScript and cookies (although all subsequent visits from the AdWords campaign will rely on the keyword and other campaign data being extracted from cookies by ga.js or urchin.js) so that is no reason to choose one above the other.

By default, however, I am biased in favor of filter-based solutions because they are independent of the implementation and so don’t require updates to a site’s GA coding. Implementation is quicker and easier, as is propagation of the solution across profiles and GA accounts. In fact, in the time it takes to update the code on some sites (those that are not tagged as efficiently as they might have been) or in the time to get a site’s 3rd party developers to make the changes, a GA consultant could implement the solution for a number of accounts, regardless of the level of access the consultant has to the coding.

Note: Analysis and much of the technical write-up done by VKI Studios, Brian Katz

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104 Responses to “Stop Google Analytics From Stealing Your Valuable AdWords Keyword Data”

  1. Janis Lanka says:

    This is amazing post, Linda! I was always upset that it did not really show well the actual data that people are searching. AND, now there is a so much better way to use negative adwords!

  2. @ Janis, yeah it is amazing – but this one’s all Jason B’s and VKI Studios’ work.
    :)

    Great work, I’ve always wondered why this wasn’t available by default. This really should be added to the 8 Stupid Things Webmasters Do (and don’t know about) that Mess Up Analytics. http://www.marketingpilgrim.com/2008/05/8-stupid-things-webmasters-do-to-mess-up-their-analytics.html

    This would be #1 for anyone using broad and phrase matching.

  3. Janis Lanka says:

    I agree, Linda, it should be added by default. One side to that is that Google would earn less millions if suddenly we would have a better way to minimize wasted expense on PPCs. But give it a year or Yahoo to do that, and Google will catch up eventually.

    PS. My bad about the authors! Good job, guys!

  4. [...] wouldn’t it be great to see the visitor’s actual search query in Google Analytics?  Here’s a tip — albeit an advanced one — to get real keyword detail from your Google Adwords campaign [...]

  5. Alex B says:

    Thank you so much for this post. I’m a heavy user of Adwords and didn’t even think to look into this, despite being aware that it was a broad match.

  6. Michael says:

    Hat tip for the excellent information. This should save everyone using AdWords some serious money — money that can be well spent in other marketing areas.

  7. Great topic Jason, a lot of people I’m sure had no idea this was going on and were making a lot of il-informed decisions.

  8. Duane Shima says:

    You guy’s did a great job breaking down the steps to make it easy for anyone to implement. I typically run Search Query reports to discover what keywords Google is connecting to my Broad Term campaigns but this new GA profile should put some light on the “Other Unique Queries” row of the spreadsheet.

    Great Post!

    Duane

  9. Great post Jason. I’ve known about this for a while but didn’t know a solution to fix it.

  10. I have to re-iterate. It was a bunch of people who contributed to this but mostly the guys at VKI Studios. http://www.vkistudios.com

  11. Nice assessment and review, thanks for the great analysis. Also the link to the 8 mistakes post, which is one I haven’t seen before.

  12. I gotta jump in and defend Google Analytics here for a second, they give all this information for FREE – perhaps this hack will become a feature soon, sometimes it takes demand before something gets developed. Everyone email your AdWords Client Rep :)

    Google being the “open” company that it is (evidenced of increasingly sharing its own information including keyword search counts now), I wouldn’t be surprised if it fixed this problem. The more relevant the results, the more money Google makes. If searchers don’t like search results, they’re less likely to click on them ever in the future – if they have regular bad experiences.

    Also, if advertisers look at ROI and search doesn’t perform well, in this economy, they might scale back on search all together. Even Google should fear that.

    If you find a lot of weird and irrelevant referrals, you might need to tweak your ad copy too, for some reason you’re not making yourself clear (through price or correct offers/description of your products) enough to deter clicks. Not all Google’s fault!

    But this hack helps you find if that’s the case, and adjust your campaign accordingly by negative matching, tweaking AdGroup organization and ad-copy.

  13. idris says:

    now i understand why most broad search terms get high bounce rate… Thanks for sharing this wonderful information…

  14. [...] insufficient negative keywords in your campaign. Use yesterday’s Google Analytics hack to expose the actual search queries that triggered your ad, and add negative keywords as [...]

  15. Mike says:

    I’d highly recommend moving the actual search term to the user defined field rather than appending it to the bid search term. This approach allows you to select a given bid term (thermos,dvd) and then cross segment that keyword by user defined to see all the raw search terms for that bid term without having to memorize the regex filter from this article. It also allows you to look at the user defined report to see a complete list of raw search terms. Keep in mind that eventhough this works most of the time, about 25% of the time the actual keyword will show as not set.

