Telemetry

This section describes existing telemetry probes measuring interaction with the Address Bar.

Histograms

PLACES_AUTOCOMPLETE_1ST_RESULT_TIME_MS

This probe tracks the amount of time it takes to get the first result. It is an exponential histogram with values between 5 and 100.

PLACES_AUTOCOMPLETE_6_FIRST_RESULTS_TIME_MS

This probe tracks the amount of time it takes to get the first six results. It is an exponential histogram with values between 50 and 1000.

FX_URLBAR_SELECTED_RESULT_METHOD

This probe tracks how a result was picked by the user from the list. It is a categorical histogram with these values:

  • enter The user pressed Enter without selecting a result first. This most likely happens when the user confirms the default preselected result (aka heuristic result), or when they select with the keyboard a one-off search button and confirm with Enter.

  • enterSelection The user selected a result, but not using Tab or the arrow keys, and then pressed Enter. This is a rare and generally unexpected event, there may be exotic ways to select a result we didn’t consider, that are tracked here. Look at arrowEnterSelection and tabEnterSelection for more common actions.

  • click The user clicked on a result.

  • arrowEnterSelection The user selected a result using the arrow keys, and then pressed Enter.

  • tabEnterSelection The first key the user pressed to select a result was the Tab key, and then they pressed Enter. Note that this means the user could have used the arrow keys after first pressing the Tab key.

  • rightClickEnter Before QuantumBar, it was possible to right-click a result to highlight but not pick it. Then the user could press Enter. This is no more possible.

Scalars

urlbar.tips

This is a keyed scalar whose values are uints and are incremented each time a tip result is shown, a tip is picked, and a tip’s help button is picked. The keys are:

  • intervention_clear-help Incremented when the user picks the help button in the clear-history search intervention.

  • intervention_clear-picked Incremented when the user picks the clear-history search intervention.

  • intervention_clear-shown Incremented when the clear-history search intervention is shown.

  • intervention_refresh-help Incremented when the user picks the help button in the refresh-Firefox search intervention.

  • intervention_refresh-picked Incremented when the user picks the refresh-Firefox search intervention.

  • intervention_refresh-shown Incremented when the refresh-Firefox search intervention is shown.

  • intervention_update_ask-help Incremented when the user picks the help button in the update_ask search intervention, which is shown when there’s a Firefox update available but the user’s preference says we should ask them to download and apply it.

  • intervention_update_ask-picked Incremented when the user picks the update_ask search intervention.

  • intervention_update_ask-shown Incremented when the update_ask search intervention is shown.

  • intervention_update_refresh-help Incremented when the user picks the help button in the update_refresh search intervention, which is shown when the user’s browser is up to date but they triggered the update intervention. We show this special refresh intervention instead.

  • intervention_update_refresh-picked Incremented when the user picks the update_refresh search intervention.

  • intervention_update_refresh-shown Incremented when the update_refresh search intervention is shown.

  • intervention_update_restart-help Incremented when the user picks the help button in the update_restart search intervention, which is shown when there’s an update and it’s been downloaded and applied. The user needs to restart to finish.

  • intervention_update_restart-picked Incremented when the user picks the update_restart search intervention.

  • intervention_update_restart-shown Incremented when the update_restart search intervention is shown.

  • intervention_update_web-help Incremented when the user picks the help button in the update_web search intervention, which is shown when we can’t update the browser or possibly even check for updates for some reason, so the user should download the latest version from the web.

  • intervention_update_web-picked Incremented when the user picks the update_web search intervention.

  • intervention_update_web-shown Incremented when the update_web search intervention is shown.

  • tabtosearch_onboard-shown Incremented when a tab-to-search onboarding result is shown, once per engine per engagement. Please note that the number of times tab-to-search onboarding results are picked is the sum of all keys in urlbar.searchmode.tabtosearch_onboard.

  • searchTip_onboard-picked Incremented when the user picks the onboarding search tip.

  • searchTip_onboard-shown Incremented when the onboarding search tip is shown.

  • searchTip_redirect-picked Incremented when the user picks the redirect search tip.

  • searchTip_redirect-shown Incremented when the redirect search tip is shown.

urlbar.searchmode.*

This is a set of keyed scalars whose values are uints incremented each time search mode is entered in the Urlbar. The suffix on the scalar name describes how search mode was entered. Possibilities include:

  • bookmarkmenu Used when the user selects the Search Bookmarks menu item in the Library menu.

