Deciphering (not set) Traffic in Google Analytics
I noticed the other day that the default view for All Traffic sources was the Keyword report. Originally, I remember it being the source / medium view. So I guess things have changed… not sure why though. (Update: just logged in and noticed it’s back to normal, phew! :))
One question that comes up all the time in the keywords report is “what is this (not set)? Or… “what is this (not provided)“?
According to Google, (not set) in your reports could mean an assortment of things:
- AdWords is improperly linked or not linked to your Google Analytics account
- There may be a redirect in the URL
- URL is missing parameters
- It was never a keyword-oriented visit
The easiest way to find out where the (not set) is coming from is to run a Secondary Dimension (I love this feature!). For example, this is what you can do:
First, head over to your All Traffic report, click on keyword, then click on (not set).
Secondly, you will notice that your list is now filtered with only (not set) traffic. Click the Secondary Dimension dropdown and select “Source”.
This gives you a clear picture of what these mysterious (not set) traffic is. In fact, it’s not mysterious at all now, is it? These are your referrers and you can easily find them in the Referral report. The nice thing about heading into the referral report is that you can drill deep into what Pages on other people’s website brought the visitor from.
Hope this clears up the (not set) confusions. Don’t let it get to you 😉
July 31, 2013 / Jackson Lo / 2