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This is a very specific problem and I have two questions to ask regarding it.

Recently, it came to my attention that an outside affiliate was buying PPC search words for a term on Yahoo and Bing. However, when we checked that specific term in our Google Analytics it only shows up as an organic keyword and not as a paid keyword which it is.

To help better understand the whole situation, we do use URL tags with our affiliates but they aren't Google utm tags, they are custom in-house tags.

I have two questions in regards to this: First, I'm worried if other Bing and Yahoo paid traffic is being counted as organic traffic in GA. Does GA require extra tagging to distinguish non-Google paid and organic search traffic?

Second, to filter these results out from GA would I use a referral filter or a campaign target URL filter? Specifically, I'm trying to filter out just the visits based on the specific tag we have on the ad but I'm not sure which filter I need for that.

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1 Answer 1

up vote 1 down vote accepted

Google Analytics does require tagging to distinguish organic and paid traffic. If traffic does not have utm tags, then Google assumes that it is organic.

If you have an affiliate parameter on the URL that is not a utm parameter, you can use JavaScript to inform Google Analytics about the campaign:

ga('set', 'campaignName', 'Affiliates');
ga('set', 'campaignSource', 'Affiliate Bob');
ga('set', 'campaignMedium', 'paid');
ga('set', 'campaignContent', 'Ad by Bob');
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