How the Removal of Third-Party Cookies will Impact the Internet

Google is removing support for third-party cookies in 2024. This is huge, as two out of three people use Chrome as their browser, and it will largely impact the digital marketing industry – 83% of online marketers use third-party cookies. It is time to prepare and research alternatives.

What Are Cookies?

Cookies have existed for a while now (25-30 years), and they are key to digital marketing. In their most basic form, cookies are little documents stored on your browser that contain information about your online activities. They are created as soon as you connect to the page, and they immediately start collecting data.

First-party cookies are cookies established and saved for future use by the website you visit. Digital marketers use them to track activities on their website, enabling them to show personalized advertising. Ecommerce sites remember user-preferred languages, cart items, login information, and other data because of first-party cookies.

Third-party cookies, however, hold data allowing other companies to also track activities. This data helps them to make decisions and improve upon their marketing strategies and techniques.

To be more specific, marketers use cookies to target and track online customers on personal grounds. That includes ad serving, cross-site tracking, monitoring website visitors, retargeting, and data collection. Most significantly, cookies can assist in driving traffic to your website.

What You Need to Know About the Removal of Third-Party Cookies

Google is not the first to remove third-party cookies. In 2017, Apple decided to remove third-party cookies from Safari, which likely began the trend. However, now that Google is on board, everything has become much more real for digital marketers. Tech experts speculate the rest of the browsers will join the trend soon.

Without cookies, marketers are restricted to simply showing an advertisement. They cannot see any information about who is seeing it or how many people are seeing it, limiting their ability to optimize their advertising. Cookies make it possible for advertisers and marketers to have an in-depth insight into internet user activities, especially when they visit a particular website.

Digital marketers then use this data to provide targeted and relevant ads to customers as a substitute for typical ads. Targeted ads can drastically improve the number of interactions with advertising and losing these features (especially if you have a dependence on them) can cause a lot of damage.

Why Third-Party Cookies are Being Removed

Though third-party cookies are essential in digital marketing and advertising, many have raised concerns about privacy violations. According to Pew Research, 72% of Americans sense that advertisers, technology firms, and most online businesses monitor their activities online. This anxiety led big tech companies and lawmakers to act on data privacy.

Policymakers have already implemented new regulations regarding data privacy. The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) ruled that web users have the right to agree to web cookies. This can hinder automatic logins to web cookies during visits.

CCPA (California Consumer Privacy Act) also shields Californians’ personal data, which includes cookie collection. Beneath these guidelines, Californians can discard selling their information online to a third-party company. Also, they can appeal for the release of information that third parties have acquired and even demand the removal of data. While you may not live in California, many states and provinces took to other local regulations when forming their own.

What Does This Mean for Consumers?

The biggest issue is some websites are going to break. Not all sites will remove their dependency on third-party cookies in time, resulting in potentially missing functionality.

Advertising will not be as effective either. Marketers are going to have to find other ways to reach their audience outside of personalized advertising.

What are the Alternatives for Digital Marketers and Advertisers?

The best alternative to using third-party cookies is to collaborate with other companies to collect data via first-party cookies. The data given to third parties can be limited to what they need to know to develop targeted marketing promotions.

Here is a list of alternatives to third-party cookies:

  • Google’s Privacy Sandbox: This is a collection of proposals to replace the functionality of third-party cookies or other tracking means using APIs. At the time of this writing, many of the features are undergoing testing.
  • First-party data: The same data can be collected through first-party data; it just requires going through another company first.
  • Contextual advertising: Advertise based on the content of the website. For example, if you sell clothing, choose clothing websites or other sites that contain clothing content, rather than a gaming site or blog about food.
  • Identity solutions: Personal data is often freely given in signup forms and other miscellaneous features on websites. This can often be used to identify a user by cross-referencing how many accounts have a certain email or phone number.
  • PPIDs (Publisher Provided Identifiers): These are IDs assigned to users which let publishers access information when a user logs in.
  • User Identity Graphs: These combine personal data from identity solutions with first-party cookies for better cross-channel and cross-platform tracking and targeting.
  • Data Pools: Many companies pool their data together to create a large database of information gained from first-party cookies. You can then cross-reference that to get information.

Though these alternatives can help online advertisers and publishers provide more appropriate ads to users, nothing will be able to replace the hole left behind by third-party cookies.

Prepare for Third-Party Cookie Loss with Twin State Technical Services

Although third-party cookies will die out, your digital marketing strategies do not have to. Twin State Technical Services can help your Quad Cities area business with a stellar digital marketing strategy that will help you grow in 2022. There are still lots of options available!

Contact us today for a consultation. Call 563-441-1504 or contact us online.

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