  • handoff Used when the user uses the search box on the new tab page and is handed off to the address bar.

  • keywordoffer Used when the user selects a keyword offer result.

  • oneoff Used when the user selects a one-off engine in the Urlbar.

  • shortcut Used when the user enters search mode with a keyboard shortcut or menu bar item (e.g. Accel+K).

  • tabmenu Used when the user selects the Search Tabs menu item in the tab overflow menu.

  • tabtosearch Used when the user selects a tab-to-search result. These results suggest a search engine when the search engine’s domain is autofilled.

  • tabtosearch_onboard Used when the user selects a tab-to-search onboarding result. These are shown the first few times the user encounters a tab-to-search result.

  • topsites_newtab Used when the user selects a search shortcut Top Site from the New Tab Page.

  • topsites_urlbar Used when the user selects a search shortcut Top Site from the Urlbar.

  • touchbar Used when the user taps a search shortct on the Touch Bar, available on some Macs.

  • typed Used when the user types an engine alias in the Urlbar.

  • other Used as a catchall for other behaviour. We don’t expect this scalar to hold any values. If it does, we need to correct an issue with search mode entry points.

The keys for the scalars above are engine and source names. If the user enters a remote search mode with a built-in engine, we record the engine name. If the user enters a remote search mode with an engine they installed (e.g. via OpenSearch or a WebExtension), we record other (not to be confused with the urlbar.searchmode.other scalar above). If they enter a local search mode, we record the English name of the result source (e.g. “bookmarks”, “history”, “tabs”). Note that we slightly modify the engine name for some built-in engines: we flatten all localized Amazon sites (Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, Amazon.de, etc.) to “Amazon” and we flatten all localized Wikipedia sites (Wikipedia (en), Wikipedia (fr), etc.) to “Wikipedia”. This is done to reduce the number of keys used by these scalars.

urlbar.picked.*

This is a set of keyed scalars whose values are uints incremented each time a result is picked from the Urlbar. The suffix on the scalar name is the result type. The keys for the scalars above are the 0-based index of the result in the urlbar panel when it was picked.

Note

Available from Firefox 84 on. Use the FX_URLBAR_SELECTED_* histograms in earlier versions. See the Obsolete probes section below.

Valid result types are:

  • autofill An origin or a URL completed the user typed text inline.

  • bookmark A bookmarked URL.

  • dynamic A specially crafted result, often used in experiments when basic types are not flexible enough for a rich layout.

  • extension Added by an add-on through the omnibox WebExtension API.

  • formhistory A search suggestion from previous search history.

  • history A URL from history.

  • keyword A bookmark keyword.

  • remotetab A tab synced from another device.

  • searchengine A search result, but not a suggestion. May be the default search action or a search alias.

  • searchsuggestion A remote search suggestion.

  • switchtab An open tab.

  • tabtosearch A tab to search result.

  • tip A tip result.

  • topsite An entry from top sites.

  • unknown An unknown result type, a bug should be filed to figure out what it is.

  • visiturl The user typed string can be directly visited.

urlbar.picked.searchmode.*

This is a set of keyed scalars whose values are uints incremented each time a result is picked from the Urlbar while the Urlbar is in search mode. The suffix on the scalar name is the search mode entry point. The keys for the scalars are the 0-based index of the result in the urlbar panel when it was picked.

Note

These scalars share elements of both urlbar.picked.* and urlbar.searchmode.*. Scalar name suffixes are search mode entry points, like urlbar.searchmode.*. The keys for these scalars are result indices, like urlbar.picked.*.

Note

These data are a subset of the data recorded by urlbar.picked.*. For example, if the user enters search mode by clicking a one-off then selects a Google search suggestion at index 2, we would record in both urlbar.picked.searchsuggestion and urlbar.picked.searchmode.oneoff.

Event Telemetry

The event telemetry is grouped under the urlbar category.

Event Method

There are two methods to describe the interaction with the urlbar:

  • engagement It is defined as a completed action in urlbar, where a user inserts text and executes one of the actions described in the Event Object.

  • abandonment It is defined as an action where the user inserts text but does not complete an engagement action, usually unfocusing the urlbar. This also happens when the user switches to another window, regardless of urlbar focus.

