Google Consent Mode V2: what businesses need to know

Posted: 30 May 2024

As digital marketing continues to evolve rapidly, privacy regulations are no exception. Systems and apps must be updated frequently to meet the latest laws. As of March 2024, businesses must have the latest version of Google Consent Mode (Version 2) implemented to ensure compliance with the New Digital Markets Act (DMA) and to avoid losing valuable data from users opting out of consent. But what does it mean for business owners? 


What is Google Consent Mode? 

Google Consent Mode is a feature provided by Google that allows website owners to adjust how Google’s tools work based on the consent given by users for data collection and cookies. Basically, it’s a way for websites to respect users’ choices about privacy.

When you visit a website, you often see a pop-up asking if you agree to the website using cookies and collecting certain data about you and your visit. Google Consent Mode helps websites manage this process with Google’s tools like Google Analytics and Google Ads. If you decline cookies or data collection, Google Consent Mode will tell these tools to change the way they work and limit the data they collect, respecting your privacy choice. For example, Google Analytics might collect less detailed information or Google Ads won’t use your data to personalise the ads that you see.


Why has Google Consent Mode been updated?

Google Consent Mode V2 has been updated to align with regulatory changes, particularly the DMA which started to be enforced in early 2024. The DMA makes advertising platforms like Google responsible for collecting user consent, requiring them to implement robust safeguards and ensure that personal data is collected lawfully. Google has updated its Consent Mode to comply with these new regulations while still being able to capture data from the European Economic Area (EEA).


What is different about Google Consent Mode V2?

There are several key differences between Google Consent Mode V1 and V2, with V2 offering more control over user consent and the way it collects data. The key updates in Google Consent Mode V2 include:

Two new consent parameters 

Google Consent Mode V2 introduces two new consent statuses: ad_user_data and ad_personalisation. ad_user_data determines whether the user consents to sending advertising-related user data to Google, while ad_personalisation controls if data can be used for personalised ads, like remarketing. These two new parameters are in addition to the current ad_storage and analytics_storage parameters.

Implementation modes

Google Consent Mode V2 features two implementation modes – basic and advanced.

  • Basic mode: Blocks Google tags from loading until users interact with the consent banner, ensuring that no data is collected before consent.
  • Advanced mode: Google tags load before the consent banner is shown and send cookieless ‘pings’ if the user then declines consent.

The impact of Google Consent Move V2 on advertising and analytics

Not implementing Google Consent Mode V2 can result in data loss and affect businesses’ ability to analyse their data, measure performance and deliver personalised ads.

How do you implement Google Consent Mode V2?

Google Consent Mode works with your existing consent banner to tell platforms whether users have agreed to be tracked. Google Consent Mode is not a standalone feature but requires a consent management platform (CMP) to function.

Implementation with Google Tag Manager (GTM)

Implementing Google Consent Mode V2 requires some setup in GTM and a CMP. Here’s how you can do it:

Basic mode implementation

  1. Enable consent overview: In GTM, go to Admin > Container Settings and enable “Enable consent overview”.
  2. Configure tags: For each tag that requires consent (e.g., Google Ads, Google Analytics), open the tag settings and navigate to “Triggering”.
  3. Set consent trigger: Under “Triggering”, choose “Fire tag upon consent.” This ensures that the tag only fires when the user interacts with your consent banner.
  4. Default consent state (optional): In the “Consent settings” section, set a default consent state (e.g., “Not configured”) for the tag before the user interacts with the banner.

Advanced mode implementation

  1. Enable consent overview: In GTM, go to Admin > Container Settings and enable “enable consent overview”.
  2. Configure tags: For each tag that requires consent, open the tag settings and navigate to “Triggering”.
  3. Set default consent state: In “Consent settings”, set a default state like “Analytics Storage: Anonymised”. This sends anonymised data for modelling purposes before consent.
  4. Update consent status: Create a separate tag to update user consent choices in GTM. This tag fires when the user interacts with the consent banner and uses the “Update Consent Settings” command to update consent states for relevant tags.

What are the benefits of Google Consent Mode for business owners?

Compliance with regulations

Google Consent Mode is designed to help website owners comply with privacy regulations. By adjusting the behaviour of Google’s services based on given consent, it ensures your website is only collecting personal data when the correct consent is given.

User trust

Being clear in your consent management process and having the correct processes implemented can enhance user trust and improve overall user experience.

Data-driven insights

Google Consent Mode V2 allows the use of anonymised data to gain insights, even when users don’t consent to cookies. This helps with basic measurements and understanding website performance without compromising privacy.

What are some negatives of Google Consent Mode?

Implementation complexity

Setting up Google Consent Mode can require technical knowledge and might be complex for those without it or without development experience. If you are unsure, it is best to seek guidance to ensure that Consent Mode is configured correctly.

Ad performance

For those who do not consent to personalised advertising, ads can become less effective, leading to lower conversion rates.

Maintenance and compliance

As privacy regulations continue to evolve, ensuring your consent processes are up-to-date and compliant will require ongoing attention. It’s important to stay vigilant on the latest laws.

Google Consent Mode V2 is a significant step forward in providing transparency, choice and control to users while allowing businesses to collect the insights they need to run effective marketing campaigns and monitor performance. However, setting it up can be complex unless you are using a Consent Management Platform and have some knowledge of using Google Tag Manager.

By adopting Google Consent Mode V2, businesses can ensure compliance with the latest privacy regulations, maintain user trust and continue to gather valuable data-driven insights in a privacy-conscious manner.

Need help implementing Google Consent Mode V2? 

Working alongside me, you will benefit from an SEO strategy that is bespoke and entirely tailored to your requirements. If you need help implementing Google Consent Mode V2 or any SEO services, feel free to reach out. Let’s ensure your business is fully compliant and optimised for success – contact me today to get started.