For years, third-party cookies have been the backbone of online marketing. They’ve helped businesses personalise their ads, track user behavior, and target specific audiences. But all good things must come to an end – Google (Chrome) has recently announced that it will be phasing out third-party cookies by 2024. This news has sparked panic among advertisers and marketers alike, but what does it really mean? In this article, we’ll dive deep into the world of third-party cookies and explore why they’re on their way out.
What are Third-Party Cookies?
They are small pieces of code that are placed on your web browser by websites you visit. These cookies allow businesses to track your online activity and use this information to serve you with relevant ads. The phase-out of cookies means that businesses will no longer be able to track your online activity and serve you with ads accordingly.
This change is being made, in order to protect user’s privacy, as cookies can also be used to collect sensitive information about users, without their knowledge or consent. As a result, many privacy advocates have long called for their elimination. With the phasing-out of third-party cookies, online users will have more control over their personal data.
The end of an era will have a big impact on businesses that rely on targeted advertising, which will force them to find new ways to collect data and monitor user behaviour.
What Will Happen?
Cookies have been used for years to track user behavior and thereby target ads. Google’s decision to phase out third-party cookies is a major victory for privacy advocates and will likely lead other browsers to follow suit, which could eventually signal the end of targeted online advertising, as we know it.
Here’s what you need to know about the end of third-party cookies and how it will affect online advertising.
Advertisers will no longer be able to track users across different websites, nor serve targeted ads based on user interests. Instead, they will need to find new ways. This could include making use of first-party data (like emails or customer lists), developing new tracking technologies, or partnering with other companies to access data.
This could lead to a decrease in ad revenues and an increase in costs to reach potential customers. In addition, first-party data will become even more important for businesses as they look to understand their customers better.
For users, the loss of third-party cookies means more privacy and control over their online data. However, it also means that some ads may be less relevant to them and that some websites may not deliver as well as they did before.
The phasing out of third-party cookies is a major change that will impact both businesses and users. It remains to be seen how exactly this change will play out, but it’s sure to have a big impact on the online landscape.
Alternatives to Third-Party Cookies
- First-party cookies – Set by the website you are visiting and can only be read by that website. They are not shared with any other websites or browsers.
- Web storage, is a way of storing data on your device that is separate from cookies. Web storage can be used for a variety of purposes, including tracking user preferences and storing information about your visit to a website.
- Fingerprinting – Involves tracking a user’s device characteristics, such as the type of browser they are using and their IP address. This information can then be used to create a unique profile for each user. However, fingerprinting is considered to be more invasive than third-party cookies and is currently being restricted by some browsers.
- Identity management systems, allow users to login to websites using their existing credentials from social media platforms, such as Facebook or Google. Once logged in, the website can access information about the user from these platforms.
The phasing out of third-party cookies will present many challenges to businesses, but it also presents opportunities for those who can pivot quickly and embrace more privacy-friendly approaches to digital marketing.
We trust we have provided valuable insights into how the digital landscape is changing and what companies need to do, to stay competitive in a post-third-party cookie world.
If your business relies heavily on third-party cookies to target your desired audience, we suggest looking into alternative targeting options as soon as possible. Contact us today for a revised digital marketing strategy, which will help you adapt to upcoming privacy changes.