By Ben Gott

We just love it when we can blend our two main skill sets into one quick easy package. Especially when the solution is a bit dirty.

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As a pay per click agency we’ve followed the development of Google’s Search Partner Network with keen interest over the years. From its origins as a small network of minor search engines and ISP portals Google now count some fairly sizable and distinctly un-search-engine-ish websites in their network (we won’t give the names away here, it would spoil the surprise).

Campaign analysis has shown us that when Google add a major player to their search partner network, things can oft gan awry. Clickthrough rates fall off a cliff, traffic shoots up and conversion rates fluctuate. Although Google are getting a lot better at telling us what our search partner stats are, we still can’t see the data for the individual sites our ads are appearing on.

Cue Google Analytics Hack #1

As with any new initiative on Google Analytics, please, please test this on a new profile and ALWAYS keep an untainted, unfiltered profile in your account. So:

Step 1 - Create A New Profile (and give it a catchy, exciting name - the kind that’s going to make you want to return over and over again)

Step 2 - PPC Include Filter

Go to your new profile settings page and create the below filter:

This will restrict the traffic seen in this profile to PPC only. Thats all we need to see.

Step 3: Create the ‘Show Search Partner’ filter. This advanced filter is used to capture the referral information contained in the query string attached to Google AdWords traffic. The Output field we are using here is ‘Campaign Source’. We are currently testing sending this information to the ‘User Defined’ Field in order to avoid overwriting the conversion/ecommerce statistics for the ‘Campaign Source’ field. We’ll update you on this as we go.

Step 4: Sit back and relax, if you are English you could have a nice biscuit and a cup of tea, if you’re American perhaps a donut and a cup of Joe.

N.B cultural learnings for Americans - The Englishman’s Bible

Step 5: Once you have waited the requisite 48 hours AND finished your hot beverage of choice, log back in to Google Analytics and go to your Traffic Sources - All Traffic Sources report in the relevant profile. You should have something that looks like the below:

I’ve given you two of my favourite additions to the Google Search Network here (amazon & ebay). I thought it would be nice if we could build ourselves a big list of all search partners. We might be surprised. So feel free to email: ben.gott(at) or alternatively take the plunge and post a comment below. I’ll publish our master list in a month or so.

Also, click on the article tag below to see more handy GA hints. Go on, why not!?