The Beginning of the End for Third-Party Cookies

While we touched on Google Core March Update in last week’s blog, and how it will affect content moving forward, what we didn’t get a chance to cover is how Google is also planning on axing third-party cookies. 

So, read on to get a quick breakdown of what cookies are, what Google is doing to them, and some strategies on how you can pivot and adapt to this latest move.

What Are Cookies and Why Do They Matter?

Cookies are vital for a personalized web experience, remembering login details, preferences, and shopping cart contents. Third-party cookies are used by advertisers to track users across various sites to display targeted ads based on browsing history and preferences. 

However, growing privacy concerns have sparked a backlash against third-party cookies, leading to a demand for more secure, privacy-focused tracking methods.

Google Says Bye-Bye to Third-Party Cookies on Chrome

Google has started its plan to eliminate third-party cookies on Chrome, affecting initially 1% of its users—roughly 30 million people. The company aims to extend this phase-out to all Chrome users, representing about 65% of the global browser market, by the third quarter of 2024. 

This is a significant move for digital advertisers, marketers, and privacy advocates, marking a shift towards improved online privacy.

The Advertising Industry’s Reluctance and Challenges

Even with a set timeline for the removal of third-party cookies, many advertisers still heavily depend on them for targeted advertising. Without a universally accepted alternative, advertisers face a fragmented landscape of potential solutions, making the transition difficult. Google’s Privacy Sandbox initiative aims to introduce privacy-centric tracking methods, but the advertising industry is still struggling to understand and implement these new technologies.

Strategies for Adapting to a Post-Cookie World

Advertisers should consider other data sources like first-party data, contextual targeting, and emerging technologies. Utilizing artificial intelligence and machine learning can analyze consumer behavior while respecting privacy, offering an alternative to cookie-based targeting. 

As the demise of third-party cookies is on the horizon, advertisers and marketers need to actively test new strategies and technologies to remain competitive in a post-cookie digital environment.

Looking to Tomorrow

Digital marketers can’t afford to ignore the March 2024 Google Core Update. As we’ve covered, this significant update not only proposes ending third-party cookies but is heavily focused on “Helpful Content,” aiming to feature content that users find genuinely valuable. This has been a direction Google has been going in for some time with previous updates and changes (think of their E-E-A-T update). Ignoring this and future Google updates and changes will mean getting buried in search results, or not being there at all.

Be sure to reach out to our team to learn about our white-label digital marketing services, and how we can help you and your clients.