I recently set up a a Google AdWords campaign for a site. I've enable auto tagging so that Google could append it's "gclid" to the URL. All of the conversions happen offline, so I need the gclid to attribute the conversion to the visit.

The problem is that when a visitor comes to the site, the gclid isn't in the format presented in the Google docs. This maybe can be partially attributed to the fact that I'm using Matomo to track site visitors. I'm unsure if the values I'm receiving are in fact "gclid"

Instead of coming in like www.example.com/?gclid=test123xyz" as the docs suggest, they come in like test123xyz.safeframe.googlesyndication.com Are these the same? Is the second link even a "gclid"?

Below: A Matomo panel showing a visit from a Google safeframe link.

  • I see you answered this yourself and didn't receive any other answers, and that your bounty is expiring shortly. Would you like me to remove the bounty so that it goes back to your account? (I don't think you can award a bounty to yourself)
    – dan
    Feb 26, 2022 at 1:28
  • I decided to remove the bounty for you so that it wouldn't be wasted...but if you wanted to spend the reputation points, you can always add it to another question :-)
    – dan
    Feb 26, 2022 at 2:40

1 Answer 1


The safeframe urls only started showing up when I asked google to start auto tagging users with gclid so i assumed that was what "auto tagging" meant. I was wrong.

After doing some testing and reading many google docs. I've come to the conclusion that the safeframe.googlesyndication.com prefix is not equal to the Google Click ID.

To get to this point I explicitly asked google for the click id every time they sent someone to my url. I discovered that the prefix for this safeframe url is not the same as the gclid that google passed when i asked for it in the url template.

To get the "Google Click ID" to show up in matomo or any other third party analytics platform use something like this in the google ad's url template section.


Note: not sure if utm_cid has a specific use but im using it as "ClickID"

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