The Google Consent Mode V2

Read Time 13 mins | 2024/18/1 | Written by: Liza Kruse

Google Consent Mode V2

Starting from March 2024, the use of Google Consent Mode Version 2 will become mandatory for website operators who use Google services such as Google Analytics or Google Ads. As a result, advertisers will need to obtain consent from their users for ad personalization. However, the increasing requirements for privacy could be more than just a regulation. In this article, you will learn everything about Google Consent Mode, the innovative features introduced with version 2, which target groups need to prepare for it, and what critical aspects need to be considered as well as how you can generate relevant competitive advantages.

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What is Google Consent Mode?

Google Consent Mode is a technological solution that transmits the data from your Consent Management Platform (CMP), also known as a cookie banner, to the Google services you use (e.g., Google Analytics). In this way, the mode acts as a sort of control center for your Google services. The data transmitted can help Google track the conversion rate of your website—even under limited privacy conditions. The information transferred from the cookie banner to Google includes details about analytics, advertising, personalization, and data sharing. Without this information, Google cannot adequately track user behavior or e-commerce activities or adjust offerings accordingly. To send these important details, the use of a Google-certified Consent Management Platform (CMP) plays a crucial role.

What can Google Consent Mode do?

Based on user consent, Google tags that are necessary for functions of Google Analytics, Google Ads, Floodlight, and Conversion Linker adapt their activity or limit their functions accordingly. Imagine someone visiting your website and making a decision about the use of advertising cookies through the cookie consent banner (01). Consent Mode enables your Google tags to recognize whether consent for the use of cookies for advertising purposes has been given on your site. If the decision is affirmative, conversion measurement proceeds as usual (02). However, if the user declines, data gaps that were previously used to attribute conversions occur. Google compensates for this with its conversion modeling (03), where artificial intelligence is used to analyze observable data and past trends. Based on the activities of users who gave their consent, the models predict the behavior of those who rejected cookies. This allows for a more detailed understanding of the efficiency of your advertising expenditures and the resulting outcomes.

Funktionsweise Google Consent Mode V2 Englisch

The Google Consent Mode:

Google-Consent-Mode-Blog

Quelle: Google Marketing Platform Blog 

What's new with Google Consent Mode V2?

Google Consent Mode Version 2 is an extension of the existing Google Consent Mode. This version introduces enhancements and new features aimed at further optimizing compliance with privacy regulations and allowing for more flexible management of user settings. As a result, Google has expanded the consent mode to include two additional parameters: 'ad_storage' and 'analytics_storage'.

New Google API Parameters: 

Google Parameter Englisch

New Features and Improvements in Google Consent Mode V2:

With the launch of Google's Consent Mode V2, website operators have been provided with an enhanced tool that allows them to control with even greater precision what data they can collect from their users and how this data may be processed (01), all based on the consents provided by the users. The latest version of Consent Mode considers valuable feedback from users and features optimized user guidance. This not only simplifies the process of granting or revoking consent but also contributes to increased acceptance and trust-building (02).

Thanks to Consent Mode V2, the various tags and scripts implemented on a website can now be controlled even more precisely (03). This means that the consents provided by users for individual tags—whether they are analytics or advertising tags—are considered individually, which allows for more targeted and user-friendly data management.

At the same time, this version of Consent Mode makes integrating with certified Consent Management Platforms and third-party tools easier, thereby making the setup process overall less complex and smoother (04). This is particularly beneficial for website operators who are keen on a hassle-free implementation of privacy requirements.

Finally, Google has also expanded the analytics functions within Consent Mode V2 to enable more precise conversion modeling (05), even in cases where users have not consented to the tracking of cookies. This puts marketing managers in a position to capture and analyze key metrics more accurately. Thus, with Consent Mode V2, Google provides a comprehensive tool that significantly improves the balance between privacy regulations and marketing interests.

Google Consent Mode V2 Englisch

How Google Consent Mode V2 works

The latest version of Google Consent Mode (V2) provides advanced technology for processing consent signals. Through the APIs that Google provides, Consent Mode V2 can effectively process different user consents. These consent signals are then crucial for determining whether and how Google services, such as Analytics or Ads, collect data.

A notable feature of Consent Mode V2 is adaptive tag adjustment. Google service tags can be configured to only fully activate when users have given their corresponding consent. This ensures that compliance with user preferences is maintained while simultaneously optimizing the functionality of Google tools.

