I manage clients’ search engine promotion on a regular basis, and every once in a while see some natural clicks in Google Analytics from a search engine called “Search.” I had assumed that “Search” was “Search.com.” Since the traffic from “Search” was very minimal, there was never a need to dig any deeper into the subject.
This month was different. In analyzing the data for one of my clients, I saw a spike in hits from “Search” for one of their important keyphrases. A check “Search.com” showed no position that warranted the traffic for that keyword. A little bit of research revealed that other webmasters were seeing the same thing and asking the same question. What is the “Search” search engine in Google Analytics. Some evidence pointed to http://search.ovguide.com, which is a video search engine that has been gaining popularity.
Sure enough, a search using my client’s keyphrase put them right at the top of the search, however ONLY with a sponsored “Adwords” result. So it looks like Analytics was counting Adwords clicks as natural clicks. Mystery solved, however confirmation is still required from Google. I bumped an existing thread on the Google Analytics forum on the subject. The thread was started a month and a half ago, but still no reply.