Google Analytics Update to Organic Reports
It is common knowledge that organic traffic is auto populated in Google Analytics reports via a default search engine list installed by Google. It is also quite possible to add smaller search engines manually into the tracking code snippet through the Add Organic Method.
All this is fine when Google itself does it for us.
The Analytics team updates the list to reflect new or more popular search engines. Effective from the 1st of this month, a few search engines were added to the existing list. The newer ones part of the default list are rakuten.co.jp, biglobe.ne,jp, goo.ne.jp and startsiden.no/sok.
Besides fixing updates, Google also fixed prolonged issues regarding recognizing search engines. Prior to the change if a URL contained the word “search” and a query parameter “q”, Google would have attributed it to search engine search.com often leading to inaccurate reports. But now, the logic seems to have changed in a way that customized search engines will not be shown as search.com.
The Analytics Team is also explicitly adding known large customized search engines with “search” in them to their default list of known search engines.
How does this affect user data?
When you begin receiving a large amount of organic traffic, you will see your search.com organic traffic going down. Besides, other search engines begin to appear as a source. Google or Bing organic results remain unchanged.