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Google Consent Mode: How to Manage Cookies for Ads and Analytics

google consent mode v2

In a Nutshell 🔍


Google Consent Mode and why you need it

Google Consent Mode is a Google solution designed to aid advertisers in targeting users in the EEU and the UK, ensuring adherence to their data preferences. This tool enables websites to directly communicate users’ consent decisions to Google, aligning with legal obligations and Google’s EU User Consent Policy.

One significant challenge in digital advertising is the limited insights from users who reject consent banners. This can lead to decreased conversions and revenue. To address this, Consent Mode includes conversion modelling to give valuable insights even when consent isn’t granted by the user. Consent modeling uses machine learning to analyze aggregate data like user journeys and trends, to give useful estimations, filling in blind-spots and keeping your data accurate, comprehensive and useful.

🚀 Through conversion modeling, Google Consent Mode has been shown to effectively recover around 65% of lost conversion data from ad clicks when users reject consent.

🚨Alert: Starting March 2024, Google will progressively require the use of Consent Mode v2 for audience personalization and measurement features in its services, particularly for European users.

If you’re a business running ads targeting EEA or UK users, it’s in your best interest to enable Consent Mode v2, or upgrade to v2 if you’re already using the previous version of Consent Mode.


How to Enable it?

Activating Google Consent Mode is straightforward with iubenda’s Privacy Controls and Cookie Solution. The autoblocking feature, set as default, automatically activates and manages Google Consent Mode v2 for Google services-related scripts, requiring no extra effort from you.

Yes, it’s that easy!

Set up Consent Mode v2 Now

For an in-depth understanding of Consent Mode, continue reading below. 👇

Google Consent Mode is a framework that allows businesses to align their website operations with user consent choices, especially in compliance with regulations like the EU’s GDPR. It enables the transmission of consent signals from a website’s cookie banner to Google, ensuring that user preferences on sharing personal data for advertising purposes, including measurement and personalization, are respected.

When users consent, Google uses this data for detailed insights and analytics. Conversely, if users do not consent, Google restricts the use of cookies and identifiers to maintain privacy. Importantly, even without advertising cookie consent, Google Consent Mode still offers aggregate insights through conversion modeling. This method uses machine learning to analyze user journeys and trends, enhancing opportunities for conversion recovery while respecting user consent preferences.

When a user visits a website that has implemented Google Consent Mode, the website sends a request to Google to determine whether the user has given consent for specific types of cookies and tracking technologies. Google then responds with a “consent status” signal, which indicates whether the user has given consent or not.

If the user has given consent, the website can load cookies and tracking technologies as usual.

However, if the user has not given consent, Google Consent Mode enables the website to either disable cookies and tracking technologies or modify them to reduce the amount of data collected. This means that the website can still function while respecting the user’s privacy preferences.

When a user does not consent to advertising or analytics cookies, Google Consent Mode adjusts the behavior of relevant Google tags to not read or write cookies for those purposes. This can create a gap in advertisers’ measurement and visibility into user paths on their sites.

To address this, Google offers conversion modeling, which uses machine learning to analyze observable data and historical trends, quantifying the relationship between consented and unconsented users. This allows assessing attribution paths for unconsented user journeys, creating a more complete and accurate view of advertising spend and outcomes while still respecting user consent choices.

🔎 More info on conversion modeling

About consent mode modeling
Source: Google

Consent Mode introduced two specific tag settings named ad_storage and analytics_storage that manage cookies for advertising and analytics purposes for advertisers using the Global Site Tag or Google Tag Manager.

These two settings can be used to customize how Google tags behave before and after users make their consent decisions, helping advertisers more effectively measure conversions while respecting user consent choices for ad cookies and analytics cookies.

By employing these settings, you can indicate whether consent has been granted for Ads and Analytics cookies. Subsequently, Google’s ad_storage and analytics_storage consent types will dynamically adapt, only utilizing cookies for the specified purposes when consent has been given by the user:

  • when consent is granted, the associated tags will function normally;
  • when consent for ad storage or analytics storage is denied, the associated Google tags deployed via gtag.js or Google Tag Manager will adjust their behavior accordingly.

