Ever wondered how ads for that product you searched for keep showing up, even when you’re browsing for something completely different? That’s a result of third-party cookies on Google. The technology has been around for quite some time and has positively impacted business sales across the world. It has also had its share of criticism from consumers, which triggered Google’s decision to revamp its services accordingly. Here is a look at Google Chrome’s third-party cookies phase-out and its impact on businesses.
The Main Advantage to Both Businesses and Consumers
There is no debate about the usefulness of third-party cookies to businesses because their products get seen by more people who are interested in them, generating more sales. The most significant advantage for consumers lies along the same lines. The ads that appear are relevant to what they are looking to buy, which saves them time and provides good options to choose from. Since consumers will be shown ads anyway, it makes sense to target them with ads for things they actually want.
Through third-party cookies on Chrome, marketers collect a lot of personalized data, which has faced substantial criticism from consumers. 81% of users believe that the risks of this level of data collection outweigh its benefits. Users even fear that malicious software could be leveraged to collect personal information, which would cause a damaging invasion of privacy.
There is also pressure from some governments and regulators to stop this kind of data collection. This push is catalyzing a much-needed transition to better methodologies of targeted ads.
Browsers such as Apple’s Safari and Mozilla Firefox have already disabled cookies by default. Google has been somewhat slower to take action, with some alleging that the company was deliberately delaying its reaction because up to 90% of their revenue comes from ads. However, Google has recently joined the bandwagon.
The Changes To Be Made by Google
Google recently announced that it would embark on a phased move from third-party cookies on Chrome to a more privacy-prioritizing approach.
As the main concern of third-party cookies for Google has been individual information collection, Google tries to address this by leveraging aggregation. This is to be achieved by introducing Federated Learning of Cohorts (FLoC), which the company says will prioritize privacy.
The way this works is that Google will collect browsing data and habits and group them into pools or cohorts. As opposed to how third-party cookies have been operating on Chrome, advertisers will target these pools, thereby factoring anonymity to a certain level. Google’s product manager noted in a blog post that the new approach would hide individual data in the crowd and leverage on-device tweaks to maintain the privacy of web history on Chrome.
Google Chrome boasts about 64% of the market share, but this would likely have eventually reduced considerably had they not reacted to pressure. Phasing out third-party cookies for Chrome is in line with the measures taken by other companies in recent years. Traditionally, browsers didn’t make it easy for users to figure out how to disable third-party cookies, but competitors like Safari changed this. An update on iOS 14 included a functionality known as app tracking transparency, which records and shares information about how an individual’s data is being collected and tracked. Other industry powerhouses like Facebook had already noted that businesses might be forced to turn to other revenue streaming alternatives, citing privacy concerns. Like its competitors, Google’s decision to phase out third-party cookies is a wise response to the pressures of both consumers and governments/regulatory bodies, and it’s a crucial measure to remain at the top of their game.
What the Transition Means for Businesses
Marketers use third-party cookies from Chrome to come up with habitual profiles that streamline targeting in terms of relevancy. There is no denying that the change could heavily impact marketers who were heavily reliant on Google third-party cookies, but there’s no need for inordinate worry.
Google won’t be doing away with tracking entirely, so the workability might still be very similar, although marketers need to keep a sharp eye on their business model and prepare adequately for the phaseout. At the very least, websites may require some sort of updating, and marketers will need to find newer ways to establish relationships with platforms and potential partners. The good news is that with many industry heavyweights trying to find alternatives to third-party cookies on Chrome, a lot of work is still to come on all sides.
Alternatives for Businesses
Google’s phase-out plans will likely mean less accuracy for targeted ads. Here are a few ways in which prudent marketers can make the most of the transition.
Concentrate More on SEO
The effectiveness of paid ads will likely reduce, at least in the short-term, so businesses will need to re-focus on SEO for organic growth. By optimizing your content for SEO within your niche, you will enjoy better organic traffic, which is a recipe for more sales. Users who click on your site organically are more likely to convert than those driven by ads that may or may not be relevant to their needs.
Reinvigorate Your Digital Marketing Strategy
Third-party cookies on Chrome often work, but their success can often be described as quick wins. If you want a more effective approach to business, here are some ways you can do it.
- Build and reinforce consistent and vibrant brand awareness.
- Promote deeper social media engagement.
- Forge co-marketing partnerships with other businesses who share your target market.
- Strengthen your online presence altogether.
These measures will help you approach business more holistically and can uplift your business without the need for microtargeting.
Third-party cookies for Chrome have had a considerable influence on the performance of many enterprises. Google’s rollout of another alternative will have its implications, but it likely won’t be all negative. It is good to note that first-party cookies that help websites keep hold of users’ previous visits will still exist. Also, many companies are researching and coming up with non-cookie tracking methods that are less invasive, so the future, post-third-party cookies Google is open to even better possibilities.
Coalition Technologies is an award-winning SEO agency based in the United States. In addition to our digital marketing services, we keep our blog updated with articles on all the latest developments in the field. Follow us to stay informed about all things ecommerce, and contact us to learn more about our services!