Google AdSense, the advertising service that was started in 2003 and that has over 40 million users, is currently sending emails to its publishers asking them to adapt their websites to the new policies before September 30th. This article will show you how you can make your website EU-compliant with just a few clicks.
(Please note that this is not a legal instruction!)
Starting September 30th, Google will introduce a new user consent policy and thus comply with the
“You must use commercially reasonable efforts to ensure that an end user is provided with clear and comprehensive information about, and consents to, the storing and accessing of cookies or other information on the end user’s device where such activity occurs in connection with a product to which this policy applies.”
In order to sensitize webmasters in this regard, Google is currently sending emails to
Figure 1: Google informing AdSense Publishers about the change of policies
Google has in the past shown that data protection is taken very seriously. Publishers who will not have implemented the EU cookie directive by September 30th risk having their AdSense account deactivated.
What has to be done?
Google itself has not offered its own solution to prevent your account from being blocked, but has provided the http://www.cookiechoices.org/intl/de/ page which has useful tips and a few turnkey solutions from third-party companies.
If you would rather create your own solution, you should take the following points into account:
- Appropriate notification text
- “Accept” button
- “Additional information” link
- Corresponding information in the imprint
Anyone who prefers a simple and quick solution and also uses WordPress can simply use one of the many available plugins.
Figure 2: Short overview of the EU cookie plugins for WordPress
I have tested several plugins and would like to use the Simple Cookie Notification Bar Plugin to show how one can integrate the new EU guideline.
After installation of the plugin, you will find a new simple cookie bar in settings. You can use this to view the content and edit the appearance of the information box.
Figure 3: Settings of the simple cookie notification bar plugin
Appropriate Notification Text
Figure 4: Google’s sample text
Additional Information Link
In order for users to be able to further inform themselves, Google recommends that one implements an additional link that, for example, points to data protection rules.
Check the functionality
Once the notification has been correctly implemented, it is advisable to open a new browser window in incognito mode. This is basically cookie-free and will enable you to see your page just like a first-time visitor.
Figure 5: Open a private window in Firefox
If you now visit your website, you should see your newly implemented cookie notification. First test the additional information link and then click on “OK”. If you now continue surfing on your website, no more notifications should be displayed.
Figure 6: EU cookie directive successfully implemented
Alternatively, you can also use the Google Search Console and render the URL. To do this, log in to the Google Search Console (previously called Google Webmaster Tools) and click on Crawling >> Fetch as Google. In the next step, enter the URL (1) and select Fetch and render (2).
Figure 7: Render URL in the Search Console
Figure 8: Test the website in the Google Search Console
The new Google directive also applies to mobile devices. You should therefore test the URL on your smartphone or in the Search Console as well. To do this, simply click on Fetch as Google and select Smartphone from the dropdown menu.
Figure 9: Visit using Google Mobile
After Google has processed the URL, you can see if the notification on the cookie directive is also displayed on mobile devices.
Figure 10: The EU cookie directive must also be observed on mobile devices
There is still a little more time before the new EU cookie directive takes effect. However, even though the implementation is very easy, and can be performed through WordPress with just a few clicks, one should still not underestimate the required lead time, especially for large websites.
Although Google has not provided concrete information about what will happen to websites that will not have implemented the guideline by September 30th, 2015, everyone should still avoid having to find out by risking their own website.
Below are several useful links you can include in your email to IT: