top of page

Google Is Killing Cookies For Real For Real

Time's Up! After several delays, Google has initiated massive changes to the marketing life we have known for decades. We have heard it for years: Tracking users online for ad personalization is not compliant with privacy laws nor is it an ethical way of communicating with customers. But advertisers are still not ready to face the new cookiless reality!


When Google announced its plans to remove cookies in 2021, it sent shockwaves through the marketing industry as many advertisers and agencies knew they would be scrambling to adapt to the changing targeting landscape.


"The changes, among the biggest in the history of the $600 billion-a-year online-ad industry, center on the use of cookies, technology that logs the activity of internet users across websites so that advertisers can target them with relevant ads", writes Wall Street Journal. 


Q1 2024 Marks the Beginning of the End


When Google announced its plans to remove cookies in 2021, it sent shockwaves through the marketing industry as many advertisers and agencies knew they would be scrambling to adapt to the changing landscape.


In Q1 2024, it has begun! Starting with Chrome, Google is disabling third-party cookies for 1% of users and advertisers will soon be met with an increased portion of Chrome users with third-party cookies disabled - and be forced to respond. By year’s end, Google plans to eliminate cookies for all Chrome users.


This change is a big deal, especially since Chrome handles the vast majority of web traffic: 2022 Chrome made up 65.86% of the global browser market share.


Searching for Alternative Targeting Methods


In the absence of cookies, advertisers must find new ways to target ads. Some of the alternatives to cookies include:


  • First-party data: This is data that is collected directly from consumers, such as their email addresses or purchase history

  • Lifestyle targeting: This is census (country-based official statistics) data enriched with consumer research

  • Contextual targeting: This is targeting ads based on the content of a website or app

  • Predictive modelling: This is using algorithms to predict a user's interests based on their past behaviour


Our IDFree targeting tool aligns perfectly with this new landscape, emphasizing user privacy while still delivering effective ad targeting!


And while we acknowledge how "cookieless" disrupts traditional online advertising models, it also opens avenues for innovative, privacy-centric solutions to reach consumers with respect and relevance.


The Cookieless Challenges


The transition away from cookies is surely challenging for the digital marketing industry. Advertisers need to develop new strategies to target ads, and they need to be much more aware of how they collect and use personal data. 


“The timing remains poor. Launching it during the industry’s greatest revenue-generating part of the year is just a terrible decision”, comments Anthony Katsur, chief executive of the IAB Tech Lab to WSJ.


Criticizing the timing is probably not as valid as it sounds since Google as mentioned have been upfront about phasing out third-party cookies since 2021 and just as long the martech industry has been deep into developing worthwhile alternatives. 


Though moving away from cookies is a major shift for the digital marketing industry, it is also an opportunity for the industry to become more transparent and accountable. By respecting data privacy, advertisers can build stronger consumer relationships and create more effective ad campaigns.


By embracing data privacy and developing new targeting methods, advertisers can continue to deliver relevant and effective ads and still respect the privacy of their customers.


Give our Transition team a ping for a talk - they are ready to help you and/or your clients.

bottom of page