[UA] What the value (not set) means

This article is about (not set) in Universal Analytics. For (not set) issues in Google Analytics 4, go to [GA4] What the value (not set) means in your reports.

(not set) is a placeholder name that Analytics uses when it hasn't received any information for the dimension you have selected. The reasons for (not set) appearing as a dimension value vary according to the report.

In this article:

Advertising reports

Google Ads

If (not set) appears in your Google Ads reports, it means that the website or app you're tracking in the Analytics account is receiving traffic from a Google Ads account that is not linked to the reporting view. You should review the following:

Occasionally, information related to a click can be lost even if auto-tagging is enabled. As a result, you may see some (not set) entries instead of keyword, ad-content, or campaign information that could not be collected.

Matched Search Query

If (not set) appears in your Google Ads > Matched Search Query reports, it is likely that everything in the Google Ads section is (not set) as outlined in the above section. However, if the regular Google Ads reports (Campaigns & Keywords) are reporting data correctly, there are other reasons why (not set) may appear in the Matched Search Query report:

  • Google Display Network traffic (this traffic does not have an associated query, so will show as (not set))
  • Manually tagged campaigns (this report only works for auto-tagged traffic)
  • Invalid clicks will show up as (not set)
  • In the Google Ads search-terms report, all terms classified as "(other search terms)" will be reported as (not set).

Behavior reports

Site Content > Landing Pages

If you see (not set) as a value for Landing Page, this is generally due to a session with no page or screen view level hits included.

It’s possible to have a session that doesn’t include a page or a screen view, but that does include another kind of interaction hit type (e.g. an events or ecommerce hit type). To see a few examples of sessions with different kinds of hit type, read about the difference between Entrances and Sessions.

To identify which hit type is causing the issue, use the advanced filter (found at the top of the data table) to restrict the data to include page/screen views matching exactly 0 in the following reports: Behavior > Events, Acquisition > Social > Plugins, and Conversions > Ecommerce.

In most cases, the cause is either a view filter that removes specific page/screen views, or the omission of page view tracking on web pages or the omission of screen view tracking on Android or iOS apps.

Audience reports

Technology > Browser & OS > Screen Resolution

It is common for the screen resolution that has the highest ecommerce conversion rate to show (not set). Additionally, a high incidence of (not set) ecommerce rates can occur for these dimensions:

  • Flash Version (occurs if Flash is disabled in web browser settings)
  • Screen Color
  • Language (in demographics report)

Generally, these traffic segments are small and not statistically significant.

Acquisition reports

Display ad clicks

The Source/Medium report includes all sessions to an advertiser's site. Sessions that resulted from display ad clicks (measured in Campaign Manager) are grouped into the source/medium of dfa/cpm.

When Campaign Manager dimensions are used as secondary dimensions in the Source/Medium report, Google Analytics assigns the value "(not set)" if it recognizes that the traffic comes from Campaign Manager ads, but cannot properly match the traffic with linked Campaign Manager advertisers.

The following are common reasons for "(not set)" traffic under dfa/cpm:

  • Traffic comes from unlinked Campaign Manager advertisers.
  • The dclid value is malformed and Google Analytics cannot match it properly.
  • A hard-coded dclid value is appended to the click-through URLs in Campaign Manager.
  • The received hit information doesn't have DoubleClick cookies associated with it. This is normally due to a user's preference or browser settings.
    • In order to attribute a session to the associated campaign, a DoubleClick user ID is required regardless of the presence of a dclid.
    • The DoubleClick user ID resides in a DoubleClick cookie.

When a Google Analytics account is linked to both Campaign Manager and Display & Video 360, the default source/medium for Campaign Manager and Display & Video 360 traffic is dfa/cpm.

  • If Google Analytics can map traffic with the Display & Video 360 campaign information, the source/medium is dbm/cpm.
  • If Google Analytics cannot map with the Display & Video 360 campaign information due to missing DoubleClick cookies, the source medium is attributed to dfa/cpm. If you add a secondary dimension related to the campaign, it will show as "(not set)".
  • If the Google Analytics property is only linked to Display & Video 360, the source medium will ålways be dbm/cpm.

Other reports

Custom reports

When you select a traffic-source related dimension (e.g. Campaign) in a Custom Report, the dimension is applied to all sessions in the account, not just paid search (often referred to as CPC) traffic. Therefore, sessions that do not have any campaign information associated (e.g., direct, referral traffic) will be reported under (not set). You will see something similar if you select the All Campaigns report under Acquisition rather than the Campaigns report under Acquisition > Google Ads.

Instead of creating a Custom Report, the best way to get this information is to use an advanced segment in the specific report.

Visitors Flow

Similar to the custom reports, when you select a dimension like Campaign in the Visitor Flow, you may see (not set) in the Funnel path because all sessions from direct and referral traffic would not have campaign information. Notice that (all other campaigns sources) + (not set) = Total Sessions.

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