    If you’re not using this technique to find negative keywords, you really are wasting money.

  16. One thing to be aware of with the filter solution to this problem: using a filter in Google Analytics does not actively set a cookie in the visitor’s browser, so if they happen to come back via another method–one that does not have a q or a p query parameter and a search query–then the visitor will not be tagged as such.

    The issue is that the exact query that the visitor used to arrive at your site is available in Google Analytics’ Referral field only on their initial visit to the site. So, if you use a filter to grab that data, it will only last for their first session and until they come back to your site. At that point, the query no longer exists in the Referral field.

    For sites where conversion rarely occurred on first-time visits, it seemed necessary to set a cookie that would persist across multiple sessions. This is why I wrote the script version mentioned above.

  17. The purpose behind our contribution to the article was to highlight the differences between the various methods – which were not ours but originated by luminaries like Michael Harrison (ROI) and James Zolman (NUDE – semvironment) and Brian Clifton.

    Michael, thanks for making the point I did not – that of persisting the referral.

    Brian Katz
    VKI Studios – Google Analytics Authorized Consultants
    http://www.vkistudios.com

  18. Nick says:

    Could anyone tell me if this hack should work instantanious, or if it only works after the filter is installed on newly aquired data?

    If the latter is true, I probably did something wrong..

  19. The latter is true, Nick. It should only work for data collected after you apply the filter.

  20. [...] but two thoughts on how to save money on your search marketing. Early this week, Linda looked at how Google Analytics can cost you money in your AdWords spend. And, if that wasn’t enough, she followed up with an insightful examination of whether to [...]

  21. You do realize that between your genius, original post on 8 common analytics mistakes and this, you’re quickly branding yourself as an analytics pro :D ? Do you do visual sciences too btw?

  22. James says:

    @Brian Katz from VKI Studios -

    I have to admit that we found it from ga-analytics.co.uk…who found it from Brian Clifton who was originally with Google (as mentioned at the end of the post). We simply rewrote it with a bunch of screen shots and a step by step guide at the beginning of the year on semvironment. I wish we could claim some credit but we really can not…ROI Revolution is awesome for writing/creating the JS fixes…and Brian Clifton definitely deserves all original credit!

    Thank you for mentioning my name though – and next to the complimentary word ‘luminaries’…you are way too kind! :) It’s always good to revisit such a post and make it a little bit better. It would be nice to get a video/screencast of this tip…maybe we’ll do one soon. ;)

  23. James says:

    I almost forgot…thank you for the hat tip towards the end of the post Jason! We’re big fans of Get Elastic/Linda/and you! Keep up the great writing and work. :)

  24. Utah SEO says:

    Great information. This is exactly what I was looking for.

  25. No one seems to want to take the blame, sorry CREDIT, for this. :D

    I was aching to find a solution for this and had an endless closed loop conversation with Google Support which went nowhere. Had to install Free Stat Counter finally which was such an inelegant solution *blush*

    Thank you, Gracias, ありがとう, Danke, Merci, Grazie… very mucho.

    Added to my RSS drip feed. I’ll be back.

  26. Rakesh says:

    I’m exploring the referred links and also the links coming in. What a treasure trove, had to create a separate tab on my Google Home page for this.

  27. @Rakesh, welcome, glad you like it and thanks for adding us to your RSS.

  28. Gabi says:

    I do have a problem. I did what you said, but for the new profile it still says “Tracking Unknown” and no data on the reports. Do I have to add a new code on the pages?
    Thanks for help.

  29. Gabi says:

    Solved. I did a mistake.
    Thanks for information.

  30. Overalia says:

    Thanks for this wonderful info!

  31. Gabi says:

    I really love these new reports.
    Thanks a lot!

  32. “No need to get the ponytail guys involved” — that’s the funniest thing I’ve heard all day. Nice work folks, I’ll be deliciousing (a word? it is now) this post for years to come.

  33. [...] hate it when you waste money on PPC, and so does George Michie from the Rimm Kaufman Group. He reminds us that average PPC ROI can hide [...]

  34. [...] love Google Analytics hacks, and Allaedin Ezzedin from E-nor.com posted a great tutorial on how to track user interaction with [...]

  35. kunal says:

    Hi, this is a really great post!

