Google Consent Mode: Preparing for 2024

Cookies and Google Consent Mode — what is happening?

Like us, you may have recently been reading about the significant changes that are happening imminently to website tracking through cookies.

Cookies are small data files placed on a user’s device by a website they visit, which act as digital markers and hold information about the user for a specific time duration. These cookies function as a memory for the website, allowing personalisation, supporting online advertising, and providing data for analytical insights.

Starting early March 2024, Consent Mode V2 will become mandatory for all websites in the EEA, as per UK regulations and GDPR. Consent Mode v2 will require your website to explicitly request user consent for cookie-based activities: the clear choice being ‘Accept’ or ‘Deny’. You may also add ‘Accept (modify preferences)’, but the choice should include Deny (or a variation on this wording, such as ‘reject’, ‘no’ etc).

What does this mean for your website, tracking and advertising on Google Ads?

Your data will be affected by this, and any budget you assign to Google (whether through YouTube, Paid Search or Display) will be impacted. As it stands, opt-outs will impact data and will skew your ability to assess performance.

There are solutions — here is how you can prepare

Google themselves have offered a twofold solution: Basic and Advanced. Both honour the Consent Mode v2 requirements and will rely on data modelling — the key difference between advanced and basic is when the tag is fired.

Basic: The tag will be fired after a user accepts or denies cookie tracking.

  • If they accept: data will be treated as usual
  • If they deny: data will be modelled from that point on

Advanced: The tag starts from the website loading and will rely on modelling until the user accepts or denies.

The data modelling is based on on-site behaviour, type of device, time of day, and other non-identifying features, modelling data based on users who have accepted and who behave similarly (much like similar/lookalike audiences).

Although not ideal, this modelled data will mean that all data is not lost and can help support informed decision-making.

What’s next?

It’s crucial for us as an agency to keep an eye on performance and data after March. We’ll be adapting our paid search tactics from bid to audience strategies, ensuring we remain agile with our clients’ budgets and KPIs, aiming for the most efficient performance.

If you’d like to chat to one of our experts or would like support in the set-up, please get in touch — we’re always happy to chat.

We are not GDPR experts and are unable to give legal advice. If you have any questions relating to the privacy complications for your company we recommend the ICO website as a good starting point, or your own Data Officer.

Get in touch with the team