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Search Engine Configuration - Web Tracking (ga.js)

  1. Default Search Engine List
  2. Adding a Search Engine
  3. Removing a Search Engine as a Referrer
  4. Defining a Search Terms as Direct Traffic

This document covers how to customize which search engines are used as Organic Search Sources for your Google Analytics reports. Google Analytics tracks traffic to your website from two basic referring sources:

Default Search Engine List

By default, Google Analytics identifies the following list of websites as search engine referrals in your reports. Referrals from search engines not in the list are listed under the Referring Sites report. The following table lists the search engines by fully-qualified domain, along with each engine's query parameter.

Analytics identifies a specific search engine when search referral traffic comes from a fully qualified domain that has the following elements:

  • Any part of that domain name matches the search engine name
  • The referral string from the search engine uses the correct query parameter
For example, if you have a sub-domain on your site such as which also uses the query parameter q, then your Search Engine reports will display traffic from the engine Search even though that traffic is part of your own site search. To work around this, follow the instructions below on Removing a Search Engine Referrer to configure search traffic behavior correctly for your setup.

Engine Example Domain Names Parameter
Daum q
Eniro search_word
Naver query
Google All Google Search domains (e.g.,, etc) q
Yahoo p
Bing q
AOL query
AOL encquery
Lycos query
Ask q
Altavista q
Netscape query
CNN query
About terms
Mamma query
Alltheweb q
Voila rdata
Virgilio qs
Live q
Baidu wd
Alice qs
Yandex text
Najdi q
Mama query
Seznam q
Search q
Wirtulana Polska szukaj
O*NET qt
Szukacz q
Yam k
PCHome q
Kvasir q
Sesam q
Ozu q
Terra query
Mynet q
Ekolay q
Rambler words

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Adding a Site as a Search Engine Referrer

Use the _addOrganic() method to add additional search engines to the list. When you do this, you will also specify the query term variable for that search engine, which is commonly a single character or word (such as q or query) used in the query parameter to demarcate the search string. Search engines are added to the list in the order that they are called in your script, or you can set the optional third parameter to true to add the engine to the beginning of the list. You can clear our the entire search engine list by using the _clearOrganic() method, such as if you want to start your search engine list from scratch.

Removing a Search Engine Referrer

The Referring Sites report lists all websites that refer to your own site, whether from a search engine result or from a link on another website. In some cases, there might be sites that you administer that you want to exclude from the list of referring sites, such as a link from an affiliated or linked site. Traffic from sites that are excluded from the referrer list are counted as direct traffic instead. Use the _addIgnoredRef() method to remove a website from the referrer list. You can clear the excluded referrers list with the _clearIgnoredRef() method.

Defining a Search Terms as Direct Traffic

When visitors reach your site by entering a search phrase into a search engine, those terms used are listed as keywords in the Keywords report. In some cases you might want to remove certain keywords or phrases from the Keywords report and have them treated instead as direct traffic. For example, a user can type your domain name as a search phrase, and that phrase is listed as a keyword in the report. You can use the _addIgnoredOrganic() method to treat a keyword as direct traffic. To revert to the default behavior, use the _clearIgnoredOrganic() method, which will clear out your keyword ignore list and treat all search engine terms as keywords once more.

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