For example, if a user does not provide consent for ads cookies (and therefore advertising purposes are disabled), but does provide consent for analytics cookies, you’ll still be able to measure site behavior and conversions in Analytics as the analytics_storage setting will be enabled.

With the introduction of Consent Mode v2, Google is enhancing its approach to managing cookies for ads and analytics. This updated version, which becomes mandatory from March 2024 for new EEA users, incorporates two additional parameters:

ad_user_data: This new parameter indicates whether a user has consented to send their data to Google for advertising purposes. It’s essential for collecting user data that informs targeted advertising strategies.

ad_personalization: This parameter determines whether personalized advertising, such as remarketing campaigns, can be enabled. It respects user choices regarding personalized ads, taking values based on the consent granted or denied on your site’s cookie banner.

The initial Consent Mode parameters (analytics_storage & ad_storage) focused on data collection, while the new v2 tags relate to data usage and sharing.

In short, starting March 2024, Google Consent Mode v2 will mandate the transmission of four distinct signals to activate personalized advertising for new users in the European Economic Area (EEA). This means that if consent is denied for one or more parameters, the relevant tags either adjust their behavior or remain completely blocked.

Beside the analytics_storage and ad_storage consent types, the Privacy Controls and Cookie Solution now values also the optional consent types:

  • functionality_storage, related to the functionality of the website or app (e.g. language settings, etc.)
  • personalization_storage, related to personalization (e.g. video recommendations)
  • security_storage, related to security (e.g. authentication functionality, fraud prevention, and other user protection).

Products that support Google Consent Mode include:

  • Google Ads (including Google Ads Conversion Tracking and Remarketing)
  • Google Analytics
  • Floodlight
  • Conversion Linker

Consent Mode requires gtag.js or Google Tag Manager to run. If you use an older tag like ga.js, analytics.js or conversion.js, you’ll have to update to gtag.js or Google Tag Manager first.

Don’t confuse Consent Mode with Additional Consent Mode, a feature that allows you to gather consent for Google ad partners that are not yet part of the Transparency and Consent Framework but are on Google’s Ad Tech Providers (ATP) list.

One way that Google Consent Mode can help website owners increase their advertising revenue is by providing better targeting and bidding optimization for Google Ads campaigns.

By using the consent signals provided by Google Consent Mode, website owners can ensure that their ads are only shown to users who have given their consent for their data to be used for advertising purposes. This means that website owners can deliver more relevant ads to users who are interested in their products or services, leading to higher engagement rates and better ROI for advertisers.

For example, let’s say a website owner runs a Google Ads campaign promoting a new line of athletic shoes. With Google Consent Mode, the website owner can ensure that the ads are only shown to users who have given their consent for their data to be used for advertising purposes.

This means that the ads will only be shown to users who are interested in athletic shoes and are more likely to engage with the ad.

Yes, iubenda is among the Partner CMPs of Google. Our CMP is integrated with Google Consent Mode v2 and Google Tag Manager, allowing seamless implementation and helping to address technical challenges and comply with Google’s latest requirements.

iubenda’s Privacy Controls and Cookie Solution is designed to manage the consent to cookies on a website or app and allows you to adjust how your Google tags behave based on the consent status of your users, particularly in relation to advertising and analytics cookies.

🔎

Wondering if Google Consent Mode v2 is Active on Your Site?


➡️ Discover Instantly with Our Domain Scanner

Check your consent mode status now! Simply enter your website’s URL and check your inbox for results.

Google’s Consent Mode v2 marks a significant step forward in simplifying the management of cookies for ads and analytics. This latest version removes the need for code adjustments, providing an even more user-friendly approach to ensure compliance and optimize user experience.

To effectively implement Google Consent Mode v2 with iubenda, efficiently manage cookies and obtain user consent for ads and analytics, you have these options:

⚠️ Important: Remember to update your privacy policy!

Since you’re using Google services, don’t forget to add the required clauses and disclosures in your privacy policy, such as Google Analytics 4 and Google Ads conversion tracking. You can find them in our Generator.

