Google Consent Mode: What Are the Steps to Implement It?

Published on 4 June 2024 - Updated on 25 June 2024

By Andréa Bensaïd

Founder of Eskimoz. I support companies of all sizes in their digital acquisition strategy.

Third-party cookies are already blocked on Safari, iOS, and Firefox. Google Chrome will gradually remove them as well, with a total stop announced for the first half of 2025. Google Consent Mode is a tool developed by Google to help websites comply with user privacy and consent requirements while still collecting essential data for analysis and advertising.  What is Google Consent Mode? How to implement it? And how to know if Consent Mode v2 is enabled?

What Is Google Consent Mode?

Google Consent Mode is an API (Application Programming Interface) designed by Google to allow websites to respect users’ choices regarding the use of their personal data for advertising and analytical tracking. It transmits user consent to Google’s servers, allowing the adjustment of tag behaviour concerning cookie creation and reading. This also includes informing Google how your visitors’ data can be used for advertising purposes like retargeting.

For example, if a user declines tracking, the tracking tags adjust their operation to avoid collecting personally identifiable data.

How Does Consent Mode Work?

When a user visits a website, they are presented with a banner or dialog box requesting their consent for the use of cookies and other tracking technologies. The website owner integrates Google Consent Mode via script tags in the website’s code, typically using Google Tag Manager to simplify management. These tags include consent-specific parameters, such as ad_storage (for advertising storage) and analytics_storage (for analytical storage).

If the user accepts the use of cookies, the tracking tags operate normally, allowing Google Ads and Google Analytics cookies to track user behaviour and report data to advertising tools.

If the user refuses or adjusts cookie settings, Consent Mode adapts its behaviour using ‘pings’ to monitor performance data without collecting personally identifiable information. There are both ‘basic’ and ‘advanced’ modes.

Basic or Advanced Consent Mode?

Advanced consent mode is the standard mode (and the way Google intends for it to be used). This means collecting data pings from users who have not given their consent. Basic consent mode means that consent mode is active on the page (or app), but Google tags cannot load and collect data until consent is granted.

The benefit of Consent Mode is the ability to model the behaviour of users who refuse tracking based on those who accept it. The feature relies on machine learning to analyse observed data and historical behaviours to predict the paths of non-consenting users and attribute conversions to them. 

Basic or Advanced Consent Mode?

Who Should Activate Consent Mode?

  • Website owners welcoming visitors from the European Union or other regions with data privacy laws (like GDPR in the EU or the ePrivacy Directive).
  • Companies using Google services such as Google Analytics 4, Google Ads, and Google Tag Manager.
  • Websites looking to improve user trust.

How to Activate Consent Mode?

To activate Consent Mode in your Google tags, you need a solution to manage user consent for cookies and other trackers via a consent banner on your website. This could be a Consent Management Platform (CMP) like CookieBot, Didomi, OneTrust, Axeptio, or a simpler plugin for your CMS. 

Configure your CMP or plugin to display a consent collection banner to visitors on your website. This banner should allow users to choose whether to accept or refuse different types of cookies (advertising, analytics, etc.).

If you use Google Tag Manager, you will need to integrate your CMP or plugin with GTM so that consent settings are correctly passed to Google tags. In Google Tag Manager, modify Google tags to respect users’ consent choices.

What Are the Impacts of Your Consent Mode Choice?

Remember, ‘data protection officer (DPO) approval is mandatory for the advanced mode’, warns Etienne Besème, Head of Analytics at Eskimoz.

What is Consent Mode v2?

It’s an update to Google’s Consent Mode. This new version includes two new consent parameters for online advertising:

  • ad_user_data: Determines if data can be shared with Google.
  • ad_personalization: Controls the use of personal data for personalised advertising (retargeting).

These new options allow for more detailed personalisation of advertising purposes. Thus, beyond consent for cookie placement, users can now specify if they want to share their data and their preference regarding retargeting.

Is Consent Mode v2 mandatory?

This version has been mandatory since March 6, 2024, if you use advertising services like Google Ads or Google Analytics 4.

What is the goal of Consent Mode v2?

Consent Mode v2 helps websites comply with key data protection laws such as GDPR and the Digital Markets Act (DMA). It allows businesses to configure how Google services interact with user data based on their consent.

How to implement Consent Mode v2?

To implement Consent Mode v2, most CMPs like CookieBot, Didomi, or Axeptio include a parameter directly in their solution, avoiding the need for manual configuration,’ advises Etienne Besème. Alternatively, you can manually integrate it via Google Tag Manager by adding a configuration tag. To do this, create a new tag by clicking on ‘New’ under the ‘Tags’ section. Choose the type ‘Custom HTML Tag’ and enter the following code.

Configure the triggers for this tag so that it runs as soon as possible on your website.

How to know if Consent Mode v2 is enabled?

Several tools exist to verify if Google Consent Mode v2 is correctly enabled on your website. Google Tag Assistant is a Chrome extension that helps confirm your Google tags are correctly set up. It checks if Google Consent Mode v2 is active, identifies consent settings, and shows which Google tags run or are blocked based on user consent. After installing and activating Google Tag Assistant, visit your website to get a detailed report on your Google tags and Consent Mode v2 status. 

Consent Mode Inspector is a Chrome extension developed by InfoTrust, allowing you to see if your website complies with tools like Google Ads or Google Analytics. Once installed, the extension shows in real-time if your website complies with Google Consent State (GCS). You can also track triggered tags, GCS codes, and their consent status.

What Happens if Consent Mode v2 Is Not Implemented?

If you do not activate Consent Mode v2, you will no longer benefit from Google advertising products’ features: you will not be able to use advanced conversion tracking, nor import conversions and audiences from Google Analytics 4 to Google Ads. This will impact the performance of your advertising campaigns. Furthermore, brand reputation non-compliance can also impact user trust and your brand’s reputation, as users are increasingly concerned about their privacy.


Consent Mode v2 is an essential tool for websites looking to comply with data privacy regulations while maintaining the effectiveness of their advertising campaigns. By adapting Google tags to users’ consent preferences, businesses can improve transparency and strengthen user trust. Activating and verifying this mode are essential to ensure respectful and effective data collection, thereby guaranteeing the sustainability of digital marketing strategies.

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