For website operators who use Consent Management Platforms (CMPs), Consent Mode V2 offers seamless integration. These platforms facilitate user consent for different types of cookies and tracking tools through pop-ups or banners and then relay the decision to Consent Mode.

If users do not give permission, Consent Mode V2 resorts to an elegant fallback solution. This allows Google services to collect aggregated and anonymized data, which, while less detailed, ensures that basic information about user engagement on the website is not lost.

Finally, even without explicit consent for tracking, Consent Mode V2 relies on advanced conversion modeling algorithms. This allows advertisers to gain useful insights into the performance of their ad campaigns despite the lack of detailed tracking data.

Advantages of Google Consent Mode V2

Google Consent Mode V2 is an innovative tool that helps website operators act following privacy regulations such as the GDPR while simultaneously utilizing valuable data to optimize their online presence. With Consent Mode V2, Google has enhanced the way consents for data processing are captured and managed. Users now have the option to give their consent for different types of data processing in a differentiated manner, which ensures a more precise and respectful handling of user data.

Advantages at a glance: 

  • Granular Consent Options: Allows for detailed control of the different types of data that can be sent to Google, leading to improved consent management
  • Improved Compliance: Supports compliance with privacy regulations like the GDPR by helping advertisers respond more accurately to user consent
  • More Flexible Adjustment: Provides setting options for specific consent scenarios such as user data for advertising purposes or personalized advertising, allowing for customized adjustments
  • Reduced Risk of Data Loss: Correctly implemented consent signals reduce the likelihood that data processing is blocked, and valuable insights are lost
  • Improved Measurability: Even with limited data availability, Consent Mode V2 helps conduct relevant measurements and analyze the performance of advertising efforts

When will this change take effect?

Starting March 1, 2024, a significant change will come into effect for all website operators and companies that use Google services for measurement and analysis purposes. From this date, the use of Google Consent Mode Version 2 will become mandatory. This regulation aims to strengthen privacy and user consent management by ensuring that personal data is processed only with the explicit consent of the user.

To use Google Consent Mode V2 in compliance, it is necessary to integrate a Consent Management Platform (CMP) that is certified by Google. An example of such a Google-certified CMP is Usercentrics, which allows website operators to effectively meet privacy requirements and to obtain and manage user consent in a legally compliant manner.

In addition, the use of a server-side tag manager, such as Google's Server Tag Manager (S-GTM), is recommended, as otherwise, the visitor's IP address would be sent to Google without consent, which is incompatible with the GDPR.

Fakten und Voraussetzungen auf einem Blick: 

  • For everyone using Google services for measurement, Google Consent Mode V2 will become mandatory starting on March 1, 2024
  • Requirement: a Google-certified Consent Management Platform (CMP), for example CMP from Usercentrics
  • Requirement for basic tracking without consent: A correctly configured server-side tag manager

Who is affected?

All entities that utilize Google services for data measurement and analysis, as well as for advertising purposes, such as Google Analytics or Google Ads, are affected. Compliance with the provisions of Google Consent Mode V2 will thus become essential for the continuation of effective online marketing activities and for gaining user insights. Businesses must ensure that they obtain and manage user consent in a manner that complies with the new guidelines. This includes making necessary updates to their consent management practices and privacy policies following the GDPR and any other relevant data protection regulations.

What happens if I don't implement Google Consent Mode V2 in time?

If the requirements for Google Consent Mode V2 are not met, Google services used for data measurement, analysis, and advertisement placement may no longer be usable in the future. This could have significant consequences for businesses that rely on these tools for their online marketing strategies and website analytics. Non-compliance with the Consent Mode V2 guidelines could lead to the loss of access to valuable insights into user behavior, which in turn could hinder the optimization of user experience and conversion rates. Furthermore, advertisers could lose the ability to deliver targeted advertisements and to measure the efficiency of their advertising campaigns. To avoid such risks, website operators must take the implementation of the new requirements seriously, adapt their consent management processes accordingly, and stay continuously informed about the latest developments and best practices in privacy.

