This is a new API developed to offer more flexibility in how you can use Google products together with your cookie consent management platform. Based on your user’s decision to give consent to cookies or not, Consent Mode can be used to change how Google products behave. This allows you to measure conversions more effectively, while respecting your users’ consent choices for advertising cookies and analytics cookies.
This is still a beta feature, so it is not fully operational now, and subject to further updates or changes before it becomes officially out of beta. We do not know yet when it will be released as a “ready to use” feature.
What is it?
It allows you to build a mechanism where Google’s tags parse, react, and respond to the consent status of your site visitors.
Now, Google Tag Manager support for consent mode is a bit vague as we are supposed to use only the Gtag (Google Global Tag) API to make it work. Which is not exactly a standard way to implement Google Universal Analytics for example.
In a sense, most of the developers are already able to do the same mechanism by using some dataLayer variables to link the consent banner and the Google Tag Manager system (i.e., by using common cookie values). Google has decided to have Boolean values (I am a major fan of 1 or 0 values for example as it allows to store multiple consent under the same variable) and a naming convention. That will help the whole industry to find common ground and use similar setups.
What can go wrong then? Why should we wait for the out of beta?
At the moment there are only 2 types of consents provided with the Consent Mode feature: we are limited to “advertising storage” and “analytics storage”. It is quite limited as then we will soon ask ourselves why should we do with the UX consent, optimization, remarketing, essential tools?
When it comes to the granularity of how users should be able to decide how their data is collected and processed, we must be able to tailor our solution to ensure that it respects visitors' wishes.
On top of that, for now, only Google’s tags are supported and supposed to support the mechanism. It would be nice to see other tools from the global advertising ecosystem adhere to it. If you must pick up one of those consent solutions, it is better to pick up the one that is mostly used, like recommended by iAB for example.
So, for now, I would not recommend using it but waiting for at least 3 points:
- To wait for the out of the beta version, but of course, it is perfect timing to try it and get familiar with the solution.
- To have proper Google Tag Manager integration.
- To have more consent options.
Nevertheless, I do believe that the logic is there, and should work perfectly if the ads ecosystem adheres to it.