    Can anyone help me by any chance? I’ve set everything up as needed, but the tracking code for the new profile cannot be found. I think it is because when i create a new profile the tracking code at the end changes to a different digit (e.g. usual filter: UA-153940-7, newly created filter UA-153940-8. Or maybe i’m missing something :(

  36. [...] can see here a step by step guide to setup your Google Analytics account to see real keyword [...]

  37. Béate says:

    Hi,

    I’ve installed it, and I love it, yet I see this strange coïncidence between search terms not being accompanied by a search term between brackets and high pageviews. Does anybody else also have this?

  38. Myy says:

    Why there are
    kennel cough and kennel cough (kennel+cough), isn’t that the same thing?

  39. Joe says:

    Thank you Jason and VKI Studios for this hack. Worked perfectly, and I’m now adding lots of terms to my negative keyword list.

    One question – could you clarify or do a follow-up post to decipher some of the characters in the search string? In your dog example, what were the characters represented by %20, %2C, %22? I have lots of these as well, and it would be helpful to understand exactly what they were.

    Thanks again

  40. Thank you very much for this. I had been looking for a solution like this all week last week. Thought I had come to a dead end. Then I just happened to stumble across this post in my reader. Fantastic!

    - ZenGlen

  41. Thanks for creating such a good post. I’ve seen a few around the place (as I’m sure others have) and this is by far the clearest and easiest one to follow. I’ve already implemented it for one client and will do for a few more.

    Like others I’m still amazed that this isn’t standard functionality in AdWords or Analytics – hopefully it will be in the not too distant future.

  42. [...] But wouldn’t you like to know which “long tail” terms your broad match and phrase match terms are bringing in? You can identify them with this Google Analytics hack. [...]

  43. I have an easy solution.

    Put the Dynamic Keyword Insertion token as a querystring parameter of your destination url.

    …/mypage.php?SearchTerm={keyword}

    Your landing page can then pick out the search term from the querystring and store it in a database. You’ll know exactly what search terms are bringing traffic to your website

  44. [...] box), Google Shopping and Buzzillions. You can also use eBay for negative keyword research and hack Google Analytics to expose the exact search phrases for your broad matched PPC [...]

  45. [...] este método, y configurando los filtros adecuados (AdWords Exact Keywords Filter) en Google Analytics y otras herramientas de medición (Google no informa de forma fácil de las [...]

  46. Ken Aston says:

    Has this become a standard functionality in Google Analytics? I see actual search terms in my keyword reports, not the phrases from my bids.

  47. @Ken,

    No, it’s not standard. you need to follow the “hack” steps to see it but well worth it. Also check out this screencast to see how it’s done:

    http://www.getelastic.com/video-tutorial-hacking-google-analytics-for-keyword-research/

  48. Ken Aston says:

    Thanks for the link, Linda. I’ve checked it out.

    Not sure why, but I can already see the exact phrases in GA, without creating these filter.

    I checked all last year and see thousands of phrases which (1) I never bid on and (2) very obviously obviously look like the phrases people search for (with real names, bad spelling, etc. in it).

    Confused… Do you have an idea what could be the reason?

  49. Atiq says:

    A few months ago I implemented the mentioned advanced (ppc query) filters on about 5 or 6 different Analytics Accounts and found great results.

    All of these Analytics accounts were integrated with their respective AdWords Accounts and were showing PPC queries in detail.

    However, from 23rd March 2009, these suddenly stopped working. Now there is no PPC visits data all.

    AdWords campaigns for these accounts are still running. I CAN see AdWords data inside Analytics accounts in normal profiles. These are the advanced profiles (using filters) that are creating problems.

    The new advanced profiles with advanced query filters still showing other (organic, referral) visits but no PPC data, not even simple PPC visits.

    It is strange as every thing was normal a week ago.

    Any reasons? Help PLEASE.

  50. Ken Aston says:

    Atiq, the Adwords data which you can still see in the accounts without the filters, does it show the full search queries or just the keywords you bid on?

  51. Atiq says:

    @ Ken

    It does not show ANY ppc data now in Advanced filters (profiles) for Some of The Analytics-AdWords accounts.

    However I can see PPC data in other profile(s) of the same website.

    Some accounts are still working fine with filters.

    I have made no changes, its strange.

  52. Atiq says:

    @Ken

    Thanks alot, problem solved. It was Apply Cost Data checkbox that was unchecked.

    Once again thanks for your great help. One more issues, this time it is with ecommerce data matching with referal, when transaction is carried out on third party site (WorldPay) that does not allow passing cookies or redirect users after sale completeion.

