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Google Analytics Notifications Explained!

Google Employee
# 1
Google Employee

Google Analytics gives customers many notifications. The following are common notifications that we’ve seen many questions about, and we’d like to shed some light on them, and advise advertisers on how to best deal with them:


  • Self Referrals (“Incorrectly-tagged or untagged pages may be causing self-referrals to property”)
  • Missing campaign Parameters (“Property is recieving hits with missing campaign parameters”)
  • Duplicate Campaign Parameters (“Property is recieving hits with utm_term parameters of the same text but with different letter cases”)




Screen Shot 2015-02-12 at 10.06.55 AM.png

Essentially, this is traffic from hostnames (a name that is given to a device connected to a computer network) sending hits to a given website being identified as referrals. The first thing you need to do is to verify that all site pages are tagged and that the tags are configured correctly.  In Google Analytics, we report users' traffic sources in "Acquisition" report, so website owners can understand where users are coming from. f users are coming from different websites, we record them as "referral" traffic - and self-referrals are those referral traffic coming from client's own website.


Here is an article mentioning possible causes for self-referrals: 

Missing Campaign Parameters

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What this “Missing Campaign Parameters” message implies is that a customer is passing traffic source information via manual-tagging parameters but the information is not complete. We need at least 3 parameters to be specified - but one or more values for those parameters are missing.

Customers should revise their manual-tagging parameters settings and make sure that campaign parameters are fully completed.


Some examples of this are (in the format "Source/Medium/Campaign") are: set)/(referral), google/cpc/(not set)


This can be solved by ensuring that links referring to your site have all three campaign parameters filled out when using the URL Builder(Link to URL Builder). Customers can can manually define traffic source by adding manual tagging parameters to the URL - usually people want to do this when serving ads on ad network or sending out direct email to gain more traffic to the website.


Not sure when you should be using manual tagged parameters, instead of auto tagging? Have a look at this article.

Duplicate Campaign Parameters

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Campaign parameters are case sensitive, so hits with the same keyword text but different letter cases will show up separately in reports. As an example, the keywords "newsletter" and "Newsletter" would be considered different and would have separate rows in reports.To avoid having data from the same keywords split across multiple rows in reports, you can set a case filter for Campaign Term on your views.


Google Analytics reports data case-sensitive so if the values are the same, it can be confusing if you have the keyword "Google" and "google" reported differently. Customers should revise their manual-tagging parameters setting.

Hope this helps!

2 Expert replyverified_user

Re: Google Analytics Notifications Explained!

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor
Excellent stuff Kate. I have to say, the new notifications are incredibly useful. It's now part of our company procedure to go through all clients accounts each morning to check for these.

It would be even more useful if an account admin could subscribe to email notifications of these notifications. It's pretty amazing what you guys can detect automatically but it would be even better if we could action them sooner.

Re: Google Analytics Notifications Explained!

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
I second the ability to receive all this notifications rather than having to proactively go looking to see if they even exist in each account. That's not a long term scalable solution and it wastes a lot of time making the notification center rather useless. Webhooks for notifications would be ideal.

Google Analytics Notifications Explained!

Follower ✭ ☆ ☆
# 4
Follower ✭ ☆ ☆

Does anyone know if there is a solution for receiving all notifications yet?  Is there an api connection for notifications?