I was advised to post here from Stack Overflow
We need help. We're running an ad campaign and realized that a lot of paid traffic was landing on a 404 not found page.
The issue is caused by auto-tagging in Google Ads when it appends a gclid parameter to the query string. Google Ads has the option to disable auto-tagging but there is no such option in Facebook. Traffic from Facebook lands on a 404 not found page every time. We inherited the site that was built on Joomla 3.10.0
Here's what happens:
- We specify the link we want to promote, e.g. https://www.example.com
- Google & Facebook append their parameters, e.g. ?fbclid=IwAR1m3AFCDb2Ouiickaw3lk4CqMCbfgf0wc-JX-08WTddIw0CCw7iyCoLs2g
Then, something weird happens with the redirection. The server access logs show the request getting redirected from:
We think it's related to Joomla's rewriting system but aren't familiar with it enough to know how to fix it. It's also possible that we have a misconfiguration in the .htaccess file.
We have Search Engine Friendly URLs enabled. We have Use URL Rewriting enabled.
The site is in the /public_html/ folder. We've tried commenting out different parts of the .htaccess but nothing worked. We normally use WordPress and have limited knowledge of Joomla and/or .htaccess files.
One final note: normal, readable query parameters don't seem to cause this issue because our manual UTMs work fine. Something about the fbclid/gclid strings in particular may be related... that's just a guess.
Here's a copy of our .htaccess:
Thanks for any insight you can provide.