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Google Consent Mode v2 update - everything you need to know

Alex Ashman
March 26, 2024
Google Consent Mode V2, which focuses on data processing consent, cookies and more, as shown by this Google logo atop a consent form and cookies

Google Consent Mode v2 is a critical update to data privacy regulations as of March 2024. This is in line with tighter privacy conventions from the updated Digital Markets Act (DMA) across the European Economic Area (EEA). To help keep your business site ahead of the change by the end of March 2024, we’ve outlined all you need to know about the update.

What is Google Consent Mode v2?

Google Consent Mode is an API that enables your site users’ cookie consent choices to be passed to Google tags, helping measure your digital advertising. When introduced in 2020, this enabled businesses and individuals to collect data without infringing on the privacy laws of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

With the new DMA coming into effect at the end of March 2024, which outlines data handling regulations by large online platforms (‘Gatekeepers’), Google is required to update Google Consent Mode to accommodate these new laws. 

Following the update, Google Consent Mode v2 will provide site users more consent options on how their data is handled on advertising platforms, such as through Google Ads and Google Analytics 4 (GA4). These will still need a Consent Management Platform (CMP) or cookie consent banner for acquiring users’ consent options, which use Google tags.

What are the changes in Google Consent Mode v2?

Google Consent Mode v2 introduces two new Google consent tags alongside the previous two available. This is because Consent Mode v2 requires explicit user consent for personalised advertisements and analytics. These can be set up in Google Tag Manager (GTM) and used in your CMP.

Version 1 tags:

Analytics_storage - asks the user to provide consent for their data to be used in analytics

Ad_storage - asks the user to provide consent for their data to be used for advertising

Version 2 additions:

Ad_user_data - asks the user to consent to their personal data being used for advertising

Ad_personalization - asks the user to consent to their data being used for remarketing

Your site users can then provide their data consent options, represented through each tag. These are then sent to Google platforms. What happens next will be dependent on if you have ‘basic’ or ‘advanced’ implementation options set up.

Basic - blocks all tags with delivery rules in GTM and enables them to trigger only when the correct consent category has been granted. The result is no information is shared with  Google platforms if the visitor does not accept cookies.

Advanced - all trigger rules are removed in GTM, allowing tags to deliver, tweaking their behaviour depending on the consent level for each tag setting. When consent isn’t given, cookieless pings will be used. Google uses these to estimate the behaviour of non-consented visitors to calculate conversions.

How do I benefit from Google Consent Mode v2?

The main benefit of Google Consent Mode v2 is that you’ll be able to capture data for new EEA users, otherwise you’ll receive significantly limited data that could impact the accuracy of your advertising platforms.

However, as Google Consent Mode v2 can estimate user behaviour with advanced implementation, this can also provide some data where previously there would have been none. To do this, GCM2 uses AI for its conversion modelling approach to predict the actions of users who don’t provide data consent. This can help fill in the gaps for conversion data analysis.

Finally, GM2 will benefit you by making your website compliant with DMA regulations and GDPR. 

What do I need to do to implement Google Consent Mode v2?

If you haven’t already, make sure you have a consent banner on your website. This is essential for user consent using tags set up in Google Tag Manager. The options can then be managed by an integrated Consent Management Platform. 

There are plenty of CMPs out there certified by Google. We use CookieYes, which has enabled GCM by default for all users. However, other platforms include Commanders Act, Complianz, ConsentManager and plenty more CMPs.

When does Google Consent Mode v2 come into effect?

Remember, Google Consent Mode v2 needs to be implemented by 31st March 2024, before the new DMA regulations.

We can help your eCommerce site with Google Consent Mode v2 or in other areas of website development. If you’re interested in what our eCommerce development agency has to offer, then contact us today for more information.

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