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Third-Party Cookies

Why Google Is Nixing Third-Party Cookies 

Third-Party Cookies

Ever feel like someone’s watching your every move online? Maybe you spent an hour researching a new car and now all of the banner ads you see are for car dealers. Or, perhaps you bought a new pair of shoes online and now all your social media ads are for the shoes you just bought. What gives?

Third-party cookies are to blame. Third-party cookies (aka cross-site cookies) are little crumbs of data companies place on websites to track users’ activity so they can target ads at them. Unlike first-party cookies a company may use on its own website to improve your user experience, third-party cookies are used across many different websites to enable adware. They are the reason you could be shopping for shoes one minute and being shown ads for those same shoes the next.

The Current State of Third-Party Cookies

Third-party cookies have been the primary way online advertisers have collected user data for more than two decades. While third-party cookies are a boon for online advertisers, they have raised privacy concerns for internet users. Third-party cookies track a user’s browsing information and personal data.

As digital privacy has become a top concern of many individuals and companies, third-party cookies have become controversial. The browsers Firefox and Safari have already removed third-party cookies, and Google plans to remove them from its Chrome browser in early 2025.

Google’s Plan for the Future: Privacy Sandbox

Google’s decision to remove third-party cookies made major waves in the digital advertising world. Google Chrome is the preferred browser of 65 percent of all US-based internet users, so any changes Google makes to its cookies policy has an immense impact on advertisers.

Google’s goal is to reduce cross-site tracking of users while maintaining accessibility of online content and services. To help advertisers adjust to a post-cookie reality, Google has launched the Privacy Sandbox. It is a set of practices and technologies that enable advertisers to target ads while protecting user privacy. 

Advertisers can use Privacy Sandbox to audit sites for third-party cookies, test for breakages after removing third-party cookies, migrate to new solutions that store data on a per site basis, allow advertisers to request storage access permissions, and create sets of closely related websites.

Here’s the bottom line: If you do not market your business with paid digital advertising, your company will be minimally impacted by these changes. But if you rely on digital advertising for your business, you need to make sure your ad agency understands the major changes coming to Chrome next year so you aren’t left high and dry once Google pulls the plug on third-party cookies next year.

For more information on this big change and help designing your next digital ad campaign, get in touch with the Balius Marketing team

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