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Google consent mode - guide

On September 3rd 2020, Google introduced Consent Mode (beta). There were created two new settings (tags), which help advertisers to still measure conversions, while respecting user consent.

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What is Google consent mode?

Google consent mode is a new API (currently in beta), which helps you to adjust Google tags behaviour based on the consent status of your users.

Overall, it helps to run your website’s marketing and advertising, while respecting user consent choices.

Google consent mode was launched on September 3rd, 2020. It is another big step in the direction of a more privacy focused Internet. GCM builds a more sustainable future - where advertisement and data collection are still possible, but much more based on user consent.

So, it is a win-win: websites can still access some data and generate revenue and at the same time respect user privacy.

For example, with the help of Google Consent Mode, you can indicate whether consent was granted for Analytics and Ads cookies. If there is no consent, some basic data will still be passed to Google products, but ads will be much less targeted.

Products that support Google consent

Google Consent Mode glues many Google products together, and when consent is given or refused, that information is updated in these different products. Currently Google Consent Mode works with these products:

  • Google Ads
  • Floodlight
  • Google Analytics

How does Google Consent Mode work?

Google consent mode introduces two new tags:

  • analytics_storage
  • ad_storage

With the analytics_storage tag, if consent is given via GCM, Google Analytics will collect detailed analytical data. But even if there is no consent, Google Analytics will collect some basic measurements - for example, Timestamp, Referrer.

The ad_storage tag instructs Google Consent Mode to control the behaviour of marketing cookies. If consent is denied, advertisement will be less targeted.

There are three types of pings in Google Consent Mode.

  • Consent status pings (web only): these pings communicate the consent state (i.e. granted or denied) for each consent type (e.g. ad storage, analytics storage).
  • Conversion pings are sent to indicate that a conversion has occurred.
  • Google Analytics pings are sent on each page of a website where Google Analytics is implemented and upon events being logged.

What if consent is denied in Google Consent Mode?

Even if consent is denied, some data is still sent to Google:

Functional information (such as headers added passively by the browser):

  • Timestamp
  • User agent (web only)
  • Referrer

Aggregate / non-identifying information:

  • An indication for whether or not the current page or a prior page in the user's navigation on the site included ad-click information in the URL (e.g., GCLID / DCLID)
  • Boolean information about the consent state
  • Random number generated on each page load (web only)

Google Consent and consent management solutions

With help of consent management solution, you can collect user consent and pass it to Google Consent Mode API.

It is an easier approach, which doesn't require a lot of coding. You just install your consent solution and it will take care of Google Consent.

Collect up to 5000 free consents per month with Openli.

One way of keeping track of consents and the evidence you need is through a consent management solution that tracks your cookie consents.

With Openli you can collect and document consent for all cookies used on your site. Our solution detects which cookies you use and collects compliant consents for those. With Openli you get a full audit trail, so you can prove consents to a data authority if you need to.

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