    Complete details are posted on Google Analytics Help Group. No final answer yet. http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/Google+Analytics/thread?tid=2c821eba10078545&fid=2c821eba1007854500046053c9252fff&hl=en

    Please help.

  53. Rick says:

    FYI – From google

    How do I edit my cost data settings?
    You have the flexibility to decide which profile you want to apply your cost data to, however please note that only Analytics Administrators can add or delete cost data from a specific profile.

    From within the AdWords account

    Sign in to your AdWords account at https://adwords.google.com.
    Select the Analytics tab.
    Find the profile that you want to edit the cost data settings for. Click ‘Edit’ from underneath the ‘Actions’ column.
    Click ‘Edit’ from the upper right-hand corner of the Main Website Profile Information section.
    From the ‘Cost data’ section, select or de-select the cost source listed.
    Click ‘Save’ to finish.
    From within the standalone Analytics account
    Sign in to your Analytics account at http://www.google.com/analytics/.
    Select the account that has the profile you need to edit.
    Find the profile that you want to edit the cost data settings for. Click ‘Edit’ from underneath the ‘Actions’ column.
    Click ‘Edit’ from the upper right-hand corner of the Main Website Profile Information section.
    From the ‘Cost data’ section, select or de-select the cost source listed.
    Click ‘Save’ to finish.

    Link: http://www.google.com/support/googleanalytics/bin/answer.py?answer=140101

  54. Derrick says:

    It seems as if with the new version of analytics the above filters aren’t working.. Is anyone else having the same problem?

  55. Alan says:

    I think you are right Derrick I’m having the same issue

  56. Wow, you guys are so clever :) thanks

    A question if I may. Is there an easy way to get google analytics to show the keyword match type?

    Thanks in advance

  57. @Brian,

    Yes, you can drill into each campaign/AdGroup and view the full keyword referrals that way, but you need to have the campaign structure that your keywords are grouped by match type.

    You would view them under the Adwords menu in Google Analytics, go to “Traffic Sources” and click on “Adwords” and find those groups from there.

    Hope that helps.

  58. Hi Linda

    Thanks for that.

    I suppose that would do it although (and please don’t take this as me being unappreciative of your advice…) it means moving two thirds of my keywords and ads into new ad groups which in itself isnt too much trouble, but it will mean that analysing the old data and the new data will be a bit of a mission for a while. Is there no way of doing it with a fancy filter like the ones above?

    Thanks

  59. David Minor says:

    In AdWords at the ad group level, there’s a “see search terms” dropdown, from which you can select “all”. Is this new, and does it perform the same function as these filters?

  60. SEO says:

    We’ve implemented it and we notice something strange. When the keywords appear in an exact form, without the following brackets (), the usage stats are much better in terms of time on site and pageviews. In addition, we see no goal conversions for the keywords with the following brackets.

    Any ideas why?

  61. There are a number of reasons why you’re not seeing conversions for keywords, I can’t say without actually looking at your account and the keywords themselves relative to the landing page content.

  62. This worked great for me. Thank you so much for posting this.

    I ran a search query report and was shocked. Tipped me off to some negative keywords I should have been using.

    Then I started looking for how to get this quality info in Analytics. Found this post, followed your instructions and bang! It’s working. You are awesome!

  63. Judy says:

    Excellent information – thank you. I will definitely recommend your site to my clients. Most people don’t know how important the things that you highlighted are.

    Thanks for helping spread the good word!

    Thanks!
    Judy

  64. We’ve implemented it and we notice something strange. When the keywords appear in an exact form, without the following brackets (), the usage stats are much better in terms of time on site and pageviews. In addition, we see no goal conversions for the keywords with the following brackets.

  65. Eric says:

    Is there a way to identify what exact phrase generated a conversion/revenue? Right now, only the general phrase shows the conversion rate, but not the exact phrase that had the filter applied.

    Thanks, great post.

  66. pedro says:

    Very interesting info. There is so much to discover every day. Thanks for the heads up. Your site is really an great source for quality information.

  67. The videos really are brilliant!! Thanks for the tips on the Blogging for retailers white paper Dave O. Found your blog after Etail. Spreading the word.

  68. These are very helpful tips to the budding seo professional. Thank you!

  69. Jason says:

    I’m having the same problem as Kunal from August 18th, 2008.

