Last week I implemented Google custom search on my website and linked it to a Google analytics view. The site search does not get much traffic as it has been broken for awhile but most of the search term results are:


Obviously these results are junk but what is going on and how can I fix it?

  • 1
    I have just implemented When? Today? An hour ago? Search engines are not real-time. Using GCS (Google Custom Search) will cause Google to update your site within it's index, however, depending upon your site size. this can still take quite a while. It is possible that you are expecting something unrealistic from Google. Cheers!!
    – closetnoc
    Aug 9, 2016 at 15:36
  • Implemented last week and by the look of it the site has already been indexed. My test search terms came through as I would expect., but don't know what these other results are.
    – Len
    Aug 9, 2016 at 15:59
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    I have seen this, however, I cannot for the life of me remember why. It was on another persons site. I will have to think on this a bit. It is possible that Google has not finished all that it needs to do. Last week could be Friday(?) which may still not be enough time. Not sure. My site was huge and took several weeks with as many as 64k pages fetched per day. So I do not have a good yard stick for this. The Good news is that Google is highly motivated to make this work quickly and is the only area where Google will bust it's @$$ to make work fast.
    – closetnoc
    Aug 9, 2016 at 16:09
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    Could this link be of help?
    – jcoppens
    Aug 14, 2016 at 23:52
  • Did anyone ever find the answer to this question? I've been looking but have had no success.
    – Hannah C.
    Jan 8, 2018 at 12:18

1 Answer 1


The answer to this question is that a cached version of the webpage has been viewed, and due to the way that the Site Search Settings are configured in Google Analytics, this pageview is being counted as a site search.

When you view the cached version of a page from Google's SERPs, the URL is appended with something like: https://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:RVAzSsB6xI0J:www.example.com

The Site Search Settings on the website I was dealing with had been set up to regard the site search query parameter as 'q', meaning that whenever 'q' was detected in a URL, any subsequent characters would be considered to be to be an site search query.

Google Analytics Query Parameter Site Search Settings

I am going to rectify this by changing the query parameter to be more specific (whilst still matching the correct URL structure) to ensure that only true site searches are counted and reported in Google Analytics.

  • Hi Hannah, did you get it to work? I seem to have a problem setting query parameter other than "q". The Google CSE doesn't seem to show any result of I set the query parameter to be something else.
    – Stucky
    Sep 19, 2019 at 4:10

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