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Add Organic Search Source to Google Analytics in 7 seconds(ish)

BY STU BOWKER | 30th July 2020 |

Stop spending your precious time manually adding Organic Search Sources to GA. There's a much quicker way to do it.

UPDATE! For most sessions, this method will no longer work. GA needs the keyword query parameter, but modern browsers truncate the referrer URL to just the hostname. This means it won't match and you're left with the original source and medium. There are some browsers where the original method will still work but expect this number to shrink over time.
I'm working on some filters as a workaround.

BONUS: Organic Search Sources list

This sucks!

Every time I perform a Google Analytics Health Check, adding Organic Search Sources is by far my least favourite part. It's a manual process which requires each domain and query parameter to be added one by one. If you've got multiple properties then the task takes even longer.

Copy, paste, repeat...a thousand times!

Recently I snapped and couldn't take it any more. I hunted Google for a solution, amazingly I found one in the form of a bookmarklet. I'm so excited that I have to share it with you all.

The Solution

Here it is:

GA:OSS

First, you need to drag the link above to your bookmarks bar.

To use it make sure you're on the Organic Search Sources page in GA. Now click your shiny new bookmarklet.

You should see something like this:

Screenshot of the Organic Search Sources tool

On each line add a display name, the domain and the query parameter name for the keyword, all separated with query parameters e.g. bing;bing.com;q.

Enter each search engine on a new line.

Now click the "Import" button. If you're adding hundreds of search engines (like the list below) it might take a while, but at least it's on autopilot.

That's all there is to it. Your time and sanity have just been saved!

You can also use this tool to overwrite the name of the search engines that GA uses e.g. see this in the Source/Medium report, "google.co.uk / organic".

I'd love to take credit for this but it isn't my creation. I have updated the UI smidge though. Here's the original source by lewwwin.

If you need it, here's a list of search engines to include:

GA Organic Search Sources List

This list is an unverified work in progress, use at your own risk. It probably includes a load that Google have already included as Organic.

This tool does automatically ignore any search engines you already have in the list. If you create duplicates your list might grow unnecessarily large but shouldn't negatively impact your data.

UPDATE! For most sessions, this method will no longer work. GA needs the keyword query parameter, but modern browsers truncate the referrer URL to just the hostname. This means it won't match and you're left with the original source and medium. There are some browsers where the original method will still work but expect this number to shrink over time.
I'm working on some filters as a workaround.

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Thanks to those who have contributed to this list; realhe.ro, @jimbanks, @FreshEgg, @hellemans, Simon Stafferton.

If you've got any questions you'll find me on twitter @StuBowker.