1. Autoblocking [Preferred Method]

The preferred method of implementing Google Consent Mode v2 is the use of autoblocking feature (enabled by default), which will automatically activate and handle Google Consent Mode on Google services-related scripts with no additional action required.

This method lets the automatic blocking feature set the default consent states, while the Privacy Controls and Cookie Solution works with Consent Mode to activate or deactivate Google services based on user consent.

❗️Please note that for new installations of Privacy Controls and Cookie Solution, automatic blocking is enabled by default. This means the checkboxes for ‘Do not block Google’s services that adhere to Consent Mode‘ and ‘Do not block vendors that adhere to the TCF when the TCF is enabled‘ are already checked.

To enable/disable this feature, or if not already implemented, simply follow these steps:

Once the site/project is selected in the “Dashboard”, you can configure or edit automatic blocking by clicking on the settings icon located in the site info panel:

autoblocking icon google consent mode v2

On the site info section “Block scripts prior to consent” under “Automatic blocking” you can find these two checkboxes:

✅ Do not block vendors that adhere to the TCF when the TCF is enabled:

When TCF is enabled, ad delivery is driven by the TCF consent string reflecting user choices. We suggest not blocking these vendors with automatic blocking to ensure optimal site performance and uninterrupted ad display.

✅ Do not block Google’s services that adhere to Consent Mode:

When this option is enabled, our Privacy Controls and Cookie Solution will automatically set the default consent state for Google services, allowing you to manage them directly through ‘Consent Mode’ without any further action.

checkboxes google consent mode

2. For Users with Existing Configurations [Legacy Users]:

Users who already have our solutions integrated (known as ‘legacy users’) need only a simple code update.

Copy and paste the new iubenda code to replace the existing code on your site.

To do this, once the site/project is selected in the “Dashboard”, click Embed:

embed code

Copy and place this new script in the <head> section of your website’s HTML, as the first element, to ensure the consent management functions load before any other scripts, and you’re done!

copy paste code

This way, our Privacy Controls and Cookie Solution will automatically set the default consent state for Google services, allowing you to manage them directly through ‘Consent Mode’ without any further action.

3. Via Google Tag Manager

Google Tag Manager (GTM) allows you to use already-configured templates for your GTM installation to simplify tag configuration. The iubenda Privacy Controls and Cookie Solution template is now listed in the Featured Community CMP Templates.

By using the Google Tag Manager Template, you can manage Google Consent Mode v2(GCM) automatically for tags that are natively compatible with Google Consent Mode, such as Google Analytics, AdSense, Floodlight, and Conversion Linker. Currently, the template allows you to manage prior consent for custom HTML tags using the ‘additional consent checks’ feature in a few simple steps.

💡 For more information on integrating Google Consent Mode with the iubenda Privacy Controls and Cookie Solution, see our guide here.

For US users, things to know: how to honor opt-out

If you enable US Law in the ‘Privacy Controls and Cookie Solution’ configurator, the default behavior for a US user is that the Cookie Solution sets all the GCM (Google Consent Mode) purposes to ‘granted‘.

Note: If you are on a “Free” plan, this is true if you disable GDPR and apply only US Law in the configurator. Alternatively, if you want to apply GDPR for EU Users and US Law for US users, you’ll need at least an “Advanced” plan.

When the user opts out of a specific purpose under US Law, we adjust the settings for ‘ad_storage‘ and ‘analytics_storage‘ accordingly.

Specifically:

ad_storage‘ is granted when the user either hasn’t opted out of any of the following USPR (US Privacy Rights) purposes or when they are not relevant (e.g., USPR does not apply):

  • Sale of my personal information (purpose s)
  • Sharing of my personal information (purpose sh)
  • Processing of personal information for targeted advertising (purpose adv)

analytics_storage‘ is set to granted when the user either hasn’t opted out of the US purpose ‘Sale of my personal information’ (purpose s) or when it’s not relevant (e.g., USPR does not apply).

Unlock additional features with just one click 👉 Upgrade to the Advanced Plan now!

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See also