This article is about Universal Analytics, which is going away. It's critical that you migrate your Universal Analytics property settings to Google Analytics 4, or you will begin to lose data on July 1, 2023 (July 1, 2024 for Analytics 360 properties). Learn how to migrate your settings.

Search term exclusions

Count some search traffic as direct traffic.
This Universal Analytics feature is only available for websites using gtag.js or analytics.js. Using ga.js (Classic Analytics) will stop Referral Exclusions from working.

Analytics identifies the terms used to find your site through search engines, and displays these keywords (including phrases) in your reports. For Google organic searches, Analytics will generally show a keyword of (not provided) because all Google searches are secured via SSL, and search queries are not exposed.

You can exclude specific search terms from being identified in your Analytics account. When users find your site using an excluded term, that traffic isn’t included as search traffic in your reports. Instead, it’s counted as direct traffic. You might, for example, want to exclude your own company name or your domain as search terms. Any traffic that finds your site by searching either of these terms then appears as direct traffic in your reports.

When you exclude search traffic that arrives at your site using specific keywords, other activities from that traffic, like triggering Events or completing Goals, are still recorded in your reports.

For more information on different kinds of traffic sources, read about traffic sources.

How to exclude search terms

This setting is controlled applied in the admin settings of each property in your account. To exclude traffic entering your site with these search terms as referral traffic:

  1. Navigate to a property. If you're not in the settings screen, click Admin.
  2. Click Tracking Info then Search Term Exclusion List tab.
  3. Click +Add Search Term
  4. Enter a word, phrase, or string as a Search Term.
  5. Click Create to save.

You can edit these terms any time by following the same steps. Note that this only applies to organic and not paid search traffic.

Visit our developer guide for more detailed information on configuration and implementation.

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