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:
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:
- Auto tagging is on but cost data not applied (See: Missing data in Adwords Reports)
- Redirects, gclid drop, or using both manual and auto tagging simultaneously
- Missing parameters in manually tagged URLs
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reports, this might be due to incorrectly set referral patterns or use of urchin.js on landing pages, which is an outdated version of the Analytics tracking code.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.