Google AdSense does not see a certified CMP

Updated: September 19, 2023

A few days ago, I received an email from Google Adsense, urging me to take action. What about? Well, the email said I need to implement a Google-certified Consent Management Platform (CMP) to comply with GDPR. More specifically, the email said: "It appears you have not yet adopted a Google-certified CMP to collect consent from your users, which means your site(s) will stop showing AdSense ads and receiving revenue on EEA and UK traffic after January 16, 2024."

This is funny and rather sad because I have been using a CMP since around 2018, when I implemented GDPR-compliant changes to my websites. In fact, if you delete your cookies and such and visit Dedoimedo, you will see a popup on the right side of your screen, asking for your CONSENT to store cookies and such. Not only that, I have been using a CMP by CIVIC, which is on the list of Google-certified CMPs. Full GDPR, CCPA, IAB TCF v2.0 compliance. So it would seem we have a problem.

Dedoimedo cookie control prompt

As you can see, you get a nice and elegant prompt - IAB TCF v2.0 compliant. Used Edge, to be edgy.

A bit more on this bogus issue

Well, Google being Google, there's not much you can do really. Google Adsense gives me only two choices: use their CMP popup (with some customizations possible), or not serve ads in the EEA and UK from the set date above. Now, I wouldn't really have an issue using the Adsense CMP because it ain't ugly.

Customized CMP message

But ... it only covers Adsense and does not take into account other services, other tags and such. With the CIVIC tool, I can also control Google Analytics, ShareThis social media buttons, and then some. Furthermore, I have been using this tool for five years now, I'm quite happy with it, and I see no reason to abandon it, even though it costs more than (free) Adsense CMP. The tool I use, CIVIC Cookie Control, also has support for LGPD, multi-site use, and then some. I also tested the latest available version, 9.9, and checked whether both Google Adsense and Google Analytics see it, to no avail.

So what am I going to do?

Nothing. Not a damn thing. One, I do not want to have TWO popups, that's silly and annoying for my readers. Two, this is Google's problem, not mine. I don't work for Google, and I don't want to go about fixing their bugs really. Why should I now waste time and energy doing something I've already done?

So if Google doesn't fix its own CMP-recognition methods, on January 16, 2024, I will choose not to serve ads in the affected regions. Sure, I will lose some money, but Google will lose more money. It's in their best interest for my site to serve ads.

In general, I don't care. It's not like I'm making big money from Adsense anyway. Over the years, the profits from ads (for me) got lower and lower and lower, and NOT in any direct correlation to website traffic in any way. In other words, in the past, I was able to see some decent change as a result of ads being shown. Today, even with the same amount of traffic, all other parameters being equal, the profits are tiny. From around 2013 or so, when the "mobile" became the thing, it all went downhill.

But then, my audience has never been ad-prone, even in the early days. In the best of circumstances, only maybe a third or a half of the readers would allow ads (or analytics for that matter), and my click rate was always one tenth of the market average, which makes sense for the tech-savvy people who read my site. So there won't be any miracles here.

And that's about it. I will choose a somewhat schadenfreude course of action here. I will make less money, but the delta isn't and won't be worth my effort anyway, and I will be content with the knowledge that if the ad platform provider cannot sensibly audit my site, then they shouldn't profit from it.


Sometimes, having a change forced upon you is a good thing. I'd probably ignore the ad side of the website business for most likely ever if Google didn't decide to introduce these changes. Then, all of a sudden, you realize that some things simply have no real value, and you remove them. Like a box of clothes you can't really throw away, so you put them in storage, and then find them seven years later and finally decide that you really don't need them after all. I also need to figure out what to do with Google Analytics. That's another pointless, breaking change, going from Universal Analytics to Google Analytics 4. Whatever.

With the Adsense change here, I'm now contemplating completely stripping all third-party scriptology from Dedoimedo, and making it 100% pure HTML/CSS site. Well, it's always been that, I just added some extras like analytics and ads and search, which I thought would bring value. Now though, it seems like a good chance to do some thorough housecleaning. No big rush, but maybe in January. That would also speed up the site, because Google also flagged the site loading times as less than stellar - due to its own scripts, as it happens. Core Web Vitals, page loading, whatever, we can win on all fronts, it seems. There you go. Let's see how this story evolves. Hint, I have noticed I'm not the only with the issue (just search the Adsense boards). Splendid. Anyway, enough talking. See you around, fellas.