Google Consent Mode v2 – The When, Why and How

Author: Petra D.

Google Consent Mode v2: The Basics

Every Google Ads advertiser might have seen that warning in Google Ads to implement Google Consent Mode v2, which is also known as: Advanced Google Consent Mode or the New Google Consent Mode. The deadline was March 2024 and is now a requirement for all Google Ads accounts in order to be able to gather Remarketing lists, track conversions, and use Audiences in their Google Ads. This policy was set in accordance with the DMA Regulation (Digital Markets Act, 2022/1925,) of the EU. This means that if your business is located within the territory of the EU or you are targeting EU citizens with your Google Ads campaigns and you did not implement Advanced Google Consent Mode yet, please make sure this is a priority for your marketing teams.

What does Advanced Google Consent Mode mean for my business?

The Google Consent Mode v2 means that you should have a Google recommended CMP (Cookie Management Platform) solution installed on your website or a similar solution implemented in your mobile application, as suggested by Google. These CMPs have the capability to comply with the Advanced Google Consent Mode to ensure you have it properly set up. We strongly recommend only using Google recommended CMPs, rather than trying any kind of custom implementation or non-Google recommended 3rd parties.

CMPs make sure if a Website visitor accepts some type of cookie, introducing 2 new consent types (ad_user_data and ad_personalization) nex to the existing ones used for analytical or advertisement purposes (ad_storage, analytics_storage), then you can use cookies for Analytical or Advertisement purposes.

If the visitor does not accept cookies, then your tracking changes from cookies to pings to measure results. This means no cookies will be placed on the user’s device or browser, but you can still measure key actions happening on your website.

Google’s magic solution after Advanced Google Consent Mode is conversion modelling. Next to the measurable data (consented users) you will have modelled conversions for the users who did not consent. Thanks to that, you are able to recover valuable data for the non-consented users you would lose if Google Consent Mode v2 is not implemented.

Google Ads campaigns utilise conversion data for smart bidding and machine learning, so without the conversion data, the campaign performance would be negatively impacted. The more data, the better the campaign results.

Google Consent Mode v2 – Implementation Tips and Pitfalls

We strongly recommend not to try to implement consent mode manually for your website or app. This can result in long-term challenges and headaches trying to find and fix minor errors, and the online PPC community is full of examples of these pitfalls.

Choose the right CMP based on your needs, which will usually be based on the number of website urls and domains, as well as the number of language versions you have. It might also be important to choose the right Agency Partner to install it properly through GTM (Google Tag Manager) for you, if you don’t have expertise in these areas.

Attention to detail is essential. It might seem very simple to implement, but some special settings within your CMP can disrupt the whole measurement, just like some faulty GTM-specific settings or a wrong tag sequencing. Another important area to watch out for is the need for a lookup table, if you target regions with your ads that are outside the EU.

If you see the warning “A tag reads consent state before default consent state is set” in GTM, then your Google Consent Mode implementation is not right. This results in the loss of valuable data in your website Analytics and in your Google Ads campaigns, depending which tag or tag sequencing is set up incorrectly.

If your current cookie consent situation of your website is nonexistent or unclear, do not hesitate to purchase a CMP solution that suits your needs and let Google Consent Mode be implemented by a specialized agency to make sure it will do the job and work properly.

Making the complex digital landscape simple