Where would your digital marketing campaign be without cookies? Now, we’re not talking about a chocolate chip or oatmeal. We’re talking about those little bits of data websites use to track visitors.
Google rocked the digital marketing world when it announced that it would phase out third-party cookies on the Chrome browser, putting a bigger focus on first-party cookies. Since that first announcement, there have been several delays. And (for the time being, at least), it looks like third-party cookies will finally be gone sometime in 2024.
What does this mean for your digital marketing efforts? Well, it’ll be a good thing, as you’ll have more control over your data collection and better insight into what your visitors want. In the short term, though, you’ll need to prepare for the phase-out and what lies ahead in the great third-party-cookie-less future.
History of the Third-Party Cookie Phase-Out
The third-party cookie phase-out has been a long time coming. In January 2020, Google announced that it would be phasing out third-party cookies within two years, citing privacy concerns and a desire to create a more private web. This announcement followed similar moves by Apple and Mozilla, which had already implemented similar measures in their Safari and Firefox browsers. The phase-out of third-party cookies represents a significant shift in the digital advertising landscape, forcing marketers to rethink their approach to targeting and measurement.
When Is Google Removing Third-Party Cookies on Chrome?
Google is planning to remove support for third-party cookies on Chrome in 2024. However, this date is subject to change, and Google has stated that it will work with the industry to develop alternative solutions before phasing out third-party cookies completely. Whether Google decides to follow through with that deadline remains to be seen.
5 Things to Know About Google’s Cookie Phase-Out and Privacy Pivots
Before the great third-party cookie phase-out on Chrome, here’s what you need to know.
1. First Party Cookies Aren’t Affected
It’s important to distinguish between first-party and third-party cookies. First-party cookies are created by your website and stored on a visitor’s computer. They allow you to store cart information or remember a user’s log-in. Those aren’t going away.
Third-party cookies are placed on your website by another party, such as the company that serves ads on your pages or a social media network. Those are the cookies that will disappear.
2. Tracking Isn’t Disappearing
Once third-party cookies are gone, one means of tracking users will vanish. But that doesn’t mean that tracking is going to disappear completely. Google earns its bread and butter through tracking people’s activity online.
The shift means that Google’s taking a new approach to tracking, such as tracking groups of users rather than individuals.
3. Google Stands to Gain a Lot
Removing third-party cookies is great for Google and not so great for other ad platforms. When third-party cookies are no longer viable on Chrome, plenty of advertisers and marketers will have to shift from other platforms to Google Ads. That’ll translate into even more big bucks for the search engine giant.
4. The Writing’s Been on the Wall for a While
5. Creativity Is a Must
In the post-cookie world, creativity will be an even more valuable asset for a digital marketer. You’ll need to find ways to reach an audience and adjust your digital marketing strategy without relying on the technology of the old.
How to Prepare for Chrome’s Third-Party Phase-Out
You’ve got time to prepare for the big third-party cookie phase-out. But, the sooner you adapt to a cookieless world, the better.
The best thing you can do is get familiar with first-party cookies, stat. Ideally, you’ll increase the number of first-party cookies you collect, giving you greater insight into your visitors. Newsletter and interactive content let you engage with users and build a repository of first-party data.
Another thing to do is embrace contextual advertising. While third-party cookies let you put your ads in front of visitors based on their user profiles, contextual advertising places your ads in front of people based on relevant keywords. It’s not a one-for-one trade-off, but it’s close enough.
Reach Out to the Experts at ZGM!
The disappearance of third-party cookies may still be a year away. But the sooner you get ready for the big change, the better able you’ll be to reach customers and produce excellent digital marketing results. Our experts at Zero Gravity Marketing are well-prepared for this change and can assist you with any of your campaigns. Reach out to our team today!