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AdWords/Analytics Keyword Data Fix - Thanks Jeff!

By jameszol
Published on February 4, 2008

Per ROI Revolution’s request, here are the credits for this post - at the top instead of the bottom:

If you have any questions, you can find the source that Jeff found and shared with us here - credit rightly belongs to the Unofficial Google Analytics blog at ROI Revolution for authoring the fix. This fix was found and shared with us by Jeff because he saw that we documented some problems that were caused by the extra wide use of the tip found here.

Jeff James kindly stopped by the blog to tell us that he continues to receive his specific keyword data through a script fix that captures the specific keyword data from the cookie. I was on to that but I was trying to take the data from a different part of the cookie and I suck at writing javascript…I guess I should always leave quick fixes up to the pros - after all, I have to admit that I’m not a programmer but I can fake my way through some of it - clearly not all of it. ;)

Thanks for finding and sharing this fix Jeff!

Here is the fix:

Download/Save this file: ga_keyword.js

Don’t forget to upload the file to the proper directory/location on your website and change the code below accordingly!

Rewrite your analytics code so it looks like this on your landing pages or throughout your entire website if it’s easier:

sleuth(); displays the exact keyword data under the cross segment option User-Defined Value.

So, after implementing this fix, you should see most of the exact keyword data under the cross segment menu. I recommend taking this route but you can find the cross segment menu in almost any detailed page of Google Analytics:

Traffic Sources -> Keywords -> Under the text that says “Search Sent * Visits via * Keywords” you will find a drop down that has the word “Segments:” next to it -> At the bottom of that list you will see “User-Defined Value”…click that and there you have it, your newly exposed exact key term data from Analytics!

I hope Google doesn’t poop on this fix too… :)

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6 Responses to “AdWords/Analytics Keyword Data Fix - Thanks Jeff!”

  1. Shawn Purtell (2 comments.) Says:

    While I understand that Jeff ‘found’ this method and you are excited about it (it’s a great solution), I’m a little bothered by how you’ve presented this. It seems like you’re trying to take credit for Michael Harrison’s awesome work, and you are making assumptions that he did this in response to another method that you were somehow responsible for.

    I’d like to make three points:

    First, Michael Harrison of ROI Revolution deserves 100% of the credit for this method, not anyone else.

    Second, this method was not developed as a direct response to your ‘fix’ (which by the way has been around for over over a year and is the product of Jim Newsome of Omega Digital Media and Brian Clifton of Google). It was developed independently at ROI Revolution.

    Finally, I’d like to point out that this method that you’ve copied here is actually close to being out-of-date. As the original authors of this method, interested users should visit, where they’ll find not only this great tool, but many other innovative ideas just like it.

    We here at ROI appreciate your enthusiasm for the tool and your attempt to get the word out, but it seems that you gave a very poor attempt to give credit where credit is due for both this tool and the original filter method.

    Shawn Purtell
    ROI Revolution

  2. jameszol Says:

    Shawn, I’m sorry you feel that way - I will move the sources up to the top and reword the sentence so you can feel better about it. Keep up the great work and thanks for stopping by!

  3. Michael Harrison (2 comments.) Says:

    Thanks, James, for updating the article. Just want to make sure that folks know that they can get the most up-to-date version of the script at our blog ( We’re hoping to release a new version by the end of the week, so definitely keep an eye out.

    Also, to clarify, the reason I developed the script last April was because Jim and Brian’s method had some issues with return visit conversions. I honestly do not believe that the recent problems with their filters has anything at all to do with tracking exact search queries, because we’ve been using both methods successfully for nearly a year now with no interference from Google.

    Let’s call a timeout and let Google clear the fog before we start with the conspiracies, ok?

    (For full disclosure, we here at ROI Revolution are Authorized Google Analytics Consultants. So… we know a thing or two about GA. :) )

  4. jameszol Says:


    Awesome! Can’t wait! And thanks for sharing that with us - your contributions to the community are amazing, semvironment is definitely a fan of the ROI Revolution blog.

  5. Aaron (2 comments.) Says:

    Hey James/everyone,

    I’ve used the script to some effectiveness, yet the number 1 traffic source in the “user defined variable” shows up as (not set)….and it’s across every site. How can i get on that and find out what those people are coming in on?

    Thanks for everything and the method in particular.


  6. jameszol Says:

    Hi Aaron, Sorry for the delayed response! That (not set) variable is a beast…I always assumed it was probably the Content network or somebody that doesn’t allow cookies or a click bot. You should be able to cross segment that traffic to a source in Analytics though…Thoughts?

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