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I've retrieved search statistics of my website using Google Analytics API, and the results look quite strange. Groups named "(not set)" and "(not provided)" make up more than 99% of all search hits, and useful search keywords groups are far below 1%.

However, when I view my search stats on the GA website, it shows the "(not set)" group making up about 20% of all search hits, and no "(not provided)" group at all - i.e. totally different data.

Is search stats retrieval via Google API just broken, or there are some ways to make it work properly?

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You are looking at the wrong report in Google Analytics. You are looking at the Acquisition -> Search Console -> Queries report.

This report is powered by data from Google Search Console. To get this data programatically, you would need to use the API for Search Console.

The data that you are querying through the GA API is shown on the Acquisition -> All Traffic -> Channels -> Organic Search report.

The data for this report is gathered by Google Analytics via search engine referrer data sent to your site as a browser header. Google is no longer sending most keywords to your site in the referrer header, which causes "(not provided)" to be so high in the list.

  • Well... I see. Does this mean that the "Organic Search" report is just useless nowadays? I wanted to get some stats such as "bounce rate per search keywords", but with useful data <1% it just won't work. – user626528 Jul 19 '16 at 11:04
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    It is almost completely useless these days. The Search Console data is good, but there is no way to correlate search terms with visits. When it comes to computing bounce rate per keyword, you are now out of luck. – Stephen Ostermiller Jul 19 '16 at 11:59

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