Start the Countdown to Remove Third Party Cookies

Brands have used cookies for years to track website users and collect data to improve user experiences or target the right audiences for digital ads.

Google is shaking things up for marketers with their announcement last year of removing third-party cookies. Due to the demand for greater privacy in user data and transparency on how that data is being used, Google aims to “build a more trustworthy and sustainable web.” 

What’s a cookie, and What Types of Cookies are There? 

Generally, cookies are the most common method of identifying users with a unique user tracking code. First-party cookies are stored by a website that a user visited. These cookies let website owners collect analytics data to help them provide a good user experience. 

Third-party cookies are generated by domains that are not the website that the user visited, mainly used for digital advertising purposes, like ad-retargeting. Have you ever felt like you are being watched when you visit a website and see their ad all over the place once you leave? That’s because you’ve been cookied!  

Marketers: Don’t panic, Just Test!

Google is only getting rid of third-party cookies, so you can still track user behavior with analytics tools. The marketers that target pinpointed specific audiences will be impacted the most, especially cross-channel remarketing. While Google Chrome has started rolling out the blockage of third-party cookies, you still have time to start experimenting with the cookies you have. 

It’s time to get creative, build relationships and think of value-exchange deals for your consumers to capture first-party data better. 

Example: “Like our content? Then sign up for our targeted display ads. Get 10% off if you sign up for email newsletters, etc.” 

The key is to offer users something in exchange for their data and entice them to keep returning to your site––and keep authenticating the data. Identity resolution is key. 

More Time for Testing (Changes Pushed to 2023) 

Developers and marketers alike can rejoice: the new changes by Google have been pushed out, with “Stage 1 starting in late 2022, and stage 2 starting mid-2023 (Search Engine Land).” 

Both communities are likely to spend the next year or two discussing the best path forward on platforms like GitHub and W3C. Google has also promised opportunities for feedback and transparency through the Chrome platform during this time. 

More from Search Engine Land:

“Many advertisers have rightfully been worried about what the rollout of Google’s privacy initiatives and the blocking of third-party cookies means for their metrics and their clients. This delay means that there is an opportunity for search marketers’ concerns to be heard by the tech giant and that there is more time to prepare for the major changes — including finding technology solutions that adjust when cookies are deprecated, figuring out a first-party data strategy, and pulling data from other sources.”

Just Put One Foot in Front of the Other 

It’s going to be rocky at the beginning for us marketers to figure out the new normal.

In the long run, however,  these changes from Google and others across the internet should prevent ad fraud and establish more trustworthy relationships between consumers and websites to capture data. 

Looking to get started in the cookie-less future, but not sure how to proceed? Get help from 3 Media Web today

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