Google Ads Consent Mode v2 will come into effect in March 2024. It’s part of a larger pivot towards privacy, data protection, and user consent in digital spaces. So, what’s it all about, and why should it matter to advertisers? Let’s dive in.
What is Google Ads Consent Mode v2?
Marketing and advertising teams have been hit by various user privacy changes over the last few years. Restrictions on third-party data have made ads less accurate, more expensive, and more challenging to measure.
Google Ads Consent Mode v2 is meant to be a compromise that respects user consent while allowing teams to gain insights into conversions. It works by letting businesses adjust how their Google Tags behave in accordance with their users’ consent status for ads and analytics.
What’s more, it also allows businesses to collect aggregated data for users who have not provided consent for their data to be used for ads and analytics.
What are the big changes?
Google Ads Consent Mode v2 is a far more sophisticated framework. In effect, it provides user privacy protection by demanding explicit user consent for data use and cookies. It aims to achieve these aims by adding two new parameters to the consent mode API. They are:
- ad_user_data: Confirms that the user consents to their data being used for advertising
- ad_personalization: Confirms that the user consents to their data being used for personalized advertising and remarketing
These new parameters are added to the original Consent Mode signals, which were:
- ad_storage: Consent for storing advertising cookies
- analytics_storage: Consent for storing analytics cookies
So, how will Google Ads Consent Mode v2 impact advertising, and who do these changes benefit?
Anyone who has been paying attention to the digital marketing and advertising space over the last few years might feel a sense of dread when a marketing platform announces new user privacy features.
After Apple’s iOS14 update and the effective dismantling of cookies and third-party data, it seems these announcements harm ad precision and drive-up customer acquisition costs (CAC).
So, to understand the effect of Consent Mode v2, we should first explore how it works.
Step 1: A user arrives at your website and opts in or out of consent by clicking your cookie banner.
Step 2: Consent Mode notes your user decision and communicates the decision to Google Tags
Step 3: Per your user choice, the data is collected and shared.
Step 4: Through the use of conversion modeling, Google predicts the behaviors of the users who did not consent to cookies. The result is that your ad measurement capabilities are improved without infringing on the user’s right to privacy.
So, Consent Mode v2 seems like a decent compromise between users and advertisers. As you well know, there is always a set of users who will not provide consent when they arrive at your website.
This situation is in line with GDPR regulations and other data privacy laws that give users control over how their data is used. While it is a good idea to offer users this choice and make them feel comfortable online, it does come at a cost to advertisers who, when denied this data, can’t get a full account of the effectiveness of their advertising or campaign performance.
Through the use of Machine Learning tools, Google can interpret and fill in these gaps. As a result, advertisers get two things from their analytics:
- Data from the users who have consented to cookies.
When added together, advertisers have a much fuller picture of campaign performance and conversions. Sure, the predicted data won’t be 100% accurate, and it won’t really work as well for websites with a low quantity of visitors because the data won’t have strict statistical significance.
However, right now, many teams are in the dark about users who rejected cookies. Any data is an improvement on nothing.
Do I have any choice about whether to use Consent Mode?
Well, much of that depends on where your target market lives. Consent Mode is part of Google’s EU user consent policy, so it was built with teams who advertise with the European Economic Area or the UK.
However, Google suggests this framework also applies to businesses that:
- Already have a cookie consent banner.
- Block tags that assist with measuring conversions.
So, while you do have a choice about whether you implement Consent Mode 2, the real question is, what will happen if you don’t use it?
If you run Google Ads or Google Analytics 4 without Consent Mode 2 within the UK or the European Economic Area, neither property will collect new user data. In effect, you’ll completely hobble your ability to generate reports, measure user actions, or remarket within the region. Moreover, without generating new data, your automated bidding won’t be accurate, which could lead to spiraling costs.
Amanda AI’s impact-driven effect model is based on real-world actions and not cookies. Our advertising robot makes millions of adjustments to your ads each day, ensuring that the right message gets to the right user.
Over the last few years, our solution has been helping teams who suffer from cookie opt-outs and user privacy restrictions to keep delivering accurate and cost-effective advertising. While we recommend that you implement Consent Mode v2, when used in conjunction with Amanda AI, you’ll have a distinct advantage over your peers.
Google continues its focus on user privacy with the introduction of Google Ads Consent Mode v2. It forces advertisers to gain explicit consent for cookies that help with advertising and remarketing within the UK and EEC. Failure to implement the framework will render your Google Ads ineffective by March 2024. Don’t get left behind.