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Google Employee

What Does "Not Set" Mean in Google Analytics?

Hello Analytics Community!

This is Ashish from the Google team and today, we’re going to be talking about a particular attribute that many users often see on Google Analytics accounts and wonder what it really means-- (not set)

 

(not set) denotes that Google Analytics didn’t receive any information for the item (dimension) you selected. It’s generally associated with any direct/referral visit, since it does not have campaign information such as keyword, match type, etc. associated with the visit.

 

Let’s look at common scenarios from your Analytics reports in brief:

 

In Advertising:

Say you have an AdWords account that is advertising your website, but this account isn’t linked with your Analytics account. Since Analytics won’t have any campaign parameters from AdWords to attribute traffic to, it may show the campaign source as (not set) in your AdWords reports on Analytics.

 

Other common reasons can be:

 

 

If everything in the AdWords section is (not set), the matched search query report might show everything as (not set) too.

 

In addition to the above factors, clicks from those reports that show data for Display Network campaigns may show as not set as well (as they dont have related search queries). Invalid clicks that are filtered by the system and other queries (in AdWords) will  also show as not set.

 

In Traffic Sources:

like Search (Organic) reports, this might be due to incorrectly set referral patterns or use of urchin.js on landing pages, which is an outdated version of the Analytics tracking code.

 

In Site Content : Landing Page Reports:

Say the session has no page/screen view, but instead includes other hit types (e.g. an events or ecommerce hit type).

 

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 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. Thus, sessions that are not through advertising (e.g., direct, referral traffic) will be reported under (not set). Instead of creating a Custom Report, the best way to get this information would be to use an advanced segment in the specific report.

 

In Visits Flow Reports

: similar to the Custom Reports, when you select a dimension, you may see (not set) in the Funnel path for non advertising traffic (from direct, referral traffic etc.)

 

Note that (all other campaigns sources) + (not set) = total visits.

 

In Audience Reports:

Check Audience > Technology > Browser & OS > Screen Resolution. It is quite common that the screen resolution that has the highest Ecommerce conversion rate is (not set). Flash Version (occurs if Flash is disabled in browser settings) and Screen Colors Language (in demographics report) do sometimes report as (not set). These are typically statistically insignificant.

 

Hope this was useful! If you have any questions, feel free to let us know in the comment section below and we would be glad to take them up.

 

Ashish

Comments
Hung Thinh
December 2015

Thank you!

Mia T
December 2015

I have a question... I'm seeing that sometimes Facebook clicks are coming through Google Analytics as m.facebook.com / referral... is it possible that UTMs aren't being tracked if the ad is clicked on via Facebook's mobile app, or mobile website? 

I do see some "not set" but mostly, it's /referral

test a
December 2015

Hello Ashish,

I have integrated google analytic in android app but Analytic reports showing session for referral also.

How can we stop from showing reports for referral session? I have not implemented anything for supporting referral session I want to show only direct session but my reports showing both direct and referral session.

How this can be happen? without any integration reports come for both direct and referral  session.

Please guide me.

Thank you.

Jon A
December 2015

Hi Ashish,

 

I'm not even sure if this is the right place to ask my question, but it's the best place I could find. We have Google Analytics, GA Universal, and Google Tag Manager, but not GA Premium. Can we buy and use Adometry, or do we need to purchase GA Premium to use Adometry? 

 

Best Regards, 

Jon Anderson

A T
January 2016

Hi,

 

Adding to above: http://www.lunametrics.com/blog/2015/06/25/11-places-google-analytics-not-set/

 

Best Regards,
GA Guru.

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Bill L
January 2016

Hi,

Not sure I'm in the right place, however, when reading realtime content on our analytics, I will often see the same page url but with a different page title that doesn't match the page title that is listed in our SEO settings on our site. Often the same url showing but with 2 different page titles (see attached). Any info as to what this means would be greatly appreciated. Thanks and regards,

Bill

Screen Shot 2016-01-10 at 10.36.25 PM.pngScreen Shot 2016-01-10 at 10.28.58 PM.png

JF
January 2016

I have a question...

 

What do I do in google analytics???
There is no contact source to talk to anyone.

I have no way of knowing whether my website has been properly linked.

 

I just want to see who is coming to my website.    How do I find this???

How do you talk to people in this website???

 

John

DeM
January 2016

Hi -

 

When are running report as below and are seeing (not set) campaigns:

 

Dimenions:

 

Campaign

Soure / Medium

 

Metrics:

 

Pageviews

Avg. Page per Session

 

Questions:

 

1. Some of the campaigns are coming out as (not set) with a source / medium of newsletter / email. We are unsure as to why we would see (not set) campaigns when we have UTM parameters attached to all our newsletter links. Could social sharing of newsletter links be the issue? Any other possibilities? Should we just filter the (not set) campaigns out of reporting? We are wondering if there is possibly an issue somewhere that needs to be fixed?

 

2. Is the pageview metric permitted with the above combination of metrics even though the dimensions are all of session scope? I checked the dimensions explorer but couldn't find anything precluding pageviews as a metric. I assume that pageviews int his case would just be a calculation of avg. pages per session * sessions.

 

not set newsletter and email.png

 

 

 

Thank you.

Josh W
January 2016

Hi Ashish,

 

We are getting several "not set" messages, specifically on our Audience > Overview > City. "Not Set" is ranking 3rd in city, can you please elaborate on "not set" in the context of our case? If it is a direct visit shouldn't it report? Please advise, thank you!

 

J

JF
January 2016 - last edited January 2016

I don't understand your message. What case are you referring to? Regards, John J