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Would a filter that removes query parameters effect Site Search and UTM tracking?

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Hi,

 

In order to clean up the URL's in the Pages reports (all page URL's can have a ton of different query parameters that serve no purpose) I am thinking of creating a new view with a filter that removes all query parameters from page URL's (aka a filter that removes all text after a ?). 

 

However, UTM tracking and Site Search appear as similar query parameters in the URL's;:

  • Site Search is identified by the ?q=(search query) parameter (set up in admin)
  • UTM tracking apperas as follows: example.com/?utm_source=test&utm_medium=test&utm_campaign=test

 

My question is, if I create a filter that removes all URL parameters that start with a ? would that ruin my SIte Search and UTM campaign tracking? Or are those things (the Site Search query and the campaign tracking) taken into account before filters are applied?

 

Thank in advance for any replies.

 

Regards,

//Petter Carlsson

 

1 Expert replyverified_user
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Marked as Best Answer.
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Accepted by topic author Petter C
March 2016

Re: Would a filter that removes query parameters effect Site Search and UTM tracking?

[ Edited ]
Rising Star
# 2
Rising Star

Hey Petter,

Have you considered just removing these in the view settings>>Exclude URL Query Parameters? In universal Analytics, filters are applied prior to site search processing so you would kill that report. I have not tested UTM params in terms of filter order but just the fact that you can filter on them suggests that they the campaign source, etc is processed prior to filters.

You could always test in a new view.

Best,

Theo Bennett

Analytics Evangelist at MoreVisibility | Contact Me
Connect on LinkedIn

View solution in original post

Marked as Best Answer.
Solution
Accepted by topic author Petter C
March 2016

Re: Would a filter that removes query parameters effect Site Search and UTM tracking?

[ Edited ]
Rising Star
# 2
Rising Star

Hey Petter,

Have you considered just removing these in the view settings>>Exclude URL Query Parameters? In universal Analytics, filters are applied prior to site search processing so you would kill that report. I have not tested UTM params in terms of filter order but just the fact that you can filter on them suggests that they the campaign source, etc is processed prior to filters.

You could always test in a new view.

Best,

Theo Bennett

Analytics Evangelist at MoreVisibility | Contact Me
Connect on LinkedIn

Re: Would a filter that removes query parameters effect Site Search and UTM tracking?

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Thanks for the reply.

I have set up a test view that excludes all query parameters and it had no effect on UTM tracking or Site Search. I later found a Google Support page that mentioned that those 2 are processed before filters are taken into account.

Regards,
//Petter

Re: Would a filter that removes query parameters effect Site Search and UTM tracking?

Rising Star
# 4
Rising Star
Hey Petter,

Good on you for rolling up your sleeves. For UA, the site search piece would not be the expected behavior. Would you confirm that you are running the latest version of the GATC? That is, the classic version of the tracker-- ga.js -- would behave the way you detail here. If you are seeing this in UA (Universal Analytics or analytics.js) then I would like to test as well.

Thank you!

Theo Bennett
Analytics Evangelist at MoreVisibility | Contact Me
Connect on LinkedIn

Re: Would a filter that removes query parameters effect Site Search and UTM tracking?

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 5
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Hi Theo,

I am running Universal Analytics (analytics.js) on the site I tested and the Site Search queries in the test view/profile match perfectly with the view/profile that does not replace/remove the query parameters from the URL's.

//Petter

Re: Would a filter that removes query parameters effect Site Search and UTM tracking?

Rising Star
# 6
Rising Star
Hi Petter,

I have to say that the behavior you describe is very interesting. Google made a change in 2013 to specifically apply filters first and then process site search for Universal Analytics. I can't want to test!

Thanks for the follow up.

Best,

Theo
Analytics Evangelist at MoreVisibility | Contact Me
Connect on LinkedIn