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While exploring the moderator page /admin/analytics for the first time I see Google is the only search engine listed, and among the three referrers is duckduckgo.com at 15% of our traffic. Shouldn't it be listed as a search engine instead?

  • 3
    I just got the Site Analytics privilege and am surprised to see this has not been addressed for nearly 3 years. – einpoklum Apr 28 '18 at 18:24
30

Good question. We request this data from Google Analytics and just serve up what we're given by them. I don't know the exact reason why duckduckgo.com ends up being classified as a referring site, since it does seem to fit the definition of a search engine:

  • [referral] - Visitors referred by links on other websites. (Links that have been tagged with campaign variables won't show up as [referral] unless they happen to have been tagged with utm_medium=referral. )

  • [organic] - Visitors referred by an unpaid search engine listing, e.g. a Google.com search.

But it is what it is.

  • 29
    Gah, you guys use Google Analytics? Good thing I'm blocking that… – bjb568 Jun 9 '15 at 20:39
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    @bjb568 what's so bad about Google Analytics? – Shadow The Dragon Wizard Jun 9 '15 at 21:45
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    @Shadow Giving Google even more data about me is just something I don't want to do. – bjb568 Jun 9 '15 at 22:15
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    Add it to the list? – Nathan Tuggy Sep 7 '15 at 19:12
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    @bjb568 That doesn't really answer the question. Why do you think it is bad that Google has more data on you? What is the problem with that? – Peter Raeves Sep 9 '15 at 8:29
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    @bjb568 It's not just giving data to Google, you're also helping website owners improve their services for you, their user. – Django Reinhardt Oct 11 '16 at 15:37
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    This though doesn't answer the question why don't you add it to the search engines list...? – gdoron Oct 17 '16 at 19:27
  • Hiding data from Google is like hiding feedback on the new car you purchased. How can you expect them to progress and be more relevant if their users feel don't provide any feedback (either voluntarily or involuntarily)? If you have something to hide, then maybe you shouldn't be doing it online :) – Half Crazed Jan 16 '17 at 17:29
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    @HalfCrazed Hiding data from Google is like hiding feedback on the new underwear you purchased. If they are as skilled as they claim, they don't need my input on whether the underwear is cozy or not, and they most definitely do not need to know in which circumstances I choose to wear said underwear. I have my privates to hide, so I don't want people peeking through my windows. – Mrkvička Jan 17 '17 at 12:23
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    @HalfCrazed I hope I’m just missing your irony here. “I have nothing to hide” is not the same as “Please, feel free to collect my data”. – Philipp Aug 15 '17 at 9:04
  • "But it is what it is." No, it's not. You can change this on your end. – wizzwizz4 Dec 29 '17 at 13:38
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    Can we not alter the data they "serve up"? Or - do they also serve up the pie charts etc? – einpoklum Apr 28 '18 at 18:25
39

Google Analytics only tracks 40 search engines as search engines by default. DuckDuckGo is not one of them, but it can be added as detailed on that page. This is a copy of the list of those 40:

Engine            Example Domain Names          Parameter

Daum              http://www.daum.net/          q
Eniro             http://www.eniro.se/          search_word
Naver             http://www.naver.com/         query
Google            All Google Search domains (e.g. www.google.com, www.google.co.uk, etc)     q
Yahoo             http://www.yahoo.com/         p
MSN               http://www.msn.com/           q
Bing              http://www.bing.com/          q
AOL               http://www.aol.com/           query
AOL               http://www.aol.com/           encquery
Lycos             http://www.lycos.com/         query
Ask               http://www.ask.com/           q
Altavista         http://www.altavista.com/     q
Netscape          http://search.netscape.com/   query
CNN               http://www.cnn.com/SEARCH/    query
About             http://www.about.com/         terms
Mamma             http://www.mamma.com/         query
Alltheweb         http://www.alltheweb.com/     q
Voila             http://www.voila.fr/          rdata
Virgilio          http://search.virgilio.it/    qs
Live              http://www.bing.com/          q
Baidu             http://www.baidu.com/         wd
Alice             http://www.alice.com/         qs
Yandex            http://www.yandex.com/        text
Najdi             http://www.najdi.org.mk/      q
AOL               http://www.aol.com/           q
Mama              http://www.mamma.com/         query
Seznam            http://www.seznam.cz/         q
Search            http://www.search.com/        q
Wirtulana Polska  http://www.wp.pl/             szukaj
O*NET             http://online.onetcenter.org/ qt
Szukacz           http://www.szukacz.pl/        q
Yam               http://www.yam.com/           k
PCHome            http://www.pchome.com/        q
Kvasir            http://www.kvasir.no/         q
Sesam             http://sesam.no/              q
Ozu               http://www.ozu.es/            q
Terra             http://www.terra.com/         query
Mynet             http://www.mynet.com/         q
Ekolay            http://www.ekolay.net/        q
Rambler           http://www.rambler.ru/        words
9

Isn't it just because it's "The search engine that doesn't track you" and so doesn't provide "forward" information. You only get referential information tracked by the "referred" site provided by the browser.

  • 5
    Not sure what you mean, but duckduckgo has nothing that will disable Referer headers set by browsers automatically when navigating from DDG to SE. As is evident from the fact that, well, they show up. – Nathan Tuggy Jul 24 '15 at 4:54
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    @NathanTuggy Google uses onmousedown to change the URL you go to when you click on a search result - you go through some Google URL, then are redirected to the result you clicked on, for tracking purposes. DuckDuckGo does not do this; it's a direct referral link no different than from a blog post or a forum. Mark Hurd is exactly correct in his assessment. – Izkata Sep 7 '15 at 18:54
  • (You can see the URL change if you right-click on a Google search result; that triggers the onmousedown, but doesn't actually click through) – Izkata Sep 7 '15 at 18:56
  • @Izkata: I find it hard to imagine that Google Analytics is so amateurish that it can't understand a search engine's entry from matching domain names in Referer. Really? That's only been industry-standard for, oh, more than a decade, and is basically trivial to implement out to search engines with as little as 0.1% market share if you want. It's not rocket science. – Nathan Tuggy Sep 7 '15 at 19:02
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    @NathanTuggy It's not one of the 40 standard search engines. StackExchange can fix this by adding it to the list. – Izkata Sep 7 '15 at 19:08
  • (So I was off in my prior comment, but the redirect does exist) – Izkata Sep 7 '15 at 19:10
  • @Izkata: Thanks for the link; I've noted that on Anna's answer so SE can reconsider the status tag on here. – Nathan Tuggy Sep 7 '15 at 19:13

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