Google Consent Mode v2 – What You Need to Know

Google has officially released Consent Mode V2. But, what is it and how does it impact you?

What Is Consent Mode V2 Google Ads

After initially launching Consent Mode in September 2020, Google has now launched version 2. 

As of March 6th 2024, it was made mandatory for all websites to implement Consent Mode v2 if they want to be able to use Google Ads or GA4.

But, what exactly is the second version and what are the changes that Google have made?

Here’s everything there is to know about implementing Consent Mode v2, if you haven’t done so by now.

What is Google Consent Mode v2?

Google Consent Mode v2 is a huge update that aims to boost user privacy and data compliance by ensuring a user grants consent for the website to use cookies.

Consent Mode v2 is an interface that tells Google what consent a user has given the website. It only takes effect if the user refuses consent on the cookie consent banner.

If they consent to using cookies, Google then tracks their movement around the website and allows the website to offer personalised advertising.

What are the key updates in Google Consent Mode v2?

Version 2 of Google Consent Mode introduced two additional parameters: ‘ad_user_data’ and ‘ad_personalization’.

These are additions to the two original signals: ‘ad_storage’ for advertising cookies and ‘analytics_storage’ for analysing cookies.

‘ad_user_data’ sets consent for sending user data to Google for online advertising purposes, while ‘ad_personalization’ sets consent for personalised advertising.

These additional flags do not have a functional impact on how Google tags behave on the website, unlike ‘ad_storage’ and ‘analytics_storage’. They are additional parameters sent with the pings to Google and are designed to instruct these services on how user data can be used for advertising purposes.

The easiest way to understand the difference is the original signals (‘ad_storage’ and ‘analytics_storage’) are upstream qualifiers for data that control the identifiers that are sent with pings. Meanwhile, the new parameters (‘ad_user_data’ and ‘ad_personalization’) are downstream qualifiers to help Google process the data.

Advanced Consent Mode vs. Basic Consent Mode

Google Consent Mode v2 has also introduced a Basic Consent Mode and an Advanced Consent Mode.

While these modes are not strictly new, the way they’ve been implemented is. Basic Consent Mode means that Consent Mode is active on the web page but a Google tag is prevented from loading and collecting data until a user grants consent.

Advanced Consent Mode is Consent Mode as we know it and it means collecting pings of data from users who have not granted consent.

Using the consent management platform, you can set one of the following modes:

  • No Consent Mode is when Consent Mode is not implemented on the web page. All data collection is assumed consent.
  • Basic Consent Mode is when Consent Mode has been implemented but data collection only occurs when the user consents.
  • Advanced Consent Mode is when Consent Mode has been implemented and data is collected from users when they grant or deny consent.

What if I haven’t implemented Consent Mode v2?

If you failed to meet Google’s March 2024 deadline for implementing Consent Mode v2, it could mean that you’ve lost access to Google’s products and insights.
By missing the deadline, Google will have blocked your website from:

  • Sharing new data about users with Google Ads.
  • Collecting any new data about European Economic Area (EEA) or UK users in your Google Analytics audience lists.

This means that you are unable to engage with remarketing with new visitors to your website, and consequently, Google is much less effective than it once was at predicting and tracking your ad conversions, with a possible ad spend increase due to decreased efficiency.

As a result, your Google Ads campaigns have likely been delivering low-value results.

Can I still implement Consent Mode v2?

If you missed the March 2024 deadline, don’t panic. There are still a few things you can do moving forward.

As the saying goes, it’s better late than never, so if you still haven’t implemented Consent Mode v2, do so immediately.

With limited user data, you should also focus on collecting first-party data directly from your audience, and focus on building trust by prioritising user privacy – demonstrating to users that you respect their data by following regulations and giving them more control over their information.

Is Google Consent Mode v2 compliant with GDPR?

While Google Consent Mode v2 is not a magic wand for GDPR compliance, it is a major step in the right direction.

In terms of granular user control, Consent Mode v2 aligns with GDPR’s emphasis on user control by offering detailed options for the collection and usage of data.

The standardised format ensures clear communication about consent choices, which makes it easier to comply.

It also focuses on key areas that are relevant to GDPR, such as analytics storage and reporting, ad storage and the sharing of ad user data.

However, Google Consent Mode v2 does not fully comply with GDPR – businesses need to interpret the user choices within the context of GDPR requirements.

They must implement compliance measures, such as data security and clear privacy policies.

While Google Consent Mode v2 is a hugely valuable tool for operating within GDPR compliance, it’s not a complete solution. Businesses must still take additional steps to ensure they align with the GDPR framework.

Does Google Consent Mode v2 work with Google Ads and Google Analytics?

In short, yes, Google Consent Mode v2 works with both Google Ads and Google Analytics. It is designed specifically to manage how both of these tools work based on data usage and user consent for cookies.

How Consent Mode works with Google Ads & Google Analytics

Google Consent Mode v2 allows you to control how Google Tag Manager, Google Ads and Google Analytics operate based on the user’s consent for cookies and data. Version 2 requires consent from the user for personalised advertising and analytics tracking.
When a user doesn’t grant consent, v2 allows you to estimate missing data on Google Ads.

What are the benefits of Consent Mode v2 for Google Ads & Google Analytics?

  • Continued data collection – Enables basic analytics and conversion modelling even without full consent, which offers valuable data.
  • Privacy compliance – Helps a business to comply with privacy regulations, such as GDPR.
  • User trust – Requesting consent provides transparency and control over personal data for all website visitors.
  • Opens new advertising opportunities – Data tracking allows websites to explore other targeting options like contextual advertising and specific demographics.
  • Learn valuable insights – No matter how much data you collect, you can still learn a lot about visitors to your website.

Speak to Paramount Digital

At Paramount Digital, we can help you not only understand Google Consent Mode v2, but we can support its implementation on your website.

If you’re struggling to understand Consent Mode and the recent changes, we can help.

Don’t waste any more time, speak to Paramount Digital today. Not only can we help with Google Consent Mode v2, but we can also work to improve your SEO, content and advertising – and much more.

Give us a call at 01744 747474 or send us an email at marketing@paramountdigital.co.uk.


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