Weighted Sort

What It Is

Weighted sort sorts percentage data in order of importance instead of numerical order. For example, a 100% bounce rate calculated against a single session doesn't provide useful information, but a 70% bounce rate calculated against 1,000 sessions does become meaningful. Weighted sort brings those rows of meaningful statistics to the top of the list, and is especially useful when you are dealing with large amounts of information.

Let's consider an example for sorting paid keyword bounce rates:

You want to improve bounce rates for your website. After sorting in descending order, without weighted values, you see several paid keywords listed in the first page of rows that look like this:

  • Keyword: running shoes
  • Sessions: 1
  • Pages/Sessions: 1.00
  • Bounce Rate: 100%

and in the second page of rows, like this:

  • Keyword: walking shoes
  • Sessions: 100
  • Pages/Sessions: 1.14
  • Bounce Rate: 88.5%

Here, sorting by actual bounce rate isn't useful: the keyword running shoes has only 1 session, but it appears on the first page of the list; the keyword walking shoes, with more sessions, is ranked lower and appears on a secondary page. With weighted sort, Google Analytics takes into account the number of sessions, and promotes this second keyword and others like it (with more sessions) to the top of the list; keywords such as running shoes, that once appeared high on the list with regular sorting, are still shown, but they appear farther down the list.

In some Ads reports, the weighting factor is impressions or clicks, rather than sessions.

You can still sort by ascending or descending order with weighted sort enabled. Given that the most actionable data is brought to the forefront, however, the ascending or descending order may not always appear strict.

To use Weighted Sort, click the Bounce Rate (or other percentage based metric) column header in a table to sort. Then, above the table, use the Sort Type selection menu to select "Weighted".

For additional information, read Avinash Kaushik's blog post about using weighted sort.

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