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Adwords Gclid parameter not populating + clicks FAR higher than visits

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Hello –


We are having an issue with (1) gclid parameters not populating post click, and (2) thus clicks are much higher than visits in Google Analytics, and we are seeing some campaigns with no visits at all. We have gone through verification checks and nothing appears to be wrong. Does anyone have any suggestions for how to fix this? An example of the situation and what we checked already is below.


Situation Specifics -


 - “Fiesta Tax” paid search ad goes to correct landing page, but no gclid shows against url in the browser after clicking on the ad: - tracking is lost completely even though this is not a redirect page and auto-tagging is on.


 - Google Analytics Visits are 0 (or less than clicks) for many of these CPC campaigns even though we have clicks and $ charges showing. This is not a minimal difference that could be explained by slow page load, or different tools, it is a massive discrepancy.


 - We are also seeing an error message in GA admin


 Checks: Already checked the following and no reasons for an error –


  1. Yes, Auto-tagging is turned on
  2. No, none of the destination pages are redirects, so there would be no server site redirect logic removing the gclid parameters from the url
  3. Yes, a test gclid url populates correctly in the browser. i.e. when the following test url is used, we see the gclid parameter in the browser, so it is not the website:

Please could anyone help with why the tagging is not coming through? None of the help pages give any information other than what we have already checked.


Thank you!

1 Expert replyverified_user

Adwords Gclid parameter not populating + clicks FAR higher than visits

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor

Hi John,

Could you post your tracking template? That might help figure this out. I've never seen this happen without a faulty redirect somewhere in line.

I'm sure you're aware AdWords clicks will always be higher than Analytics visits. I've seen clicks 2 to 3 times greater than visits.

Best of Luck!




Another thing you might try, look through your raw web logs for query string that include gclid value.


petebardo -- Deadhead doing AdWords