Using Filters in Google Analytics to move Yahoo secure search from referrals to organic search

Whew, that’s the longest blog post title that I’ve ever written, but it’s 100% accurate.

Starting in early February, Yahoo decided to follow Google’s lead and encrypt search. Instead of going into the technical details of how this works, I’m focusing on the result:

Visitors who found your site via Yahoo search now show in your reports as referred visits coming from r.search.yahoo.com instead of as organic search visits. Clearly, this miscategorization skews your data. I’m going to show you a simple method to use filters in Google Analytics to switch these visits from referrals to organic search. There are three filters – After some experimentation, I discovered that the proper results are achieved when using the filters in the following order:

Filter 1: Set keywords as “not provided” – since they aren’t!

ga-filter-1Filter 2: Change the medium from referral to organic

ga-filter-2Filter 3: Change the source from r.search.yahoo.com to yahoo

ga-filter-3Be sure to first test these filters on your test profile before adding them to your master profile. If aren’t currently using at least three Google Analytics profiles, read this.

 

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One Response to Using Filters in Google Analytics to move Yahoo secure search from referrals to organic search

  1. Adam Powell says:

    Right you are!

    Google, Yahoo, Bing and—as of last week—Yandex (Russian) are all now encrypting search queries.

    The only one I’m familiar with needing to change in GA (to not show as referral traffic) is Yahoo, as you describe above.

    That said, I also generally add duckduckgo.com to my organic sources as they are growing due to their respect for user privacy.

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