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Understanding Google’s Consent Mode

If you have recently received an email about consent mode This blog is designed to demystify consent mode, while this is not an in-depth article of the legalities of consent management and is purely on Google’s Consent management v2, this article will be of interest if you fit into one of the following three categories:

  • Google Ads users: If you rely on these for conversion tracking for leads and or Revenue.
  • GA4 users: If Google Analytics is your primary tool for tracking conversions, 
  • Your Website operates in the UK or European Economic Area: To help you comply with privacy regulations in these regions

Understanding Consent Mode:

Consent Mode simply is a process by which you communicate your users preferences regarding cookies or website/app permissions to Google. You may notice this as prevalent as an ‘accept cookies’ pop-up, or accepting permissions in an app.

Consent Mode in the Wild

When users engage with your cookie banner or widget, Consent Mode dynamically adjusts the operations of Google Analytics, Ads, and other components. For instance, when a user clicks on an ad and subsequently takes action, Google receives vital information without storing any personal data. This is a privacy-conscious approach to adapt to a cookieless privacy-focused world while still obtaining valuable insights. If no user action occurs, no data is shared, safeguarding user privacy.

google consent mode

The example above shows how consent rates and conversion rate drops/uplifts aren’t equal, as unconsented users tend to convert less frequently.

Noteworthy Advantages of Consent Mode:

  1. Lost Conversions Modelling:

Consent Mode proves invaluable in estimating and comprehending conversions that might be lost due to user consent constraints. This insight becomes instrumental in refining marketing strategies.

  1. Simplified Compliance:

The tool simplifies compliance with privacy regulations, particularly when using Google Analytics alongside other tools. This streamlining of compliance processes enhances data governance practices.

  1. Optional Functions:

Even if explicit consent for Analytics isn’t mandated, Consent Mode can enhance the user experience by facilitating optional features like remarketing in Google Analytics before obtaining user consent.

  1. Cookieless World Preparation:

For setups necessitating consent for Analytics, Consent Mode prepares your system for Google Analytics’ cookieless mode, showcasing its forward-looking approach and adaptability to evolving privacy standards.

  1. Future Privacy Features:

Contrary to being a stopgap solution, Consent Mode aligns with Google Analytics’ future privacy initiatives. Expect upcoming features that enable the tracking of user behaviour without relying on cookies such as previous iterations of traditional Analytics (Universal Analytics).

Prospects for GA4 Users:

Looking ahead, GA4 users can anticipate the capability to comprehend user behaviour even in the absence of cookie consent. This forthcoming capability underscores Consent Mode’s evolution towards more sophisticated and adaptive functionality.


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