In conclusion, disregarding these guidelines can not only affect the use of the mentioned services but also carries the risk of fines and legal disputes. Website operators should therefore promptly review and, if necessary, update their privacy and consent strategies to ensure full compliance with the requirements of Google Consent Mode V2. Proactively engaging with the matter can also help to strengthen user trust in a brand by demonstrating a serious commitment to transparency and privacy obligations.

What you need to do to use Google Consent Mode V2

If you are already using a certified CMP + Server Tag Manager:

  • Make sure that your CMP passes all Consent Mode parameters, including the new parameters "ad_user_data" and "ads_personalisation" correctly to Google services
  • Update the Google Consent Mode code in the <head> - section of your website
  • Check the incoming and outgoing data of your Server Tag Manager to ensure that no personal data is collected or shared without consent

If you are using a non-certified CMP or do not yet have a Server Tag Manager in use: 

  • Please contact us for a non-binding initial consultation. We will discuss the possible options with you and support you in completing the migration before March

Server-side Tagging and Google Consent Mode V2

To meet the requirements of a privacy-focused digital world, many companies are combining Google Consent Mode V2 with server-side tagging. This combination allows for the centralization and control of data collection while simultaneously strengthening privacy protection. Here we explore how Consent Mode V2 and server-side tagging work together and the benefits that arise from this.

What is Server-Side Tagging?

Server-side tagging refers to the execution of tags (small snippets of code used for tracking and analyzing user behavior) on a server instead of directly in the user's web browser. This method provides greater control over how and what data is collected and passed on to analytics platforms or third parties.

Integration with Google Consent Mode V2: 

  1. Privacy and Control: Server-side tagging works hand in hand with Consent Mode V2 by controlling the collection and processing of data following user consent. It ensures that only data for which explicit consent has been given is captured

  2. Reduction of Browser Workload: By shifting tasks to the server, fewer scripts are loaded directly into the user's browser. This leads to faster webpage loading times and improved performance for the end-user

  3. Enhanced Privacy Protection: Server-side tagging reduces the risk of user data being intercepted or misused by third parties since data processing takes place at the server level, and user data is often transmitted in processed and anonymized forms

  4. Uniform Data Processing: With server-side tagging, data can be collected and consolidated through a centralized server point. This facilitates compliance with privacy regulations as fewer external sources are involved

-> Practical Implementation: 

For the technical setup, a server is established (often using a cloud service) where the tag management software operates. Tags are executed via this server, and the Consent Mode V2 signaling mechanism decides, based on user consent, which tags are activated.

How we can help you

We specialize in Consent Management and server-side tagging, providing businesses the opportunity to optimize their web analytics and marketing automation while ensuring compliance with privacy regulations. Server-side tagging allows for more efficient and secure processing of user data, leading to more accurate analytics and improved user experience. Additionally, we offer customized solutions in this context to meet the specific needs and goals of each client.

Value for Customers:

  • Data Protection and Compliance: We ensure that the implementation of server-side tagging adheres to current privacy regulations. Particularly with Google Consent Mode V2, we offer our clients a future-proof platform that proactively responds to changes in the privacy landscape and ensures compliance.

  • Improved Website Performance: By implementing server-side tagging, website or app loading times are reduced. This enhances the user experience, which can lead to higher conversion rates and better SEO rankings.

  • Adaptability: We assist clients in personalizing their data collection. Depending on user consent, various tags can be activated or deactivated, allowing great flexibility in meeting privacy requirements.

  • Centralized Tag Management: Centralizing tagging on the server provides an overview and control over data collection. Clients benefit from cleaner and more secure data processing as the number of intermediaries and potential security risks are reduced.

  • Advanced Data Analysis: Our server-side solutions allow for deeper and more detailed data analysis, as server-side tagging provides more reliable data sets. Clients gain valuable insights that can be used for informed business decisions.

  • Professional Guidance: We support you throughout the entire process, from initial consultation to implementation and ongoing support. We ensure that server-side tagging is seamlessly integrated into existing systems and operates efficiently.

  • Scalability: As our solutions are tailored to individual requirements, they can be easily scaled and adapted to business growth. Clients pay only for what they need, with the option to upgrade to larger server capacities or advanced functionalities as required.

 

Do not hesitate to arrange a non-binding initial consultation with us. We will examine whether your website meets privacy requirements and configure it accordingly. In addition, we will optimize your tracking measures for you.

Feel free to contact us if you have any questions:

Liza Kruse