Google delay the phase-out of Third-Party Cookies (again!)

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Google are now holding on to third-party cookies for another year, till 2024. Find out more about why brands and advertisers should still be exploring cookieless solutions.

Over the past 18 months, you’ll have seen us talking at length about the upcoming deprecation of third-party cookies. If not, we have a range of articles (and an eBook) to get you up to speed!

Since 2020, Google has been warning about the imminent removal of third-party cookies from the Chrome web browser – something all other major browsers have already phased out. Third-party cookies are a treasured ingredient for paid media ad campaigns, as they open opportunities for retargeting, audience segmentation and more beyond the scope of your own platforms.

Initially, third-party cookies were set to be phased out from Chrome in 2022, kick-starting many advertising agencies into looking at alternative data solutions. This was then delayed until 2023. However, Google has since announced that they are pushing back on this even further until 2024, giving them time to develop and user test their Privacy Sandbox solution ahead of the change.

So, this is brilliant, right? More time to make the most of those precious third-party cookies and ease back on any rush to adapt to new technologies.

Well, no. Though the absolute deadline is far away enough to feel complacent, it’s still in your best interest to move to cookieless data solutions sooner, rather than later.

 

Why should brands still be going cookieless?

Though Google Chrome is the most popular web browser worldwide, only 51% of users in the UK use it as their primary browser. In other words, if you’re relying on third-party cookies in your ad campaigns, you are missing half of your users’ data.

Depending on your target market, this data gap could be even greater. Though younger consumers are almost definitely using Chrome (on desktop at least), older web users are less likely to have downloaded an additional web browser other than their computers' default program.

 

What solutions are available now?

One attractive option, coming straight from Google themselves, is to move your website analytics over from Universal Analytics to Google Analytics 4, if you haven’t already done so. GA4 was designed with this move from third-party cookies in mind and is built around event-based, cookieless tracking to build a meaningful picture of how users are interacting with your site. Find out more about why a move to GA4 matters.

You should also be looking to both first- and zero-party data options as a way to start owning your advertising data and ensuring you’re in control. Getting hold of this data requires a value exchange, and you must ensure that you are fulfilling your end of the deal in why users should hand over their data.

Finally, you can also look to developing your ad tech stack in line with cookieless data options, allowing you to not only own your data but get a clear picture of how audiences are interacting with your brand and work towards that holy grail, single source of truth.

 

Find out how well set up you are for cookieless advertising. Get in touch with our experts today to learn more about your options.

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Photo by Sascha Bosshard on Unsplash

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