Telemetry

This section describes existing telemetry probes measuring interaction with search engines.

Definitions

  • organic is a search that a user performs by visiting a search engine directly.

  • SAP (search access point) is a search that a user performs by visiting via one of Firefox’s access points, using the associated partner codes.

  • sap-follow-on is a SAP search where the user has first accessed the site via a SAP, and then performed an additional search.

  • tagged refers to a page that is tagged with an associated partner code. It may or may not have originated via an SAP.

  • SERP refers to a search engine result page.

Search probes relevant to front-end searches

The Address Bar is an integral part of search and has additional telemetry of its own.

BrowserSearchTelemetry.jsm

This telemetry is handled by BrowserSearchTelemetry.jsm.

SEARCH_COUNTS - SAP usage

This histogram tracks search engines and Search Access Points. It is augmented by multiple SAPs, including the urlbar. It’s a keyed histogram, the keys are strings made up of search engine names and SAP names, for example google.urlbar. For each key, this records the count of searches made using that engine and SAP. SAP names can be:

  • alias This is when using an alias (like @google) in the urlbar. Note there is often confusion between the terms alias and keyword, and they may be used inappropriately: aliases refer to search engines, while keywords refer to bookmarks. We expect no results for this SAP in Firefox 83+, since urlbar-searchmode replaces it.

  • abouthome

  • contextmenu

  • newtab

  • searchbar

  • system

  • urlbar Except aliases and search mode.

  • urlbar-searchmode Used when the Urlbar is in search mode.

  • webextension

browser.engagement.navigation.*

These keyed scalars track search through different SAPs, for example the urlbar is tracked by browser.engagement.navigation.urlbar. It counts loads triggered in a subsession from the specified SAP, broken down by the originating action. Possible SAPs are:

  • urlbar Except search mode.

  • urlbar_searchmode Used when the Urlbar is in search mode.

  • searchbar

  • about_home

  • about_newtab

  • contextmenu

  • webextension

  • system Indicates a search from the command line.

Recorded actions may be:

  • search Used for any search from contextmenu, system and webextension.

  • search_alias For urlbar, indicates the user confirmed a search through an alias.

  • search_enter For about_home and about:newtab this counts any search. For the other SAPs it tracks typing and then pressing Enter.

  • search_formhistory For urlbar, indicates the user picked a form history result.

  • search_oneoff For urlbar or searchbar, indicates the user confirmed a search using a one-off button.

  • search_suggestion For urlbar or searchbar, indicates the user confirmed a search suggestion.

navigation.search (OBSOLETE)

This is a legacy and disabled event telemetry that is currently under discussion for removal or modernization. It can’t be enabled through a pref. it’s more or less equivalent to browser.engagement.navigation, but can also report the picked search engine.

SearchSERPTelemetry.jsm

This telemetry is handled by SearchSERPTelemetry.jsm and the associated parent/child actors.

SEARCH_COUNTS - SERP results

This histogram records search counts for visits to SERP in-content pages. For in-content searches, the format is <provider>.in-content:[sap|sap-follow-on|organic]:[code|none].

This is obsolete, browser.search.content.* should be preferred.

browser.search.content.*

These keyed scalar track counts of SERP page loads. The key format is <provider>:[tagged|tagged-follow-on|organic]:[<code>|none].

These will eventually replace the SEARCH_COUNTS - SERP results.

They are broken down by the originating SAP where known:

  • urlbar Except search mode.

  • urlbar_searchmode Used when the Urlbar is in search mode.

  • searchbar

  • about_home

  • about_newtab

  • contextmenu

  • webextension

  • system Indicates a search from the command line.

  • tabhistory Indicates a search was counted as a result of the user loading it from the tab history.

  • reload Indicates a search was counted as a result of reloading the page.

  • unknown Indicates the origin was unknown.

browser.search.withads.*

These keyed scalar track counts of SERP pages with adverts displayed. The key format is <provider>:<tagged|organic>.

They are broken down by the originating SAP where known, the list of SAP is the same as for browser.search.content.*.

browser.search.adclicks.*

This is the same as `browser.search.withads.* but tracks counts for them clicks of adverts on SERP pages.

browser.search.with_ads

Obsolete. This is being replaced by browser.search.withads.*.

This keyed scalar records counts of SERP pages with adverts displayed. The key format is <provider>:<sap|organic>.

browser.search.ad_clicks

Obsolete. This is being replaced by browser.search.adclicks.*.

Records clicks of adverts on SERP pages. The key format is <provider>:<sap|organic>.