    Do we have to modify or add tracking code to account for the new profile id ((e.g. usual filter: UA-153940-7, newly created filter UA-153940-8)

    Thanks

  70. dave says:

    I just installed it, let’s see what it shows tomorrow :)

  71. Thanks for the great post! I’ve just implemented this and I am eagerly waiting for GA to generate the data in the new profile. I did however have a question: are these filters supposed to generate info that is different from the “search query” report in our Google Adwords account? The “search query” is supposed to also show all the exact keywords searched but I was told that the information was incomplete and the report we would get by applying these filters in GA would be much better. Is this true?

    Thanks for your help!

  72. Adriana says:

    My keywords dont show up as the screenshot with the filtered results (bid-terms and search-terms)

    Does the filter need any updating?

  73. Zambo says:

    Hi,

    I’m having some trouble with accents using these filters and I’m not a expert in RegEx…

    Can someone help me with the correct RegEx to ignore accents?

  74. ElchenUK says:

    Hi these filters were created in 2008 before Adwords improved their ‘search terms’ reports. Can you confirm how these filters differ from that reports?

    thanks

  75. Franc says:

    Sure This filter cannot work since the query is not visible in the refferal, Am I right ? Thanks for your help. Anyway if you set-up a goal, and set adwords goals to be the ones from analytics, it works fine.

  76. Shane says:

    This question was asked earlier but don’t think there was a reply:

    In the unfiltered result in the main article “kennel cough” and “kennel cough (kennel+cough)” both appear. Why is that? I’m trying to understand why I see alot of entries without a raw query in the brackets after applying this filter.

    • The brackets might be referring to when people search with the plus sign (old school way of searching), it could also be that the first “kennel cough” was exact matched – therefore the broad match filter doesn’t apply. If you’re looking at default reports you’d see a mix.

  77. Steven says:

    Thanks for this great post.
    The function doesn’t appear to support German characters:

    (h%c3%b6che%20der%20beitr%c3%a4ge%20der%20sozialversicherung)

    do you have an idea how to adjust the filter?

  78. SugarFree says:

    Great post…I will try this to see if it improves the performance. I’m please that I stumbled upon this today as I spent most of the morning trying to understand how Google was matching some of my keywords!

  79. I never knew Google would do this! Seems a bit mad but yeah I can see the problem with this! I’m gonna try some of these methods and see if I get results!

  80. Richard says:

    I just did a test drive with this filter, but now I am not sure how to read the results…. what is the difference between (coughing+in+dogs) versus (coughing%20in%20dogs), so basically the different between the “+” and the “%20″. Hope anyone can help me out! Thanks.

    • Hi Richard, the %20 is HTML encoding for a space. Some search engines will report the query string with + and others with %20, unfortunately.

      • Richard says:

        Linda, thank you for your reply. I could not find anywhere on the web how to read the results. The traffic is only coming from Google Adwords from the Google Search Engine, so I thought it would have some different meaning. You are saying, I can just read the %20 or the + as the same thing?

        • Yes. Some people actually do search with “keyword+keyword” (the old schoolers), but that in essence is the same as with a space. If you’re using Google’s content network that includes other search engines, this might explain.

  81. Attila says:

    Hi. Great post especially that I am looking for a way to combine my exact search terms with my custom variables.

    My most important question: is this going to help me combine the search terms with the my custom variables? The problem is that I can find the exact search terms in the adwords section of the analytics but I can’t combine them with my set custom variables. Analytics allows the combination only with “keywords” where as the exact search terms are not shown just the keywords on which I am bidding.

    If I create another profile do my custom variables going to be shown there too?

    Thanks in advance for the help.

  82. [...] Filters – Search Marketing AdsBasic Google Analytics Filter: Track Site Subdomains – Marshall BallStop Google Analytics From Stealing Your Valuable AdWords Keyword Data – Get ElasticNeed the IP address of your visitors in Google Analytics Reports? Is it possible? – [...]

  83. Chris says:

    Hello,

    With the new functionality in Google Analytics: Traffic Sources>Adwords>Keywords>Matched Search Query> additional dimension of Keyword or Match type, is this filter still needed nowadays? If so, what are the benefits of using it? Thanks!

  84. Chris says:

    Linda,

    I agree. Thanks again!

  85. I spent some time (like a poster above) trying to figure out how the big G was keying up my keywords. This post has saved me a ton of time. Next step is to “wait and see”…

    Thanks so much!

  86. Arnout says:

    Hi, Could it be possible that Big G has change the way they send this information? I’m notiging that certain profiles don’t get the data anymore. Could someone please check this?

  87. Codee says:

    I don’t believe this filter is working any longer. If anyone finds out a workaround or an edit, we’d love to hear it.

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