Work in SEO? Then you’re forced to love (not set).
Back in 2015, it became official that the Search Console Queries report in Google Analytics was hiding query data from webmasters.
Google’s John Mueller verified this (video at the end of this post):
“In Search Analytics if you look at the numbers of the queries that you see there, you will sometimes see that we show a top aggregated, maybe a hundred queries, and in a table below if you add the numbers together, you might see 70 queries or something like that.
And the difference there is essentially queries that we filter out, and in Search Console we don’t show them separately and in Google Analytics they chose to call them Not Set.”
This is something that SEO marketers were forced to live with since then, but if you are new to SEO and would like to have further insights other than what Google Analytics provides you with, then you’ll love this hack.
How To Bypass (not set) Google Analytics Queries
If you take a look at the GA report in Acquisition → Search Console → Queries – which contains query data since it is safely passed via the Google Search Console and not via the HTTP referrer – you’ll see that your top keyword is listed as “not set.”
Sound familiar? Sure it does.
Here is a screen shot – you should be able to see this if you linked your Google Analytics to your Google Search Console:
How To Check Keyword Rankings Using Google Search Console
Here’s a quick gif to demonstrate the process of checking keyword ranking using Google Search Console.
Below you’ll find screenshots of the step-by-step process.
Using Google Search Console, proceed to go to Search Traffic → Search Analytics.
You’ll find an overview where you can choose between Clicks, Impressions, CTR and Position to get the data you want.
Below you’ll find filters that goes deeper into the data.
Go to your Pages section.
By default, you will see the pages that ranks the best based on whatever filter is chosen. Simply click on the page you want to see which keywords you rank for.
By doing clicking on “/”, in this example, you’ll see the front page of your site.
Now, if you want to see what keywords the front page ranks for, click back on Queries after the front page is selected in Pages, and you will see your top ranking keywords for that page.
If you would like to see which keywords other pages on your site ranks for, simply do the same procedure and click on the pages that you’ll find beneath the homepage.
Conclusion: Using This Method In Your Rank Tracking Task
Although a very manual process, it is a free alternative to check absolutely all the keywords a single page ranks for.
If you already use a rank tracking tool and are unsure what keywords you should rank a certain page for, this method gives you valuable insight.
It shows you the keywords Google thinks the page should rank for, and you can select the “impressions” option to see how much visibility the page gets for each keyword.
That enables you to make quick decisions as to which keyword to start optimizing for.