Tracking Facebook Graph Searches in Google Analytics

facebook graph search

Zuckerberg shook up Internet users (as he has a habit of doing) in January when he launched the Facebook Graph Search feature, creating a semantic search engine designed to give answers to user natural language queries rather than a list of links. It combines the big data acquired from its over one billions users and external data into a search engine providing user-specific search results. Therefore the algorithm finds information from within a user’s network of friends. Additional results are then provided by Microsoft’s Bing search engine.

Initially we hadn’t been able to track Facebook Graph Search keywords through the referrer. The keywords weren’t being passed along and therefore results for analytics weren’t possible. However, where there is a will, there’s a way! Now Graph Search can be tracked in Google Analytics, making business owners, advertisers, and SEO’s extraordinaire happy everywhere.

So you want to know how to set up Google Analytics to capture the graph searches from Facebook? Brace yourself, this is a six-step process. By no means is this the only way, this is just a way to set up an advanced filter to capture the keywords from Graph Search and then create a report for them in Google Analytics.

  • Launch Google Analytics and Access Your Website Profiles
    • Under the Admin button of the Google Analytics interface you can access your profiles.  The first tab then lists all profiles for the website at hand.
  • Create a New Profile
    • Click on the “New Profile” button and name it.  Choose your reporting time zone and click “Create Profile.”


  • Add an Advanced Filter
    • After your new profile is complete, click on the “Filters” tab and add an advanced filter.


  • Adding a New Filter
    • Click the “New Filter” button.  Below you’ll find what settings you will need.  Name the filter, create a custom filter, select advanced, and then enter patterns to match in order to capture graph search keywords.


  • Save the Filter
    • Once you have your settings in place, save your work.  You should then see your new filter listed for your profile.
  • Check Your Reporting
    • Now we play the waiting game.  You’ll have to wait for the graph searches to come in.  This filter is only going to pick up graph searches that fall back onto Bing and then lead to your site.  If you currently have access to Graph Search, test out the connection by searching Facebook for a query that your site ranks for in Bing organic.  Click through the Facebook Graph Search results and check the report later.
    • To look for the new data, click the “Sources” tab, then click “All Traffic.” Find “” and click through  You can then add a secondary dimension for “User Defined Value” which will contain your graph search keywords.  When you then set the secondary dimension on your reporting, click “Content” and then select “User Defined Value.”
    • Once you start seeing some results from your graph searches, you can connect those searches to site activity, performance, conversion, etc.  You’ll also be able to see which graph searches are unable to be answered by Facebook Graph Search due to the bounce rate from


Set up your advanced filter ASAP so that you can keep track of the Graph Search results and create analytics based on those results.




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Sydney Banks

Sydney Banks is one of the Social Media Coordinators at Customer Magnetism. She spends her days in the office strategizing social media content, managing ad campaigns, and generating reports. Away from work, she stays busy entertaining an active Golden Retriever and being a wife and mom. She is only slightly obsessed with Minions and it’s not unusual to see minion paraphernalia close by at all times.