AdWords is now Google Ads. Our new name reflects the full range of advertising options we offer across Search, Display, YouTube, and more. Learn more

Analytics
3.1K members online now
3.1K members online now
Ask questions about filter set-up and issues with using filters in Google Analytics reports
 
Guide Me
star_border
Reply

Search and Replace Filter works 99% of times with custom dimension

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

There is a simple 'Search and Replace' filter set up:

 

Filter Field: my_custom_dimension

Search String: .*

Replace String:

 

When I view a page view report with my_custom_dimension as a secondary dimension, or when I create a custom report with my_custom_dimension against pageviews, I would expect nothing to show up since there should be nothing in my_custom_dimension and yet, everyday I see a few entries in there. 

 

Vast majority is filtered out, when I compare to my unfiltered view, but there is some. 

 

How is this possible?

Re: Search and Replace Filter works 99% of times with custom dimension

Follower ✭ ✭ ✭
# 2
Follower ✭ ✭ ✭
Hi Paul,

It might be that results are tied to returning visitors who already had the custom dimension set before you set up this filter.

Could you check this?

Best,
Paul

Re: Search and Replace Filter works 99% of times with custom dimension

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Hi Paul,

Thank you for the suggestion. I had set up brand new views with these filters. And then even made copies of these views to make sure that the views had filters applied as soon as they were created,

Would the returning visitor case affect brand new views?

Re: Search and Replace Filter works 99% of times with custom dimension

Follower ✭ ✭ ✭
# 4
Follower ✭ ✭ ✭
Hi Paul,

I think the returning visitor would still affect brand new views.

But to be sure you can test it.

- Visit your website by yourself (to make sure the next time you should be seen as a returning visitor)
- Set up a brand new test view with the filter applied
- Add your own IP address (include filter)
- Wait for a while and visit your website one more time

If you are seen as a returning visitor, you know the answer.

Best of luck,
Paul

Re: Search and Replace Filter works 99% of times with custom dimension

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 5
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Thank you Paul, I will try that.

Maybe I'm misunderstanding how GA works, and it's hard to find solid documentation around some of the more specific topics, but I would expect that since the custom dimension is set at a Session level (and not at the User level), then for every hit that comes in with the custom dimensions, it should be filtered out. If it were set at a User level I can see how that would make the filter not work for returning visitors.

Could you please elaborate on how the returning visitors would affect the filters here? I'm asking to make sense of how GA works for my own peace of mind and for future reference.