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Knowledgebase Cookies and Integrations Google Consent Mode & Cookies


Google Consent Mode & Cookies

Last Updated: August 5, 2022

What is Google Consent Mode?

In September of 2020, Google introduced its Consent Mode solution, a beta feature to help advertisers operating in the European Economic Area and the United Kingdom bridge the gap between privacy and advertising. With the increase in online shopping behavior and privacy regulations, advertisers need to adjust their strategy in a way that effectively measures digital campaigns and conversions while respecting users’ privacy consent choices.

Essentially, Google Consent Mode is a solution that allows websites to adjust how Google tags behave based on the consent status of their users. Websites will be able to specify whether consent has been granted for analytics and/or ads cookies. Google’s tags will dynamically adapt, allowing only cookies for specified purposes to which the user has consented.

Services supported by Google Consent Mode:

  • Google Ads – Conversion Tracking & Re-marketing
  • Floodlight
  • Google Analytics
  • Gtag
  • Conversion Linker

It’s important to note that Google Consent Mode is for organizations that don’t utilize the IAB Europe’s Transparency and Consent Framework (TCF) v2.0. Google’s ad systems read and respect the Transparency Consent String, allowing organizations to comply with applicable regulations.


How Does Google Consent Mode Work?

Consent Mode is an API that determines how Google’s tags and scripts will behave on websites according to the user’s consent preferences. There are two new tag settings that allow advertisers to manage cookies for analytics and advertising purposes:

  1. analytics_storage
  2. ad_storage

These two settings should be used to customize Google tag behavior before and after users make their consent decisions. Helping advertisers measure conversion and gain insight while respecting user consent choices for ads cookies and analytics cookies.

Additionally, Google tags will automatically update if a user changes their consent settings at any time. Google tags can also be configured to specific geolocations – ensuring no cookies are placed before consent is granted as required by certain regulations in different regions, such as the EU.

Ad Management

A key priority for most successful advertisers is the ability to attribute conversions to the appropriate campaign while reflecting users’ consent choices for ad cookies. Ad tracking allows advertisers to better optimize campaign bids and reallocate budgets to the top performers.

The “ad_storage” tag setting will become accessible once Consent Mode is implemented. This setting controls cookie behavior for advertising purposes, including conversion measurement. So if a user denies consent for ads cookies, Google tags will not use cookies for advertising purposes.

However, Google Consent Mode enables websites to measure conversions related to a specific campaign on an aggregate level, rather than an individual level. Allowing websites to continue to track the performance of their marketing efforts without using personal data and complying with the GDPR.

Analytics Management

Consent Mode works with Google Analytics and provides advertisers with a new tag setting, “analytics_storage“, which controls analytics cookie usage.

If enabled, Google Analytics will collect data on an individual and granular level. If users don’t give consent to analytics cookies, websites can still receive aggerate and non-identifying information. Also, if users don’t consent to ad cookies, but do consent to analytics cookies, advertisers will still be able to measure site behavior and conversions.

In all cases, information gathered may include:

  • Timestamp
  • User Agent – whether users landed on your website
  • Referrer – where users came from
  • Indication of whether current or prior page in user’s navigation includes ad-click information in the URL.
  • Information about the consent state
  • Random number generated on each page load
  • Information about the consent platform used by the site owner

Conversion Modeling

Introduced in April 2021, the Conversion Modeling Feature helps fill in blanks in media measurement at times when it’s not possible to identify the path between ad interactions and conversions. Conversion modeling uses machine learning to analyze observable data and historical trends, quantifying the relationship between users who consent and users who don’t. Then, using observable journeys from users that have consented to cookie usage to fill in missing attribution paths.

This creates a more complete and accurate view of advertising spend while providing user consent choices. Conversion modeling is a good solution to uphold privacy as it doesn’t identify individual users.


Easily Implement Google Consent Mode with CookiePro

Google Consent Mode allows you to adjust how your Google tag behaves according to the consent given or not given by your website visitors through CookiePro. OneTrust, CookiePro’s parent company, worked with Google to test the new API ahead of release and validates the successful integration.

CookiePro helps organizations of all sizes leverage Google Consent Mode to provide their users with transparency into their users’ cookie consent choices while retaining ads and analytics information. CookiePro also helps with various regulations with geolocation capabilities that can be used to support different compliance requirements around the world.

Read the full technical guide here.


CookiePro is the Leading Cookie Compliance Tool

CookiePro is constantly monitoring new global guides and best practices and will continue to keep you updated on the latest news. Get started today to leverage powerful solutions and easily implement a cookie banner same-day.

  • Scan your website to identify and categorize cookies and tracking technologies on your website
  • Display a location-based cookie consent banner that auto-blocks cookies until the visitor opts-in or out of your cookie policy
  • Automatically generate a detailed list of cookies, categories, and descriptions in dynamic Cookie List based on your latest website scan
  • Tailor your consent banner to match your company’s brand including display, color, content, and language
  • Customize your consent approach from notice only, opt-out, implied, opt-in or customize your own
  • Build a centrally located, historical consent database to demonstrate compliance to regulators and auditors
  • Once the disclosure is embedded on your website, you can easily update the content from the CookiePro interface at any time.

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