Google AdSense has recently notified all its publishers to comply with the new EU user consent policy. The company published a blog revealing a new user consent policy and has emailed all publishers to comply with it as soon as possible.
This enforcement from Google AdSense, however, will compel nearly every Google AdSense publisher to adhere to the policy. Google has made changes to its own products and now urging its partners and publishers to comply with the policy.
If you too received that important email from Google AdSense earlier this week, don’t panic. There are simple solutions that you can implement within minutes to comply with the user consent policy.
EU user consent policy
First, what is the user consent policy anyway? As seen in the email sent to publishers below, it is a new policy about obtaining EU end-users consent that reflects regulatory and best practice guidance.
Website publishers using any form of cookies should clearly explain what cookies do (and why) and seek the consent of their EU-based users.
As Google notes, the policy reflects the requirements of European privacy laws.
As the above email suggests, this requires publishers to obtain EU end users’ consent to the storing and accessing of cookies and other information, and to the data collection, sharing, and usage that takes place when you use Google products.
Most commonly used Google Ads products by website publishers include Google AdSense, DoubleClick for Publishers and DoubleClick Ad Exchange. All publishers using these products will now need to find a way to comply with the policy.
As per Google Ads, the deadline to comply with the policy is by 30th September 2015. Google Adsense has also published EU consent policy FAQs to help you understand the policy.
So, for those of us who use WordPress and Google products such as AdSense, here’re some solutions on how we can comply with the consent policy.
Disclaimer: I am not providing any legal advice and it’s always recommended to consult a legal expert in case you have any queries related to complying with the legislation.
For WordPress websites, there are a few plugins that can be used to inform users about cookies and gain consent to comply with the EU cookie law regulations.
1. Cookie Law Info Plugin
Once installed and activated, the plugin adds a subtle banner in the header or footer header or footer displaying the compliance status regarding the EU Cookie Law.
The plugin also comes with advanced features such as making the cookie bar disappear after a few seconds or accepting cookies automatically on a scroll. The plugin description mentions that such an automatic feature is allowed under Italian law, but you might want to double-check or seek legal advice.
Here are some features of the Cookie Law Info plugin.
- Custom Styles – Fully customisable
- Auto-hide cookie bar after a few seconds
- Fully responsive cookie bar
- Cookie table to display used cookies on your website.
Once downloaded and installed, you can change the settings by navigating to Cookie Law Info > Cookie Law Settings
Cookie Law Info plugin is one of the most popular free plugins available on the plugins directory. More than 100K users have actively installed the plugin at the time of this writing.
The plugin author is also working on its premium version with upcoming features such as GeoIP included. That might be helpful to many cookie plugin users to just show the banner to EU visitors.
2. Cookie Notice Plugin by dFactory
The plugin comes with several features and has been translated into more than 15 languages. Publishers operating in different languages can easily benefit from the plugin. Here’re some features of the plugin.
- Customise the cookie message
- Redirect users to a specified page for more cookie information
- Set cookie expiry
- Option to accept cookies on scroll
- Option to set on scroll offset
- Option to refuse functional cookies
- Select the position of the cookie message box
- Animate the message box after the cookie is accepted
- Select buttons style from None, WordPress, and Bootstrap
- Set the text and bar background colours
- WPML and Polylang compatible
- .pot file for translations included
Once you have downloaded and installed the plugin, you can navigate to the settings page and configure the options that you want. This YouTube video makes it really easy to go through the settings of the Cookie notice plugin.
The plugin is frequently updated and has been actively installed by more than 90K users!
3. UK Cookie Consent Plugin
UK Cookie Consent is another simple plugin that allows you to display a notification bar on top of your page seeking consent from the end-user.
The notification bar also displays a link to the More info page that is generated automatically when you install the plugin. You can keep the page as it is or edit it further as per your requirements.
The information page pre-populated information on cookies and how to disable them can be pretty useful if you have no idea what information you should on such page.
Plugin authors note that the plugin provides you with the most effective way to comply with the UK interpretation of the EU regulations regarding the usage of website cookies. It’s also worth mentioning that this plugin doesn’t use the “explicit consent” approach and thus doesn’t disable cookies allowing users to continue browsing the website.
Once you have downloaded and installed the plugin, navigate to Settings > Cookie Consent to modify your settings.
The plugin is pretty popular, as more than 50K WordPress users have actively installed it.
4. Cookie Control Plugin
Cookie Control is yet another plugin for complying with cookie legislation. The plugin is developed by Civic UK and requires an API from their website to work on WordPress.
Civic UK has also developed the cookie control plugin for other CMS such as Drupal and Joomla. And thus the company claims Cookie Control to be the original, universal solution for compliance with cookie legislation.
The WordPress plugin, however, has some poor reviews on the plugin directory and has been actively installed by less than 10K users at the time of writing this.
The free version of the plugin includes configuration options for icon type and location, notification text, multiple consent models and SSL Support. There are other premium licenses available with several additional features.
Free plugins listed above fulfil most of the required features and so I don’t see any reason why you would be looking for premium ones for this task.
But if you still don’t like designs or other elements and are looking specifically for premium plugins, here’re a few plugins that I explored during my research.
5. Cookie Info WP Plugin
Cookie Info WP is one of the simplest premium plugins providing you with the Cookie law compliance script. All you have to do is just install and activate the plugin.
The plugin, however, can be customised to meet your needs. There are basic and advanced settings available for the plugin.
Cookie Info WP Plugin is the most popular premium plugin available on CodeCanyon for the Cookie law. Here are some of the features of the plugin.
- Responsive Design
- Easy to Customise
- Easy Install
- Multilingual Ready
I mainly liked its live demo feature which allows you to preview how the plugin’s cookie bar looks on your live website. See the live demo screenshot for WPism showing the cookie bar below.
6. CookieCuttr – EU Cookie Law Compliance Plugin
The plugin also adds advanced options such as disabling Google Analytics until the visitor has accepted cookies or disabling other cookie-using elements on the website with a friendly message.
CookieCuttr is also multilingual and includes .po/.mo files making it possible for localization into different languages.
The cookie bar looks clean and modern, but you might want to check out the live preview of the plugin to see if you really like the design.
What do you think of this new policy? Which plugin did you choose to use? Let me know in the comments below.