Internet Marketing Professional

Google Analytics – Writing Analytics Filters

Posted on: May 25, 2007

Otherwise known as Oh My God Regular Expressions

Google Analytics, for all its strange reporting levels, is free and is quite good at what it does. I don’t trust it fully but as a simple way of introducing people to what analytics can do and as a way of determining trends within your site it can be useful. One of the good ways of using it is to create filters so that your website information is presented in a way that you can understand most easily.

What are Google Analytics Filters

Google Analytics filters allow you to change the way that aspects of your website are displayed to make your website analysis more intelligible for yourself.

Accessing your Google Analytics Filters

To access your Google Analytics Filters you first login to your account. From there select the ‘Access Manager’ Option at the bottom of the page. Click on the ‘Add Filter’ link and you’re away to building your first filter.

Just give the filter a name – if you make the filter name easily relevant to what you are going to be doing with the filter so much the better – spent half a day changing filter names from filter 1, filter 2, filter 3 etc that had been set up in an account to make it far simpler for me to use.

Google Filter Options Drop Down

The first three options in the drop down menu marked ‘Filter Type’ are pretty self explanatory; ‘Exclude all traffic from a domain’, ‘Exclude all traffic from an IP’, ‘Include only traffic to a subdirectory’, and you’ll have no problems with these.

The fourth option,’Custom’ is where we get interesting and we start using regular expressions.

Google Analytics – What are ‘Regular Expressions

Regular Expressions
Regular expressions, commonly known as “RegEx” are a set of key combinations that are meant to allow people to have a large variety of control over what they are searching for. RegEx is used a lot under Unix, and is common between many programs.

In essence these allow you to write rules that will change aspects of what is inputted to a system into a new version, if you use .htaccess files on your server you’re likely to be used to these.

My next post, assuming my guest bloggers get their finger out and write some good stuff, will be a run through of how to write your first custom filter in Google analytics.

If you have any suggestions as to what you would like to have a filter do that would help you. Send me a comment and I’ll have a look into making my post use your site as an example.


3 Responses to "Google Analytics – Writing Analytics Filters"

Hmm, this sounds very intriguing.. Where is your next post? And is the “Do you find this feature useful (yes/no)” on all the google webmaster tools, is that a filter?

Sorry to be a nuisance. I’m trying to get Google analytics onto my blog. No success so far. Any chance you could send me an email and help me out – would have emailed but can’t find address on the site.

How about OS listed next to each transaction?

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