Navigating Google Consent Mode v2: What You Need To Know

FROM MARCH 2024, YOU MUST HAVE IMPLEMENTED THE LATEST VERSION OF GOOGLE’S CONSENT MODE TO ALIGN WITH THE NEW DIGITAL MARKETS ACT AND ENSURE YOUR BUSINESS ISN’T MISSING OUT ON VALUABLE WEBSITE OR APP DATA.

What Is Google Consent Mode?

Google Consent Mode was first introduced back in 2020 to allow data collection for Google Analytics and Google Ads that complied with EU data privacy laws.

Tackling the issue of how advertisers can better respect users’ privacy preferences in a rapidly-changing digital age, Google Consent Mode is designed to adapt the behaviour of Google tags and third-party tags (such as Global Site Tags) to differentiate between consenting and non-consenting users. This is achieved by interacting with your pre-installed cookie banner or widget on your website or app.

Cookies, Coffee Standing Next To A Laptop And Office Supplies On A Desk. Photo By Katja Burger.By enabling Consent Mode, Google ensures that users’ preferences are preserved across the pages they visit, with certain users’ data treated anonymously, whilst other users’ data is processed as normal; leveraging Google’s AI conversion model to prevent the potential loss of information from users’ opting out of consent.

Implementation of Google Consent Mode v2 became mandatory from March 6, with two main configurations to choose from; Basic Mode and Advanced Mode.

Basic vs Advanced

Customising how Google tags behave before and after a visitor accepts or declines cookies is reliant on which Consent Mode configuration you choose, with a breakdown of the key differences below.

Basic Mode

Basic Consent Mode offers simpler functionality for adjusting tag behaviour based on consent status obtained through a website’s Consent Management Platform (CMP).

Implementing Basic Consent Mode will prevent Google tags from transmitting any data until a user interacts with a cookie banner. If consent is granted, Google tags will operate normally, loading and executing Consent Mode APIs. If consent is not granted, Google tags are blocked from firing.   

Advanced Mode

Advanced Consent Mode sees Google tags load once a user accesses a website or app, providing more control over tag behaviour by specifying how each tag should behave when consent is not obtained.

When consent is denied, the Consent Mode API kicks in with the Google tags sending ‘cookieless pings.’ Cookies are not stored, and user activity is communicated based on the default consent state configured.

If no default consent status has been defined, consent will be automatically denied, and only when a user grants consent will Google tags send full measurement data to Google.

Why Is Google Consent Mode Important?

Google Consent Mode plays a pivotal role in ensuring privacy compliance by respecting user preferences, and can benefit your business by maintaining trust and transparency, whilst still gathering valuable data and insights from your website and app traffic for ad personalisation and remarketing purposes.

What Services Does Google Consent Mode Support?

Google Consent Mode provides built-in support for Google services such as Google Tag Manager, Google Analytics, Google Ads, Floodlight, and Conversion Linker.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics 4 (GA4) will continue to track events with or without consent, utilising both analytics_storage (tracking) and ad_storage (Google signals) configurations, but depending on what the user consents to, depends on what data is collected in GA4.


Table Demonstrating How Tags Fire In GA4 Consent Mode.Source: What is Consent Mode for GA4? – Measurelab 

Behavioural modelling within GA4 Consent Mode uses machine learning to model the behaviour of users who decline cookies on the behaviour of similar users who accept cookies; providing observable data.

Google Ads

Consent Mode in Google Ads enables websites to continue measuring visitor metrics to drive data-informed marketing tactics, with aggregated conversions recorded for non-consenting users.

Google Consent Mode v2 encourages compliance with legislation relating specifically to data used for targeted advertising by introducing two new consent parameters; ad_user_data and ad_personalisation.

The ad_user_data parameter determines whether the user consents to sending advertising-related data to Google, whilst ad_personalisation gatekeeps the use of data for marketing purposes.

For users who withhold consent for the ad_personalisation configuration, ads can become less tailored and less effective, possibly resulting in an overall drop in Pay-Per-Click (PPC) performance.

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Google Tag Manager

Google Tag Manager Consent Mode operates through the consent settings interface in GTM, providing the flexibility to configure Google tags to function in compliance with user consent preferences.

 GTM Consent Settings For GTM Consent Mode.Source: Consent Mode V2 For Google Tags | Simo Ahava’s Blog

Allowing greater control over the behaviour of other Google and third-party tags, GTM Consent Mode can be implemented through built-in consent checks (dependent on the tag template), which outline how the tag works through the ad_storage and analytics_storage configurations.

Additional consent checks list consent states that need a granted status for a tag to fire, allowing you to apply the ad_user_data and ad_personalisation configurations introduced in Google Consent Mode v2.

How To Implement Google Consent Mode v2?

Implementation of Google Consent Mode v2 involves the configuration of Google tags by updating tag settings or adding configuration options in Google Tag Manager to ensure they support Consent Mode.

Find out how to set up Google Consent Mode v2 on your website here.

The quickest and easiest way to implement Google Consent Mode v2 is through your Consent Management Platform (CMP). Integration typically requires a Web Developer to edit the source code of a website or app to specify how Google tags should behave, and how the tags should modify their behaviour according to the user’s consent status once it has been set.

What’s New In Google Consent Mode?

Stay informed about Google Consent Mode, future changes in regulations or updates to Google’s implementation guidelines to ensure ongoing compliance and effectiveness.

We’ve compiled a list of helpful articles and resources below.

Information for businesses around why, what, and how to advertise effectively with Google Consent Mode v2. Read about the latest update, what it is, and how it impacts Google Analytics and Google Ads data.

How Google Consent Mode v2 affects Google Ads users. Find out why it’s important to implement Google Consent Mode v2 to avoid limited data, possible discrepancies, and reduced targeting options.

A deep dive into Google Consent Mode v2 with a breakdown of the differences between Basic Consent Mode and Advanced Consent Mode, and explanations around Google Tag Manager implementation.

An update on a new consent setting section made available in Google Analytics 4 (GA4); addressing queries around who is affected, and backed up by reliable information from a Google spokesperson.

What Google Consent Mode is, and how GA4 and GTM utilises it; listing all consent types, and explaining how Google Consent Mode works with GA4 conversion modelling and ‘cookieless pings.’

How Google Consent Mode works in GA4 and GTM with cookie consent, cookie consent banners, and GA4 behavioural modelling, plus instructions on how to view modelled data in reports within GA4.

The key differences of Google Consent Mode v2 such as new consent parameters, implementation modes, and its impact, alongside how to implement Basic Mode and Advanced Mode through GTM.

How Does Google Consent Mode v2 Affect Marketers?

Not implementing Google Consent Mode v2 can have a profound impact on measuring results effectively through Google Analytics and advertising through Google Ads; affecting ad campaign performance.

DID YOU KNOW?

“[…] profitable advertising relies on accurate measuring of performance. When consent is not given, advertisers can miss out on 30-60% of their data (depending on the industry).”

Source: Google Announces Consent Mode v2 – What Does It Mean?


Therefore, it is strongly advised that Google Consent Mode v2 is implemented as soon as possible to avoid disruption to measurement solutions such as GA4; preventing ineffectively analysing website and app performance, and optimising Google Ads campaigns based on inaccurate and incomplete data.

If the ad_user_data parameter hasn’t been implemented on your website or app, you may be seeing discrepancies in conversion sharing between GA4 and Google Ads. Similarly, if you’re collecting data for remarketing purposes, the ad_personalisation parameter must be applied in order to remain compliant.

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