Who ate all the cookies?

2 days ago | Kate

Here’s our super simple guide to why Google is ending use of third-party cookies, and what this means for you.

To start though, what exactly are they?

Cookies are small text files placed on a your  browser when visiting a website. There are two types:

  • First-party cookies are created by the website you’re visiting. They enable the site to recognise your device and store information that can improve your browsing, like saving items in a shopping cart or remembering you next time you log in.
  • Third-party cookies track you across multiple websites, gathering data about your browsing habits, preferences, and interests. This information is then used to deliver personalised advertising experiences.

All of the data is used to create your online profile, consisting of thousands upon thousands of data points, such as your demographic, Google searches in the last five years, your credit card transactions, your profile on dating apps, and so on.

Why is this so useful?

This pretty much makes up the mechanics of how personalised ads are delivered to you.

Why is Google removing third-party cookies?

1. Improve Privacy: Protect you from being tracked across the web without your knowledge.

2. Increase Transparency: Give you more control over your data and how it’s used.

3. Adapt to Regulation: Comply with stricter privacy laws and regulations, such as the GDPR and CCPA.

Is this good or bad?

It’s brilliant news for our privacy, a bit more challenging for advertisers as it may be harder to deliver highly targeted ads, with additional costs and time needed to adapt and learn new ways of working.

Here’s some easy steps to ensure you continue to grow your audience and effectively sell online.

Be First to the party:

  • Design even more engaging content that collects user data directly from your website and apps, as first-party data remains unaffected. Gated content on your website will be even more important now – education downloads, pathway guides, research papers, technical summaries, product brochures, product codes.
  • Enhance Customer Relationships: Develop loyalty programmes and other initiatives to gather more first-party data through direct user interactions – such as webinars, education series, event databases.

Target Content, Not Users:

  • Place ads based on the content of the web page, ensuring relevance without needing personal data.
  • Integrate ads seamlessly into content, making them less reliant on user tracking.

Influencer Marketing:

  • Partner with influencers to reach audiences through trusted figures.

 

We have time to implement these steps as Google has announced that third party cookies won’t be removed until early 2025 now (third delay!), but privacy and compliance are this year’s buzzwords so all the above steps will be crucial to continue to grow and engage relevant audiences online.