How to Plan for Google Cookie-Free Future

Google said in 2020 that, like Apple and Mozilla, it would phase away third-party cookies in its web browser by 2022. This implies that third-party cookies, which have fueled the Internet advertising industry for the past two decades, will soon be a thing of the past. Even though we don’t know what will come after them, we can be sure that the biggest tech companies in the world will work hard to make sure there is a reliable replacement.

Apple and Mozilla have already applied their cookie restrictions in 2021, while Google has allowed itself until 2022 to accomplish the gradual changeover. Without a doubt, this will result in a major makeover of the internet economy, affecting all advertisers. You can also get more detail on

So, what exactly are cookies?

Cookies enable organisations to conduct a wide range of useful web services. These short data packets were initially employed by websites in the 1990s to “remember” the goods a user had put in their shopping cart. Soon, they were being used to verify login status, keep track of users across many websites, and save a user’s browsing history.

In brief, cookies are a reliable method of transmitting information about individuals’ online behaviour. And somewhere along the line, the scales shifted away from their dependability and towards the invasion of privacy that cookies might permit.

There are several sorts of cookies. Websites store first-party cookies. They allow websites to remember a user’s preferences, which may dramatically improve the user experience. The current and planned updates do not target these cookies. Third-party cookies are produced and kept by sites other than the one the user is viewing. They may follow the user between websites and retarget them with tailored messages.

Facebook claims that personalisation generates 50% of its advertising income, and the social network is certain that the planned changes would hamper its capacity to properly target ads. Despite their privacy constraints, third-party cookies produce outcomes.

What is changing, and why is it changing?

Third-party monitoring cookies are firmly in the sights of legislators in the European Union and other region of the world. However, this must be viewed in a broader context. Online privacy is a political problem, and recent legislation, such as the EU GDPR, goes well beyond cookie-based tracking.

Cookies are only a symptom of the sickness. While Facebook may point to the success of its tailored advertisements as proof that people prefer this type of advertising, there is also evidence indicating the contrary. 

Today, there is a general trend towards increased openness online, and third-party cookies frequently operate in the shadow economy. The problem with such an economy is that most of its members are unaware of its inner workings. Many of us, for example, are monitored online without giving these companies permission to collect and exchange our data.

How to Plan for Google Cookie-Free Future

Regulations like the EU GDPR have raised awareness of these issues, with firms being compelled to maintain clear data records. However, the EU’s GDPR is only the beginning, and authorities throughout the world are now far more concerned about consumer privacy. Third-party cookies are an easy target for the government, which has nothing to gain from their continued use.

In this situation, web browsers like Mozilla Firefox and Apple Safari were the first to stop intrusive monitoring before they were required to do so.

But why would Google pursue such a self-defeating enterprise after declaring it would phase out third-party cookies by 2022? After all, the vast majority of Google’s enormous advertising profits come from tools that employ cookie-based tracking. Why isn’t it taking the same approach as Facebook, which is opposing Apple’s iOS 14 upgrade on the grounds that it would limit access to Facebook pixel data?

In sum, Google is accepting an unavoidable shift in order to determine what comes next. There is little use in fighting the move away from third-party cookies, especially when they stand to lose so much if a competitor establishes the new standard by which all other platforms must function.

What Happens Next?

At a 2019 conference, Apple CEO Tim Cook expressed optimism: “Technology does not require large troves of personal data knitted together across dozens of websites and applications to flourish.” Without it, advertising would have survived and thrived for decades. Apple, of course, does not rely on advertising money-and one gets the impression that they are relishing their new role as privacy guardians.

SEO agencies and digital marketers generally are now aware that personal data may be used to power very successful marketing efforts. If they have an option, they are unlikely to revert to the previous techniques.

Google Chrome’s broad cut-off date for third-party cookies by 2022 allows for experimentation. They will not abandon this method of tracking until it can be replaced. Google and other tech companies like Criteo have to figure out if they can offer tracking features like cookies while still protecting the privacy of each user.

This appears to be an unsolvable contradiction. Especially since authorities will eventually shut down any short-term fixes that do not protect private information. Google is working on this assumption, and its modifications have made it clear that they are about privacy, not only cookie-based monitoring.

As a result, Google is taking a zero-tolerance stance towards unscrupulous methods of circumventing its new regulations. All “user-level IDs” in Google Chrome will be banned beginning in 2022. This includes the technique of “fingerprinting,” which uses the settings of a system to identify specific users.

Google’s big announcement was a “Privacy Sandbox,” which will aggregate and anonymize data from individual devices via federated learning. Although the sensitive data will stay on the device, the system will still be able to learn from trends across various cohorts.

How to Plan for Google Cookie-Free Future

Making Plans for a Cookie-Free Future

SEO companies and advertisers would not be able to target individual users as they do now through remarketing under this idea. Instead, they would focus on groups whose actions show that they are interested in their product or service.

Google says that in early experiments, SEO agencies may anticipate “at least 95 percent of the conversion per dollar invested as compared to cookie-based advertising.” In this trial, Google only tested this strategy against cookies in connection to in-market and affinity audiences. However, as a first start, this should be positive for advertising.

It is unclear how these recommendations will be implemented in the finer details, but the trend is evident. All of the big platforms and firms are working together to give cookie-style performance without cookie-style monitoring.

If SEO agencies and advertisers are ready to adjust to the new reality, they may be able to find similar performance levels. Even if the bottom-line performance appears to be comparable, marketers cannot expect the same amount of openness in their reporting. This has serious ramifications for companies that already worry about giving too much control to platform behemoths.

This will have implications for SEO services and digital marketing strategy.

How can SEO agencies get ready?

The most visible strategy shift is a shift away from individual user monitoring and more towards contextual advertising. Rather than tracking each client’s trip, this implies getting close to the patterns of the customer’s journey.

In the car industry, for example, companies would target customer behaviours on their way to purchase and generate sequential content to fit that journey. This may include putting up adverts with articles that examine certain automobile models or YouTube footage of a recent TV ad campaign.

On top of this method, SEO agencies and advertisers will need to add a deeper understanding of their customers. This can take the form of first-party data, which businesses might obtain through becoming more familiar with their consumers. It is critical to demonstrate not just that data will be handled appropriately but also that customers may anticipate better service in exchange for providing sensitive information. To assist with this, SEO agencies should make data privacy a normal feature of their websites and applications.

SEO agencies should not be concerned about the upcoming developments. All of the above originates from a customer-centric perspective on how the online world should function. Future restrictions will cause less worry if marketers keep this in mind and focus on safeguarding client privacy. Of course, this shift in emphasis will not alleviate the demand to achieve results. But as an industry, we need to move away from a way of doing business that requires invasive surveillance to reach those goals.

More to read: Pros and cons of an in-house specialist and an SEO agency and in-house specialist

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