About gad_source parameter

Google uses conversion metadata to measure certain conversions that can't be measured via traditional methods. To support this, the gad_source URL parameter is used to identify the source of ads URLs and improve the accuracy of ads conversion measurement. Any URL coming from a Google ad now has &gad_source in its final URL. This parameter is used to identify the source of the ad click and isn’t customizable. All advertisers and campaigns with the same source will have the same gad_source.

Note: &gad_source was formerly called &gad. The gad_source parameter will be gradually rolled out in the coming months. Some advertisers may not find the gad_source parameter in their URLs yet.

How it works

Google adds &gad_source to the end of your final URL, before any fragments (also called "name anchors" and indicated by the presence of a #).

Example

example.com/foo?a=b&gad_source=1#xyz

If your website contains redirects, it's important that you keep the gad_source URL parameter in your redirect. Google Ads and Analytics tags expect to observe the gad_source parameter as top-level parameter on the page where tags are loaded.

Special cases

A small percentage of websites don't allow arbitrary URL parameters and serve an error page with these parameters. Consult with your webmaster to find out if this is the case, or you can perform a brief test to check if your website allows arbitrary parameters. If you get an error, you may need to ask your webmaster to allow gad_source URL parameters.

To check if a &gad_source URL parameter can be added to your landing page, follow these instructions:

Note: The instructions below are part of the new design for the Google Ads user experience. To use the previous design, click the "Appearance" icon, and select Use previous design. If you're using the previous version of Google Ads, review the Quick reference map or use the Search bar in the top navigation panel of Google Ads to find the page you’re searching for.
  1. In your Google Ads account, click the Campaigns icon Campaigns Icon.
  2. Click the Insights and reports drop down in the section menu.
  3. Click Landing pages.
  4. Copy the landing page URL from your Google Ads landing page and paste the URL into your browser.
  5. Add &gad_source URL parameter manually.
  6. Press enter to go to that URL.
  7. Check if the parameter you entered is still present in the URL box and the page loads successfully.

Example

Let's say your landing page is: example.com/foo

Paste this into your URL box and add a test URL parameter (for example, "bar"). Note that you need to prepend the parameter with a question mark (?) if there are no preceding question marks in the URL:

example.com/foo?gad_source=1

If there is a preceding question mark, you need to prepend the parameter with an ampersand (&):

example2.com/foo?page=123&gad_source=1

When you navigate to this URL, check and make sure you find "gad_source=1" in the URL box. Note that your gad parameter is case-sensitive and should appear the same across all pages on your site.

If you have other URL parameters, the "gad_source" should come after those parameters but before any fragments (also called "named anchors" and indicated by the presence of a #). It should look something like this:

example.com/foo?a=b&gad_source=1#xyz

Note that the gad_source parameter isn't controlled by auto-tagging as it’s not generated for your campaign specifically.

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