Pardot Knowledge Base

How is the source field populated?

Last Updated: Oct 05, 2016 | Print this Article

How the Source field is Populated

Source is determined by looking at a prospect's referring URL. The referring URL is the URL of the page a visitor was on before landing on Pardot tracking code for the first time. Pardot is able to automatically pull in this data when the referrer is present and matches up with the expected website for a given vendor. For example, if a prospect's referring URL was "" and the source utm parameters were not set, Pardot would populate the prospect's source field with the value "LinkedIn."

Based on the first touch a visitor has with you, we look at the type of source ("Natural Search", "Ad",  "Paid Search", or "" (empty)) as well as the vendor.  We then combine the two parts ("vendor" + "type") to give you a value for Source.  Note if the type is empty (""), the vendor alone will be used to populate the Source field.

For a complete list of the possible vendors, see the Referrers/Vendors table near the bottom of our Icon Glossary article.

The following is a sample of common values used by Pardot to automatically populate the Source field:
  • Google Paid Search: a visit originating from one of your Google AdWords ads*
  • Google Ad: a visit originating from a Google Content Network ad (e.g. an AdWords ad on a third-party site)*
  • Google Natural Search: a visit originating from a natural (unpaid) Google search
  • Yahoo Natural Search: a visit originating from a natural (unpaid) Yahoo! search
  • Bing Natural Search: a visit originating from a natural (unpaid) Bing search
  • Twitter: a visit originating from a list or user's profile
  • Facebook: a visit originating from a profile or other Facebook page
  • LinkedIn: a visit originating from an individual or company account
  • PRWeb: a visit originating from a business publication on this website
  • a visit originating from a business publication on this website
*If there is a conflict between the utm_source parameter and the pi_ad_id parameter in a Google Paid Search or Google AdWords visit's url, Pardot will assign the Lead Source value by the utm_source parameter.

Wherever possible, Pardot will display the search term(s) used by the prospect. For Google Paid Ads (unlike searches), there will never be a search term.

The source field can also be populated by Google Analytics tags if you are using the Google Analytics connector.

Can I change the Source field?

The Source field can be manually updated by editing a prospect record, or changed by completion actions and automation rules.

Why is the Source field blank on my prospect?

There are three reasons that a prospect's source field may not populate:
  1. Since the field is populated by the browser, Pardot won't populate the field if the browser doesn't send the information. This happens when the prospect is using private browsing, like Incognito mode in Chrome).
  2. If there is no Pardot tracking code on the pages the prospect visited prior to filling out a form, Pardot can't populate the field. This is because Pardot doesn't know how the prospect got to the form.
  3. Pardot cannot populate the source field if you used a Form Handler with a server-side post.

Need more? Start a conversation with other Pardot users in our Success Community