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What are dummy topics in Universal Analytics?

Dummy topics can be seen in insights and reports that show data on a topic level. Dummy topics are automatically created by Universal Analytics, and the purpose of these is to ensure that free-standing items of content (content currently not inside a topic) are grouped and can be identified in Universal Analytics. This means that all content is assigned a dummy topic ID when created, regardless of whether it has been assigned to an actual topic on the platform or not, to ensure that these free-standing content items can be identified when looking at all content and topics. Dummy topics only exist in Universal Analytics and do not actually exist on the Fuse platform.

Ideally, dummy topics should be filtered out of insights to give an accurate view at the topic level. In some cases, it may be useful to include dummy topics. For example, you might want to compare content engagement on dummy topics vs real topics. This allows you to see if engagement increases or decreases when content is included in topics or when simply uploaded to the Fuse platform individually.

The easiest way to tell if an item of content is standalone is to look at all the topic titles and topic IDs associated with the item of content.

For example:

  • If an item of content only has “Dummy topic” in the topic title field and the only topic ID starts with “C:”, then the content has not been added to a topic on the Fuse platform.

  • If an item of content has more than one topic title in the topic title field and one or more topic IDs start with “T:”, then the content has been added to topics on the Fuse platform.

Note: You can also use the topic title or ID count for each item of content to understand whether it is standalone or not. As every item of content gets assigned to a dummy topic by default, if the topic title or ID count for an item of content is two or more, this means that the content exists in a real topic within Fuse.

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