About click IDs

To track specific clicks an ad, Google Ads or Search Ads 360 can generate a case-sensitive ID. Generating a click ID is required for some links between Google products (such as Search Ads 360 and Google Analytics), and you can use the ID to attribute offline conversions to specific site visits.

Generating a click ID

If you enable auto-tagging in Google Ads, Google Ads generates a click ID when your ad is shown. As a result, if a user clicks on a particular ad impression multiple times, those clicks will be associated with only one GCLID. Landing page visits for the exact same impression will share the same click ID.

Search Ads 360 can generate a click ID if you enable Google Analytics support or enable the conversion API service. If a click is redirected from Google Ads and Google Ads has already generated a click ID, Search Ads 360 uses the Google Ads ID instead of generating a new one. If a click is redirected from another type of supported engine, Search Ads 360 generates the ID.

Sending the click ID to your site

Regardless of which system generates a click ID, Saerch Ads 360 appends two URL parameters to landing page URLs before redirecting to your site:

  • gclid: contains the click ID

  • gclsrc: indicates which system, Search Ads 360 or Google Ads, generated the click ID.

    Only Search Ads 360 generates and appends the gclsrc parameter. (You won't see this parameter in Google Ads accounts that are not managed by Search Ads 360.) The value of the gclsrc parameter will be one of the following:

    • gclsrc=ds: the click ID was generated by Search Ads 360. In addition, the click was either on an engine other than Google, or the click was on Google but the Google Ads account is not using auto-tagging.

    • gclsrc=aw.ds: the click ID was generated by an Google Ads account that is using auto-tagging.

    • gclsrc=: the parameter is empty if the click ID was generated by Google Ads but neither Google Analytics support nor the conversion API service are enabled in Search Ads 360.

gclid and gclsrc are reserved parameter names: Search Ads 360 uses them and does not de-duplicate if you also use them.

If you want the click ID and click source to be available in additional parameters with names other than gclid and gclsrc, use the [*GCLID*] and [*GCLSRC*] macros.

Parallel tracking and Google click IDs

Google Ads parallel tracking sends customers directly from your ad to your final URL while click measurement happens in the background (without sending customers to the tracking URLs first). If you turn on parallel tracking for a Google Ads engine account, Search Ads 360 can't send the gclid and gclsrc parameters to your landing pages.

If your landing pages only need the gclid parameter, enable auto-tagging in Google Ads. Auto-tagging adds gclid when an ad is clicked, so the gclid parameter will be available to the landing page, even if you use parallel tracking.

If your landing pages need the gclsrc parameter, turn off parallel tracking. This parameter is available only when the Search Ads 360 Conversion API is enabled and clicks redirect through Search Ads 360.

Testing click IDs from Google Ads

If you test your tracking template in Google Ads, the best practice is to click on a live ad that has been served in Google search results. If you click the Test button in Google Ads, there is no guarantee that the landing page URL will have a click ID.

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