Google Image search gives you referral URL’s that aren’t really readable. The query string that the searcher used to get to that referring URL is hidden somewhere deep down in this URL in the
&prev variable. Since Google Analytics can’t read that, it doesn’t get the keyword out of it. That’s the reason why it thinks it’s a normal reffering URL, and Google image search will show up as a referral instead of organic search in your statistics.
Now if your site relies on image search for a significant part of it’s traffic, you’ll probably want to know which keywords were used. I’ve been working hard to find a way to get that fixed, and the solution I have now involves a customized
urchin.js, and adding some extra search engines. You will have to put this
urchin.js on your own server, but it will still call the small image file from the Google Analytics servers. It basically “rewrites” the referrer to the original Google Image search URL, so no other information is lost.
Next to the customized
urchin.js you need the latest version of my
custom_se.js, to add all the different Google image search domains. The list of search engines in that file is an array, and Google Analytics will stop at the first encounter of a match, which is why the image subdomains have to be on top. Otherwise, all image searches would look like plain Google searches.
Your code should look something like this:
And here are the files to download:
Adding these will make the searches show up in Google Analytics as coming from images.google.com, images.google.nl etc. etc. Have fun with it!
This post will tell you how to do this with the new ga.js script.