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John Mueller Google Hangouts Session: Query Filtering and UI

Google frequently arranges live Google Hangout sessions online, hosted by its Webmaster Trends Analyst, John Mueller, who runs one-on-one sessions with a select group of search specialists.

WMG’s Dan Picken attends these sessions to ensure he’s at the leading edge of search science, asking the questions that will enable us to keep our clients’ businesses fully optimised online.

Multiple Query Filtering

On 24 March 2016, Dan asked the following question:

You can filter the queries, but only filter on one query. For example, if a brand has several search iterations such as “Brand 2 u”, “Brand 2u” “B2U” and so on, is there a way in which we can filter on more than one iteration?

John Mueller explained:

No, not in the UI, not at the moment. What you could do is set something up with the API to download a bigger version of the file and then filter it out in excel or somewhere else, but in the UI at the moment you can just filter for one pattern.

Expanding on the question, Dan asked:

When exporting the data, it doesn’t add up to the total counter in the UI itself. Is it only exporting a percentage of that data?

John Mueller:

That is a common question and comes up every now and then, it’s not the case that our systems can’t add up properly, that would be too easy of an explanation.

What’s usually happening there is we’re filtering out some queries. When queries just show up individual times or when they appear to be personalised queries then that’s something we would filter out. The number of queries on top would still include that, but the individual items themselves wouldn’t include that. You can have a situation where you see 100 clicks or impressions being added up in the table at the bottom, but on the top it would say 120. That would just mean that those 20, that difference in impressions, would essentially be queries that are filtered out.

When Dan explained in our example there is a difference of a few thousand, not just a few hundred, John stated that you would see this in analytics as “unlisted or something like that.” This should bring the data more in-line with the UI as it will include the filtered out data in one line. So if you want more accurate data as a whole, use Google Analytics.

John commented that there is additional information in Google’s help centre on this subject for anyone who would like further clarification.

Watch the videos on query filtering and data exporting.