Separate Paid Search/CPC and Display into Different Channels

I would like to see the Campaign channel split into two channels, Paid Search (CPC) and Display. That’s how GA3 does it.

Hi, there is a custom channel grouping that might get you the view that you need. More information on: Organize incoming traffic into custom channels | Piwik PRO help center

@Michal_Szczerek, I was suggesting that you follow GA3’s channel definitions since that product has been at 80% or more market share for years so, by default, it has set the benchmark for what channel definitions should be.

As I say that, however, I believe that I see one possible reason why you lump Display and Paid Search into the “Campaigns” channel (at least for Google): Is Piwik Pro unable to unencrypt the Google Ads GCLID? If not, your channel definitions make perfect sense. However, if Piwik Pro can unencrypt the GCLID, you could further refine your “Campaigns” channel into “Display” and “Paid Search”

Yes, you are correct, we are not able to decrypt gclid. I’ll pass along the suggestions about refining the “Campaigns” channel.

Understood, and thank you.


I’m confused by something: You stated that Piwik Pro is unable to decrypt the GCLID but, when I check the Google Ads report in PP, how is PP able to determine sessions and bounce rate per campaign (campaign name)?

Piwik PRO uses UTM to determine campaign name. It’s advised to use auto tagging in GAds camapigns to have that covered automatically. >>> Google Ads report | Piwik PRO help center

These campaigns are not using any UTMs, just GCLID. So how is Piwik Pro able to display campaign names?

It is really impossible to answer this question without seeing the actual setup. Piwik PRO uses UTM to get the campaign details. If you have an integration with Google Ads turned on then some data can be accessed via Google Ads API.

Here’s an actual URL from the paid search campaign:

As you can see, no UTMs, only GCLID. So clearly, Piwik Pro is extracting the Campaign name from the GCLID via the API. In reading the Google Ads API documentation, it appears that PP could be pulling in many more variables such as “ad_network_type.” (click_view  |  Google Ads API  |  Google for Developers)

Here’s why I’m asking: I want to be as accurate as possible when measuring website activity from visitors from Google Ads and I’d like to be able to differentiate between paid search campaigns and display campaigns. GA3 lets me go very deep into Google Ads attributes. PP is much more limited.

You have suggested that I use UTM codes for more accurate tracking but the GCLID is required for Google Ads conversion tracking. (Google Click Identifier (GCLID): Definition - Google Ads Help)

Beyond that, how would PP interpret a landing page URL that includes both a GCLID and UTMs? (GA3 gives priority to attributes pulled from GCLID).

Do you have Google Ads Integration configured in Piwik PRO? Google Ads integration | Piwik PRO help center


If there is no GAds integration, Piwik PRO uses only UTMs - we don’t “decrypt” gclid. When you click on your link, in the tracker debugger you can see that campaign name is “google ads unknown”.

With GAds integration, Piwik PRO is able to (at some point, not right away as you can see in the debugger) match a campaign name from GAds API thanks to gclid. Still we don’t decrypt it, we use it’s presence to match sessions and get data from GAds API. When this information is joined you can see the result of that in some of the reports.

Thank you, very helpful. Is there anyway to get the network type from the Google Ads API? That would be so helpful!

Unfortunately not at the moment. But I’ll create a feature request for that :slight_smile:

Thank you, much appreciated. Keep up the good work!

What happens if I use both auto-tagging and manually added UTM codes?

@David_Culbertson I’m looking into it to give you the most accurate answer :slight_smile:

@David_Culbertson Autotagging (gclid) is necessary to fill the data withing the integration (so everything you see in “Google Ads” reports) and the UTMs populate the data in the default “Campaigns” reports).


That’s good to know. Thank you.