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Everything You Need to Know to Implement Google Consent Mode v2 Properly

The implementation of Google Consent Mode version 2 has been mandatory in Europe since March. According to several analysts, similar measures are imminent on our side of the Atlantic. To better understand this new Google feature and prepare adequately, we spoke with Sacha Benadiba, Data Analyst at Click & Mortar. He takes the time to explain the new possibilities offered by the latest version of Consent Mode, and shares his tips for a smooth implementation process.

Sacha, what is Google Consent Mode v2, and what connection does it have with recent laws regarding cookie collection, such as Quebec’s Law 25?

Google Consent Mode version 2 aims to be more compliant with regulations like GDPR in Europe. The first version of Consent Mode was optional, but when implemented, it allowed Google to simulate data and gather information on anonymous users when they declined cookies. Depending on interpretations, this could be seen as more or less ethical. Hence this version 2 — they’re trying to put back in our hands the ability to collect data or not.


In concrete terms, how is Consent Mode v2 different from the first version?

Version 2 can go further in terms of data simulation. Previously, you simulated data to recover lost conversions due to rejected cookies. V2 allows you to go further — to do remarketing, for example.


Why is Consent Mode V2 being launched at this time?

Mostly because of pressures in Europe, where it is now mandatory to implement this version. Here, if we don’t implement v2, we risk losing our conversions in the European territory. But it’s only a matter of time before it becomes mandatory here as well.

From a practical standpoint, we’re moving towards a world where, no matter where you are on the planet, you can accept or reject cookies on a website. So, it’s best that Google knows what to do when someone rejects cookies.

There’s no deadline in Canada yet, but it won’t be long: we’re already receiving communications from Google encouraging us to implement v2 in Google Tag Manager.

How can the arrival of Google Consent Mode v2 affect a company’s digital marketing?

The impact remains similar to that of v1, in that we can simulate data quite easily, so to speak. We don’t need to create sophisticated models ourselves, as Google handles it.

Based on our observations, cookie laws can cause us to lose 20% of conversions in the best-case scenario. Thanks to Consent Mode and data simulation, we can recover this 20% of people who reject cookies upon entering a website.

The v2, on the other hand, is more focused on data estimation. Even with the basic version — which is equivalent to when we didn’t have Consent Mode with v1 — Google will apparently simulate some data. But it’s less precise than with the advanced version, obviously.


Let’s discuss this, actually. There are two versions of Consent Mode v2 – “Basic” and “Advanced.” Could you explain the characteristics of each?

The advanced mode should be seen as the old idea we had of Google Consent Mode — but with more features. As I mentioned, we can now even do remarketing, among other things.

In the basic version, Google will simulate data from scratch — so we don’t collect any data from the moment a user rejects cookies. In the advanced mode, we simulate data more precisely by collecting all the anonymous information we can when a person rejects cookies. This allows us to collect data more accurately.


So it’s very likely that anyone doing online marketing would be inclined to use the advanced mode, knowing that it allows for the collection of more precise data?

Indeed. However, the basic mode is much easier to implement: we’re talking about clicking on two or three buttons. The advanced version requires more expertise.

That being said, the results that the advanced mode can bring are very promising. In my opinion, these are efforts well worth investing in.


What’s important to know when implementing v2?

As mentioned, the basic mode is very straightforward to implement. For example, for our clients, we take care of it at no cost because it can be done quickly and easily.

For the advanced version, properly configuring it requires some expertise. This anonymous information collected from people who reject cookies, we need to tell Google how to collect it and what it’s even allowed to collect. One could say there are several levels of the advanced mode, in fact.

For instance, as a company, we might want our conversions to be precise — even if they’re simulated — but not want to do remarketing; we have the choice to configure our tag in Google Tag Manager to collect just the piece of information we want. And this information needs to be collected and sent to the right place, and we need to instruct each tag on how to react and what it can collect based on whether the user accepts or rejects cookies. So it’s a bit more technical.

That’s why we recommend to our clients to target their needs well. For example, if someone doesn’t want to do targeting, there’s no need to venture into advanced mode— it’ll save you configuration time and spare unnecessary information collection. But if we do want to explore it, then it might be a good idea to call in experts who understand our needs well.

For any questions regarding the implementation of Google Consent Mode v2, or if you need a hand defining your needs, get in touch!

Jules Sabourin

Author Jules Sabourin

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