Update Regarding AdWords Cost Data Reporting

Thursday, June 18, 2009 | 4:51 PM


Do you have a Google Analytics account that:

  • is linked to AdWords and
  • has auto-tagging enabled and
  • does not have AdWords cost data applied?

If so, we have an important update on how your AdWords cost data is reported. If you are among the majority of users who do not meet all three of these conditions, you can stop reading now.

In early March, we changed how Google Analytics imports AdWords cost data to improve security and provide greater control and convenience. If you were an administrator on a Google Analytics account that was affected by this change (i.e. you either had auto-tagging enabled and/or had a linked account without cost data applied to some or all of your profiles), you received an email in March asking you to link your accounts and apply cost data to all linked accounts. This remains the best practice.

This change caused autotagged AdWords search traffic for which cost data had not been applied to be reported as "direct" traffic. We have now fixed this and Google Analytics now logs autotagged/non cost data traffic as source=google and medium=cpc. Only a small percentage of customers fall into this category, but if you were affected by this issue, as of midnight PST this morning you will see a drop in direct traffic and an increase in paid traffic, appropriately. Please note that organic and non-AdWords paid traffic remains unaffected.

For more information, please read this help center article on AdWords cost data importing.

Posted by Dai Pham, Google Analytics Team