About consent mode modelling

Starting April 2021, conversion modelling for consent mode will be available in Google Ads for users that meet all eligibility requirements. Modelled conversions will appear in the 'Conversions' column and be reflected in all downstream reports that use this data.

Understanding what happens after you implement consent mode

In order to be able to meet our rigorous confidence thresholds, you'll need to meet the following quality checks:

Once the above criteria are met, our models enter training periods. You can expect to gradually notice modelled conversions flow into your conversion reporting, and are likely to see gradual improvements in reported performance.

How does consent mode modelling work?

When a user doesn’t consent to ads cookies or analytics cookies, consent mode automatically adjusts the relevant Google tags’ behaviour to not read or write cookies for advertising or analytics purposes. Without cookies, advertisers experience a gap in their measurement and lose visibility into user paths on their site. They are no longer able to directly tie users' ad interactions to conversions.

Conversion modelling can help fill in blanks in media measurement at times when it’s not possible to observe the path between ad interactions and conversions. Conversion modelling uses machine learning to analyse observable data and historical trends, quantifying the relationship between consented and unconsented users. Then, using observable user journeys where users have consented to cookie usage, our models will assess attribution paths for the unconsented journeys. This creates a more complete and accurate view of advertising spend and outcomes – all while respecting user consent choices.

Modelled conversions through consent mode will be integrated directly in your Google Ads campaign reports with the same granularity as observed conversions. This data then makes its way into Google’s bidding tools so that you can be confident that your campaigns will be optimised based on a full view of your results.

The relationship between consent rates and modelled conversions

You should expect unconsented conversion rates to be significantly lower than consented conversion rates. Through extensive analysis, we've found that user conversion rates vary based on user consent status. Consented users are typically 2–5x more likely to convert than unconsented users. However, this varies widely depending on factors such as consent rates, industry and conversion type.

Infographic explaining how consent mode modeling works

The example above shows how consent rates and conversion rate drops/uplifts aren't equal, as unconsented users tend to convert less frequently. In this case, the advertiser has a consent rate of 50%, but only a 19% drop in conversions (12 out of 62) and an 18% conversion rate uplift from conversion modelling.

Note: Google is unable to observe whether an unconsented conversion previously had an ad interaction. Our models help fill in the path between ad interactions and conversion events, aiming to minimise over-prediction. As a result, some conversions that in reality occurred may not be accounted for, as they are unattributable to ad-clicks without cookies.

Reporting and bidding implications

Starting in April 2021, you’ll see consent modelling available for reporting and bidding in your Google Ads account. No further action is necessary to take advantage of consent mode modelling. Modelled conversions will appear in the 'Conversions' column. If you’re tracking values, modelled conversion values will also appear in the 'Conversion value' column. All reports that use conversion columns will be impacted by modelled conversions.

If you previously switched from Target-CPA or Target-ROAS bid strategies to Maximise conversions or Maximise conversion value bid strategies to control for the impact of consent changes, we recommended that you switch back to Target CPA or Target ROAS for optimised performance after the modelling launch. If you previously adjusted auto-bidding targets to mitigate the impact of consent changes, you should monitor spend to gradually adjust targets, to return to your previous ROI targets.

Making the most of consent mode modelling

When cookie consent is denied (ad_storage or analytics_storage=’denied’), we recommend that you use consent mode to send cookieless pings for more accurate modelling. Conversion modelling through consent mode is most accurate when these cookieless pings are fired. Learn more about how consent mode respects user privacy with cookieless pings when cookie consent is denied (ad_storage or analytics_storage=’denied’).

Note: Consent mode cookieless pings are never used to track individual users across apps or websites, build remarketing lists or generate user profiles.

Conversion modelling may still be available to advertisers blocking cookieless pings, but our systems will be unable to generate advertiser-specific calibration factors, which may impact modelling accuracy. Cookieless pings are critical to generate custom calibration factors for each advertiser.

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