Cookie consent - impact on Google Analytics


Our website is required to comply with privacy and data protection law. This includes giving visitors control over the cookies which are put on their device when they visit our site.

The University has implemented a cookie consent solution from a partner called OneTrust. The banner allows visitors to choose which cookies to accept and decline. Their preferences are stored so they can be respected next time they visit.

This is initially being trailed on the main University website via the CMS prior to assessing the suitability as a recommended solution for other University-affiliated websites (ie those which site outside of the CMS).

OneTrust cookie consent solution

Cookies used on the University website

Impact on Google Analytics information

All University-affiliated websites that are dropping cookies on a visitor's device are required to capture and manage cookie consent and provide a cookie policy statement on their website.

Google Analytics, such as Universal Analytics, typically uses cookies to identify users and their actions and attributes and requires cookie consent. This means that if a visitor opts out of cookies entirely, they won't be tracked as a visitor at all through analytics.

Depending on how many visitors choose to opt in, this could cause a decrease in measurable website traffic and means that making comparisons with data from before the banner was implemented is less reliable.

We expect to see drops in reported traffic of anything between 40-90% as people reject all cookies, including performance cookies such as those used by Google Analytics and targeting cookies typically used in marketing campaigns.

Adding cookie consent is particularly important if you are running any marketing and targeting activity via cookies.

Google Analytics 4

The use of cookies as a measurement tool for both website traffic and marketing campaign performance is expected to decrease. The University will shortly be implementing Google Analytics 4 which does not rely on cookies for measurement and is privacy-centric by design.

If you are running Google Analytics on a University-affiliated website which sits outside the CMS, we recommend that you add Google Analytics 4 as soon as you are able. No date is confirmed for the retirement of older analytics, however it is expected by the end of 2022.

Administering a cookie consent solution and Google Analytics for websites sitting outside the CMS is not a supported service.

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If you have CMS questions or are stuck then get in touch and we'll do our best to help.