Google Consent Mode v2: What is changing for your website, analytics, and marketing?

March 5th, 2024
Google Consent Mode v2

If you are confused by terms like cookie bar, Google Consent Mode v2 or Digital Markets Act, then read on. We’ll help you navigate them and explain why they are important for your website.

First, the good news: Webnode has already implemented the new technical parameters of Google Consent Mode v2, so you do not need to do anything. However, we recommend that you check the settings of these tools in your website interface by following the instructions below.

What is the Digital Markets Act?

The Digital Markets Act (DMA) is the European law that came into force in 2022 and regulates the protection of user privacy in the online environment. At the same time, it is one of the legal documents that regulates the powers of the largest digital companies. It prevents the big online platforms, the so-called gatekeepers (Google, Facebook, Amazon, etc.), from abusing their market power and empowers end users to decide how their personal data is used.

A few examples of the DMA’s key obligations and regulations:

  • Prohibition on combining data: Gatekeepers may not combine data collected from different services under their ownership. For example, Meta must not combine data from Facebook and WhatsApp.
  • User protection: Gatekeepers must protect users of their platforms, including advertisers and publishers. This includes privacy, transparency, and fair treatment.
  • Prohibition of favoring own products: Gatekeepers must not favor their own products or services to the detriment of others. For example, Google cannot favor Google products in its search engine.

What is Google Consent Mode v2?

Google Consent Mode v2 is an updated version of the tool that responds to the legislative changes to data protection resulting from the DMA described above. It helps sites communicate to Google how individual website visitors have consented to the use of cookies and the tracking and sharing of personal data. This gives end users more control over what personal data they share.

What is the deadline to implement Google Consent Mode v2?

The deadline is March 6, 2024. After this date, Google will start requiring stricter cookie bar data collection rules in its services, such as Google Analytics 4 and Google Ads. This change will ensure that Google’s services comply with current regulations governing the processing of personal data in digital marketing.

Changes in practice:

  •  End users will have more control over how Google uses their data.
  •  Advertisers will be required to obtain cookie consent in a more transparent manner.
  •  Google Analytics 4 and Google Ads will work with these new rules in mind.

Do you need a cookie bar to use Consent Mode v2?

Yes. The cookie bar and Google Consent Mode v2 go hand-in-hand. The cookie bar serves as an interface to obtain consent from users to store cookies and track their activity on the website. Google Consent Mode v2 then passes this consent to individual Google services such as Google Analytics 4 and Google Ads.

In this way, the cookie bar communicates with website visitors and allows them to control the processing of their own personal information. Consent Mode v2 is a technical solution that communicates with Google in the background and passes on information about the user’s decision from the cookie bar.

What are the new key differences of Google Consent Mode v2?

Google Consent Mode v2 gives your website visitors more control over how Google collects and uses personal data from end users. The main difference between the old and new versions of the consent mode is the addition of two new consent parameters:

  • ad_user_data: controls whether non-anonymized data can be used in advertising systems (e.g., Google Ads).
  • ad_personalization: controls whether user data can be collected from remarketing audiences.

The previous parameters (analytics_storage and ad_storage) were only about data collection, while the new parameters are about how to use and share data.

Google also offers two modes to choose from:

1. Basic Mode

  •  Allows users to simply select “yes” or “no” to consent to data collection.  
  • If you opt out, Google will not collect the information.

2. Advanced Mode

  • A detailed setting that allows users to control what information Google can collect about end users.
  •  Site visitors have the ability to control what information Google uses and for what purpose.

It is recommended to use Advanced Mode for better accuracy of your remarketing campaigns.

How to implement Google Consent Mode v2 on a website?

Webnode has already set up both parameters for proper data collection for Google services (Google Analytics, Google Ads, etc.). You can easily check the settings in the editor interface.

Website settings

If you are looking directly at the site code, look for the following parameters:  

  • ad_user_data 
  • ad_personalization
google consent mode parameters

You can also adjust the visual side of the cookie bar to give your visitors full control over the data you collect about them and may send to Google services such as Google Ads or Google Analytics 4.

Cookie bar settings

Click on Advanced Cookie Settings.

Cookie bar management

Here, you can customize your cookie bar settings.

Advanced cookie settings

The cookie bar design may look like this:

Cookie bar design

What if a website does not have Google Consent Mode v2 implemented?

Google may restrict certain features of its online marketing tools if you do not comply with the legal requirements.  

  • Google Remarketing is broken: Without consent, users cannot be included in remarketing audiences. This means you can’t show them ads based on their past web behavior. 
  • Disabling conversion modeling in Google Ads: Conversion modeling allows you to calculate conversions from users who have not consented to cookies. Without Consent Mode V2, this feature will not work properly. 

Google does not explicitly state what other features may be restricted. However, there is a risk that not implementing Google Consent Mode V2 may affect other data and the functioning of Google Analytics 4 and Google Ads.

Implementing Google Consent Mode V2 is a necessary change to ensure that your marketing activities based on the collection of user data function properly. Without Google Consent Mode V2, this data will be significantly limited and skewed, affecting the accuracy of some of the features of Google’s analytics tools (particularly GA4 and Google Ads).