Solving the (not set) in Google Analytics

Today’s tip comes from two sources: Alex L. Cohen and PPC Hero, with their mystery solving and publicly sharing their solution on how to import data and increasing compatibility between Yahoo PPC and Google Analytics. As with any search engine that isn’t Google, you have to expect a certain amount of disparity in reporting data imported into Google Analytics since the two were not created by the same company, nor made to fit together the way that AdWords and GA do.
However, there is a workaround that will allow you to gather more data from your Yahoo paid search campaigns and cut down on those (not set) results we see so often in Google Analytics with those other search engines. Supposedly, to collect all the data that you can, you’re already tagging all your ads and destination keywords manually with a UTM generated specifically for that campaign, ad group or keyword. In this case, it is still a UTM thrown onto the back end after your destination URL, but instead of having to generate a specific one, you throw the same generic UTM code on, using Yahoo’s dynamic variables.
The Bottom Line: Jury is still out on this one: while I have seen a significant decrease in (not set) in my Yahoo keyword results, I do have a lot of {ovkey} results instead. I do have questions in to the blog authors for further deliberations. Stay tuned!
–See “Comments” section for the resolution!

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  1. Hey Elizabeth,
    Thanks for reading and the link. Did you see this part of PPC Hero’s post?
    “Yahoo!’s auto-tagging identifiers will only produce real data if you have turned auto-tagging ON in your account! Otherwise all of your Yahoo! PPC visitors will register keywords as {OVKEY}.”
    That could be your problem. If not, let me know.

  2. Hi Elizabeth,
    Did you get any further with this? I am seeing alot of not-set keywords appearing in my reports, even though I use Google Analytics and Adwords together and have Auto tagging enabled for my PPC campaigns.
    We don’t run Yahoo! campaigns for the moment. Do you know if (not set) keywords can be generated by direct traffic (Type – In)?

  3. There will always be some (not set) in GA due to folks having their cookies disabled, companies blocking or consolidating information from employees’ computers. If you have auto tagging enabled and your GA is installed correctly- then you are receiving the maximum amount of information you can get out of GA for AdWords. I would suggest if you’re not already, using AdWord’s Conversion Tracking in conjunction with GA. Then you can really get a clear picture on a keyword by keyword basis.
    As for (not set) keywords being generated by direct traffic, the same issue applies due to cookies. If the user has them disabled, then GA has no choice but to label the query as “not set” since it cannot tell what the keyword the user types in was.
    Hope that helps. Let me know if you have any further questions!

  4. Thanks for the follow up Elizabeth, I’ve managed to resolve most issues with (not set) although as you say there will always be some as a result of not being able to track each and every user.

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