[GA4] Traffic-source dimensions, manual tagging, and auto-tagging

Traffic-source dimensions provide information about where your traffic originates (source, e.g., google, baidu, bing), the methods by which users arrive at your site/app (medium, e.g., organic, cpc, email), and the specific marketing efforts you use to drive that traffic (e.g., campaign, creative format, keywords).

With Analytics, you have the option to collect traffic-source data by manually tagging your destination URLs or by creating integrations between Analytics and your ad platforms and using the auto-tagging feature available with those integrations.

With both manual tagging and auto-tagging, the parameters and parameter values appear as dimensions and dimension values in your reports and explorations and in the audience and segment builders.

Manual tagging

If you don't plan to create integrations between Analytics and your different ad platforms (e.g., Google Ads, Display & Video 360, Search Ads 360), you can manually tag the destination URLs in your ads with UTM parameters to collect a basic set of traffic-source dimensions:

Parameter Dimension


First user source

Session source



First user medium

Session medium



First user campaign

Session campaign


Manual term

Session manual term

First user manual term


Manual ad content

Session manual ad content

First user manual ad content


Source platform

Session source platform

First user source platform


Creative format

Session creative format

First user creative format


Marketing tactic

Session marketing tactic

First user marketing tactic


When you use manual tagging, you provide the value for each parameter in your destination URL, for example:


You can use the Analytics URL builders to construct your URLs.

If you use manual tagging and auto tagging together, then the source, medium, and other traffic-classification dimensions use the auto-tagged values. The manually tagged values for utm_content and utm_term are used for the Manual Ad Content and Manual Term dimensions.

Learn more about utm parameters and how the URL builders work.


If you're creating integrations between Analytics and your various ad platforms, then you want to use the auto-tagging feature that is implemented with each integration. Auto-tagging provides you with platform-specific dimensions and with more dimensions than you get with manual tagging.

The following lists ennumerate the dimensions auto-tagging provides when you create integrations between Analytics and your ad platforms.

The dimension names below form the root of the dimension names. The full dimension names take the form:

[scope] [linked product] [dimension]

For example: Session Google Ads campaign (scope = session; linked product = Google Ads; dimension = campaign)

Google Ads

URLs that are auto-tagged with Google Ads parameters include the GCLID parameter. Auto-tagging provides the following dimensions at event, session, and first user scopes :

  • Google Ads campaign
  • Google Ads account name
  • Google Ads ad group name
  • Google Ads keyword text
  • Google Ads query
  • Google Ads ad network type
  • Google Ads ad group ID
  • Google Ads customer ID

Display & Video 360

The Display & Video 360 (DV360) integration uses DCLID and/or GCLID parameters to populate cross-channel traffic source dimensions, such as Session source / medium, First user source / medium, and Source / medium.

Important: If you are not running any YouTube campaigns, we suggest turning off YouTube auto-tagging while keeping enhanced attribution enabled for proper traffic source attribution. Enabling both YouTube auto-tagging and enhanced attribution results in the traffic from display campaigns in DV360 being attributed as Google Ads.

Search Ads 360

URLs that are auto-tagged with Search Ads 360 (SA360) parameters include the GCLID parameter. Auto-tagging provides the following dimensions at session scope:

  • SA360 source
  • SA360 medium
  • SA360 campaign
  • SA360 creative format
  • SA360 ad group name
  • SA360 keyword text
  • SA360 query
  • SA360 default channel group
  • SA360 engine account ID
  • SA360 engine account name
  • SA360 engine account type
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