Event Value

This is how the user interaction started

  • typed: The text was typed into the urlbar.

  • dropped: The text was drag and dropped into the urlbar.

  • pasted: The text was pasted into the urlbar.

  • topsites: The user opened the urlbar view without typing, dropping, or pasting. In these cases, if the urlbar input is showing the URL of the loaded page and the user has not modified the input’s content, the urlbar views shows the user’s top sites. Otherwise, if the user had modified the input’s content, the urlbar view shows results based on what the user has typed. To tell whether top sites were shown, it’s enough to check whether value is topsites. To know whether the user actually picked a top site, check check that numChars == 0. If numChars > 0, the user initially opened top sites, but then they started typing and confirmed a different result.

  • returned: The user abandoned a search, for example by switching to another tab/window, or focusing something else, then came back to it and continued. We consider a search continued if the user kept at least the first char of the original search string.

  • restarted: The user abandoned a search, for example by switching to another tab/window, or focusing something else, then came back to it, cleared it and then typed a new string.

Event Object

These describe actions in the urlbar:

  • click The user clicked on a result.

  • enter The user confirmed a result with Enter.

  • drop_go The user dropped text on the input field.

  • paste_go The user used Paste & Go feature. It is not the same as paste and Enter.

  • blur The user unfocused the urlbar. This is only valid for abandonment.

Event Extra

This object contains additional information about the interaction. Extra is a key-value store, where all the keys and values are strings.

  • elapsed Time in milliseconds from the initial interaction to an action.

  • numChars Number of input characters the user typed or pasted at the time of submission.

  • numWords Number of words in the input. The measurement is taken from a trimmed input split up by its spaces. This is not a perfect measurement, since it will return an incorrect value for languages that do not use spaces or URLs containing spaces in its query parameters, for example.

  • selType The type of the selected result at the time of submission. This is only present for engagement events. It can be one of: none, autofill, visiturl, bookmark, history, keyword, searchengine, searchsuggestion, switchtab, remotetab, extension, oneoff, keywordoffer, canonized, tip, tiphelp, formhistory, tabtosearch, unknown In practice, tabtosearch should not appear in real event telemetry. Opening a tab-to-search result enters search mode and entering search mode does not currently mark the end of an engagement. It is noted here for completeness.

  • selIndex Index of the selected result in the urlbar panel, or -1 for no selection. There won’t be a selection when a one-off button is the only selection, and for the paste_go or drop_go objects. There may also not be a selection if the system was busy and results arrived too late, then we directly decide whether to search or visit the given string without having a fully built result. This is only present for engagement events.

  • provider The name of the result provider for the selected result. Existing values are: HeuristicFallback, Autofill, UnifiedComplete, TokenAliasEngines, SearchSuggestions, UrlbarProviderTopSites. Values can also be defined by URLBar provider experiments.

Search probes relevant to the Address Bar

SEARCH_COUNTS

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

  • oneoff-urlbar

  • oneoff-searchbar

  • unknown This is actually the searchbar, when using the current engine one-off button.

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

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.

Obsolete probes

Obsolete histograms

FX_URLBAR_SELECTED_RESULT_INDEX (OBSOLETE)

This probe tracked the indexes of picked results in the results list. It was an enumerated histogram with 17 buckets.

FX_URLBAR_SELECTED_RESULT_TYPE and FX_URLBAR_SELECTED_RESULT_TYPE_2 (from Firefox 78 on) (OBSOLETE)

This probe tracked the types of picked results. It was an enumerated histogram with 17 buckets:

  1. autofill

  2. bookmark

  3. history

  4. keyword

  5. searchengine

  6. searchsuggestion

  7. switchtab

  8. tag

  9. visiturl

  10. remotetab

  11. extension

  12. preloaded-top-site

  13. tip

  14. topsite

  15. formhistory

  16. dynamic

  17. tabtosearch

FX_URLBAR_SELECTED_RESULT_INDEX_BY_TYPE and FX_URLBAR_SELECTED_RESULT_INDEX_BY_TYPE_2 (from Firefox 78 on) (OBSOLETE)

This probe tracked picked result type, for each one it tracked the index where it appeared. It was a keyed histogram where the keys were result types (see FX_URLBAR_SELECTED_RESULT_TYPE above). For each key, this recorded the indexes of picked results for that result type.

Obsolete search probes

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.