Originally, Google had suggested it was working on ways to collect this information and still have it available for use by the user. However, recently Google has said they won’t be providing individual user data at all and will be providing data based on user behavior by groups pulling from their Federated Learning of Cohorts (FLoC).
What does this mean?
This doesn’t mean the end for targeted advertising, it just means a different approach. Since Firefox and Safari made this move a while back, it was just a matter of time before Chrome did as well. It just has a much bigger impact because Chrome is the most used browser. The digital advertising world and everything in it is always moving and changing. This is no different, it just means having to adapt.
The first thing you can do is make sure your site is secure. If it’s not, Chrome won’t serve your ads on sites anymore. If it is secure, your ads will continue to serve until the two-year mark when all third-party cookies will be blocked from serving in Chrome.
This change has come on the heels of the demand for more privacy and the ability to decide what you want, and don’t want, to see.
Some ways you can advertise that won’t be impacted by the cookie change
Within the last year Google started letting advertisers use customer lists for display and remarketing ads, likely in anticipation of this change coming. Using these lists might be the best way to target specific people with image ads once third party cookie tracking officially ceases.
Advertisers will still be able to send ads to people who have visited their website directly as a retargeting effort with first-party cookies from their site.
This also won’t impact search advertising because those ads are triggered by keyword searches and not by cookie data, so advertisers will still be able to use search advertising as they always have.
This is a big change that has been in the works for about a year and has about a year to go before taking effect, so legacy advertisers should already be somewhat prepped. It does give all advertisers new and legacy, as well as Google, the opportunity to make updates and find ways to work around the change.
Read up on it (there’s so much documentation on this change) and likely there will be more as time goes on as Google finds ways to help cushion the blow of this change.
Moral of the story: take advantage of being able to have cookies while they are still around, but also make sure your ready for the change so that it’s not a scramble at the end.