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Google’s Removal of Third-Party Cookies in 2022: What you Need to Know 

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Did you know that over 23% of all websites use cookies? That equates to a staggering 391,000,000 sites that are utilizing these text files.

An inordinate number that continues to grow by the day.

Businesses, brands, companies, etc, have been using cookies to track website visitors for years. All in an effort to gather information, learn more about customer behaviour in order to target them more accurately, and create an all around better customer experience.

Cookies enable us to observe what potential prospects are looking at upon arriving on our website. However, big changes are coming to the way we make use of cookies as well as ad-tracking tools.

This is due to the fact that Google is attempting to gradually dispose of the third party cookie. And it’s coming sooner rather than later; Google plans on completing this phase-out process as soon as 2022 on Chrome browsers.

Originally set forth in February 2020, Google has expedited the proposal; claiming that their products will be fueled and generated by API’s which stops singular tracking while continuing to provide results for administrators and advertisers.

History of the Third-Party Cookie Phase-Out

In February of 2020, a blog post released by Google was published, reporting the phaseout as well as detailing the reasons for the oscillation. The change is being made to safeguard users asking for additional privacy.

The post from Google also added that the modifications will take place over the next two years to ensure the change won’t demolish or be overly disruptive to the online marketing industry.

Chrome is certainly not the first browser to eliminate the third-party cookie. However, it is the largest. Chrome accounts for over 56% of the browser market on the web. Additionally, it also makes up over half of the web traffic, worldwide.

5 Things You Need to Know About Google’s Cookie Phase-Out

1) Google is Not Banning all Cookies

If you’re struggling to come to grips with the idea of losing your cookie-generating advertising scheme — relax and rest easy.

For the time being, Google plans on only eliminating third party cookies. With this being the case, first party cookies that monitor the data of visitors to your own site are in the clear.

In a recent announcement, Google proclaimed that first party associations are “vital”. This entails that the first party information you gather from visitors to your site will remain unscathed on all browsers.

2) Many Advertisers Expected the Phase-Out

Governments the world over have been examining and putting an end to data privacy issues. For instance, back in October 2019, Europe’s top court decreed that users who are in the EU have to agree to analytic cookies when they log onto a site.

This entails that sites can’t depend on the opt-in any longer. In layman’s terms, when a site shows a cookie banner but the user still proceeds to the browser. Sites are unable to retrieve opt-in permission prior to any analytics or tracking cookies being put onto the browser.

As a result, if you have a site that only serves district or private users who are outside of the impacted areas, more than likely, you won’t be affected. But worldwide websites took a substantial hit in their reports due to the numbers from Google Analytics, that are dependent on cookies, beginning to emerge distortedly low.

For businesses and brands operating on an international scale — that were reliant on Google Analytics — this is a chilling reminder that information-propelled brands are susceptible to software-connected problems. Additionally, it also demonstrates how administration and other regulations can tremendously affect our plans.

In August of this year, Google announced that it was creating something referred to as a “Privacy Sandbox”. A blog post informed that the device would permit advertisers to proceed publishing and promulgating ads to target audiences without an inordinate proportion of data from users.

With the Privacy Sandbox as well as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) rulings, data tracking was greatly affected. As a result, it has become obvious to advertisers that third party cookies were in danger of governance.

The evidence was so conspicuous that software and publishing firms were congregating to the drawing boards; pondering solutions prior to the news becoming official.

Advertisers Aren’t Just Worried About Information

Marketers and advertisers are worried, questioning the reasons as to why Google has gone ahead with the changes related to the phase-out. In the absence of third-party cookie information on Chrome, you can still target ads. But certain ad software as well as third party platforms will suffer without Chrome support.

Google Will Continue Tracking People

Google will not be financing tech to track people. Instead, it will be investing in other avenues. For example, the company has seen prosperous marketing results from the development of Google Privacy Sandbox. And this is technology that tracks masses of people rather than a singular individual.

This Pivot Will Provide Opportunities for Modernization in Marketing

The end of something usually means the beginning of something else. And in the case of third-party cookies, this represents a fantastic opportunity for brands and organizations who are flexible and able to pivot.

Even though this modification is worrisome, Google as well as other browsers have declared their stance on user privacy. And as other privacy regulations begin to surface, this may be a chance to check other stronger marketing options in the case of another regime rendering one of your advertising strategies as out of date.

As an advertiser possessing a growth mentality, it’s healthy to question your processes in times such as these. Pondering if you’re too dependent upon technology and thinking of ways to be a little more self-sufficient will go a long way if more regulations come into effect.

Another system that can be improved is data usage — the way you use and process information. Information platforms are looking at alternative devices that assist marketers with gathering information in a fashion that makes full use of the third-party cookie.

How to Prep for Google’s Third Party Phase-Out

The best action steps to take as an advertiser — given the current situation — is to keep a pulse on what’s going on. Stay up to the minute on any news that’s connected to third-party cookies as well as anything related to data privacy moves.

If you happen to have a marketing plan that is based upon third-party cookies, it would be prudent of you to start considering other options. While staying up to date on any relevant news, it’s important to also be on the lookout for any software that can potentially help you make the change away from this cookie type.

For instance, you can gain a great deal from investigating Google’s Privacy Sandbox (something to keep in mind as a possible alternative).

Furthermore, you could resurrect previous tactics that you may have let fall by the wayside in the past. One possibility is contextual advertising. This will permit you to place PPC ads on sites ranking for related keywords.

And last but not least, try to safeguard your brand as much as you can against similar disruptions in the future. Invent ideas and strategies about how you can continue reaching your target market without the need for cookies. This will put your business in a much stronger position to deal with vulnerabilities related to technology.

How Marketers and Advertisers are Reacting

Many companies have complained, criticized, and have otherwise expressed a great deal of displeasure with Google’s adjustment. However, other companies have taken a more proactive approach to learn about the changes so that they can modify their actions accordingly.

A survey conducted by WhatsApp supplied information which divulged that:

  • 41% of advertisers think their most strenuous difficulty is not being able to monitor the correct information
  • 44% of advertisers think an increase in spending is required. They believe projections need to be at 5% to 25% in order to hit the same objectives for 2021
  • 23% of advertising authorities intend to invest in email marketing because of Google’s pivot

What’s Next?

Organizations, companies, businesses, etc, have been scrambling in an attempt to determine what the future will look like in regards to this upheaval. But is this really necessary? If we look at this objectively — from a standpoint of no emotional involvement — we can clearly see that a lot will change, but a lot will also remain the exact same.

Of course, the situation is going to be different depending on how much your business relies on third-party cookies. However, even if that is the case, the pivot can be made, and life (as well as business) can go on as per usual.

These changes will most certainly disrupt the online marketing space as old strategies will become obsolete. But this means new strategies will begin to appear, and that’s what we want to be in search of — those new strategies that will enable us to continue thriving.

Written by: Derek Kent

SEO Director

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