Google is Ending Third-Party Cookies — What's Next?

Google Announces End of Third-Party Cookie Storage

By Shaun KanaryMar 23 /2021

In an effort to create a more privacy-first web, Google has announced its plan to eliminate third-party cookie storage on the Chrome browser by 2022. 

Digital advertising is a dynamic part of the web experience. But in recent years, users have expressed concerns over their privacy and use of their personal data — a trend triggered in large part by third-party cookies.

So how will this update affect your marketing efforts in the near future? We offer insights here.

What Are Cookies?

First-party cookies are small pieces of data that are created and stored on a user’s web browser when they visit your website. This allows your website to deliver a more personalized, relevant experience when these users return. Examples of this include:

  • Auto-filled forms
  • Personalized content on websites
  • Remembering preferences from past shopping

Third-party cookies refer to bits of data that are attached to a user’s web browser after they visit a website other than yours. This lets you track users as they navigate around the web in order to better understand their behaviors, habits and preferences. Examples of this include:

  • Sending personalized marketing content and offers to your past visitors
  • Delivering ads to other users with similar browsing behavior and interests
  • Prompting users to complete a lead/offer/purchase if they abandoned your website

The Impact of Phasing Out Third-Party Cookie Storage

The end of third-party cookie storage also means the end of certain kinds of web advertisements that lean on this type of data. Specifically, we’ll see the elimination of:

  • Remarketing via Google Display ads that appear on third-party networks
  • Display targeting based on interests and browsing history
  • Gmail ads based on email subjects

In other cases, advertising avenues will remain available but ultimately change. This is true of native advertisements, for instance, as they’re based on user interests and behaviors.

In light of these changes — and quite possibly the largest implication of this Google update — first-party data targeting methods will come to the forefront. Google has voiced its support for deepening connections between consumers and those brands they engage with, and with that, inbound marketing grows more vital. Creating content that attracts and engages users is the first step to building out contact lists that you can market to via email and also upload into Facebook, LinkedIn and Google Search for advertising purposes.

Next Steps on Google’s Side

Taking third-party cookies out of the advertising equation, Google is currently investing in FLoC (Federated Learning of Cohorts) advertising. This approach would hide individuals behind large groups of people with similar interests and enable advertisers to show their ads to this audience.

With FloC advertising still in the early stages of testing, it remains uncertain what the developed result will be.

While we await Google’s next steps, there’s no better time for businesses to get a jump on their inbound marketing efforts — or scale the work they’re already doing to prepare for what’s next. With a team of experienced experts, Kuno Creative can help move the needle in the right direction.

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The Author

Shaun Kanary

With several years of marketing & sales experience for both the Cleveland Clinic and John Deere, Shaun brings a wealth of healthcare, consumer goods and industrial B2B marketing experience to Kuno Creative. Additionally, Shaun is a recognized authority in digital marketing and advertising as a respected college professor at Lorain County Community College, a professional speaker and columnist.