Sogou Explorer and Baidu Browser are hidden in Google Analytics

If your website serves the Chinese market you’d want it to work well and render properly for your customers. I was checking the browser stats for a Chinese website and my colleagues were surprised to see that two of the popular Chinese browsers are missing from the list: Sogou Explorer and Baidu browser.

So I installed them to check what’s exactly going on for these two. Let’s start with Sogou Explorer by opening the developer tools console on the Network tab (you can check Preserve log box) and loading our website with custom campaign parameters like ganotes.com/?utm_source=test&utm_medium=test&utm_campaign=test. Search for ‘collect’ which is a part of the GA hit and look at the headers:

Sogou user agent

The user-agent shows a long string: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; WOW64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/49.0.2623.22 Safari/537.36 SE 2.X MetaSr 1.0

When we go to Google Analytics to check how the traffic from this specific source / medium is recorded we see:

Sogou in GA

and the browser version is:

Sogou version in GA

So, in my case my session from Sogou Explorer is recorded as a session from Chrome 49.0.2623.22, that’s why there’s nothing mentioning Sogou in Google Analytics Browser report. Depending on its internal logic, sometimes it will show up as Chrome and sometimes as Internet Explorer.

Now, let’s do the same for Baidu Browser.

Baidu user agent

The user-agent shows a similar string: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; WOW64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/43.0.2357.124 Safari/537.36

When we go to Google Analytics to check how the traffic from this specific source / medium is recorded we see:

Baidu in GA

and the browser version is:

Baidu version in GA

Similar to Sogou Explorer, Baidu browser is recorded in GA as Chrome 43.0.2357.124, and there’s no way to distinguish between real Chrome sessions and these ‘fake’ ones.

is a Google Analytics fan, who also loves SEO, conversion optimization, online marketing and social media. You can follow her on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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