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How To Add New or Custom Search Engines In Google Analytics For Reporting?

Gordon Choi
Gordon Choi
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Google Analytics has a default list of search engines. When a user comes from one of the search engines in the list, the user’s session and all the metrics associated to this user will be accredited to the correct search engine.

However, if a user comes through a website (such as sm.cn, a local Chinese mobile search engine) that has not yet been added to the default list, then in Google Analytics reports the session will be accredited to medium “referral”.



Add a New Search Engine to Google Analytics

For the local search engines or new search engines that do not yet show up under organic search, you can manually configure Google Analytics to recognize them as search engines.

In Google Analytics, go to:

Admin -> Tracking Info -> Organic Search Sources -> Add Search Engine

Fill in the required fields (i.e. The search engine’s domain name & query parameter), click Create, and the new search engine will be added.

Google Analytics assigns any organic search engine session to a single source so the order of the search engines placed under Domain Name is sometimes important. Any organic search session is assigned to the first search engine on your list that matches the Domain Name and Query Parameter.

Let’s consider an example.

  • If baidu.com is the first item on your list and image.baidu.com is second with both search engines using the same Query Parameter, such as word, all searches that happen on image.baidu.com are assigned to baidu.com.
  • You can change the order of the search engines in the list to prioritize how sessions are assigned. If you place image.baidu.com first and baidu.com second, then all searches that happen on image.baidu.com will be assigned to image.baidu.com.

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Content on Gordon Choi’s Analytics Book is licensed under the CC Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 International license.

Gordon Choi’s Other Books:
The China Mobile SEO Book
Mobile Website Book



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