What is Google Consent Mode?

Google Consent Mode is a technology developed by Google to help website owners comply with local privacy laws, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the European Union. It is a tool that allows websites to change the way Google services, such as Google Analytics and Google Ads, handle user data based on the user's cookie consent.

In November 2023, Google came out with two versions: Basic and Advanced. Basic collects no data until someone agrees, while Advanced starts collecting (in a privacy friendly, anonymous way) even before someone makes the choice to accept or not accept cookies.

Also new is that visitors are given more choices about data privacy. Think about collecting data and sharing it with Google platforms. Plus, they can decide on ad personalization.


How does Google Consent Mode work?

  • User consent: When a visitor comes to a website, he or she is asked for permission to use cookies or other tracking technologies. This is usually done through a cookie banner.
  • Signal processing: Depending on the user's choice, the website sends a signal to Google services about the consent status. For example, whether the user has consented to the use of advertising cookies or analytical cookies.
  • Customized operation: Google services adjust their behavior based on these signals. For example, if a user does not consent to ad cookies, Google Ads will not show personalized ads to that user. Similarly, if there is no consent for analytics cookies, Google Analytics will not collect complete user data.
  • Conversion modeling: One of the key features of Consent Mode is its conversion modeling capability. This means that even if users do not consent to certain types of data collection, Google can still help estimate conversions and other key metrics by using machine learning and aggregate data.

Why Google Consent Mode V2 is important


This new update from Google is important because it ensures that your website complies with European privacy laws. So, what does this mean for you?
  • More privacy: Your site will be brought completely in line with European laws. This is good for your visitors' trust.
  • Smarter data handling: If someone does not consent to cookies, Consent Mode V2 still helps estimate conversions.

What happens if you don't update it before March 2024?

Not updating to Consent Mode V2 can cost you dearly because:
  1. Less insight: You can no longer see clearly how your ads are performing.
  2. Difficulty with audiences: It will be harder to build new audiences in Europe and the UK.

How do you prepare?

1. Check if you have site visitors from Europe or UK.
2. Make sure you have a good Consent Management Platform (CMP). Preferably choose one that supports Consent Mode V2. Google recommends using a certified CMP. This means that homemade cookie banners may no longer be enough.
3. Set the ad_personalization and ad_user_data parameters.
4. Create a new tag for Consent Mode in GTM.
5. Test if everything is working properly.

You can find more information in this video from Google.

Time for action

Google Consent Mode V2 is a crucial development for all businesses using Google Ads and Analytics. Failure to update can lead to reduced insight into ad performance and difficulty building audiences in Europe and the UK.

So don't wait too long to take action and ensure compliance before March 2024 so you can continue to get the most out of Google's services. By following the steps in this article in a timely manner, you will ensure that you comply with this new data privacy standard and continue to effectively execute your online marketing strategies.