Third-party cookies, first-party cookies, and privacy debates never end. Do you consent to all cookies, or at least what qualifies as “legitimate interest”? What is a disruptive factor for many users when visiting the website should soon be history: the third-party cookies will be turned off.
Who Stole The Cookies From The Browser?
Apple and Mozilla have shown the way, and Google will follow suit in 2024: For users’ privacy, tracking and targeting potential customers by third-party providers should be avoided by means of alternative solutions. Since this is a major challenge for many companies that place digital advertising, here are some alternatives. As a digital advertiser, you can use this to prepare for the end of the third-party cookie era: Contextual targeting (i.e. context-based targeting) worked with keywords linked to ads and played out in a suitable environment.
However, this type of targeting can sometimes go wrong since the ad environment is not analyzed further. Semantic targeting fixes this bug: based on contextual targeting, an algorithm analyzes the semantic environment for negative or positive connotations. This allows exploiting the currently relevant point when the user is interested in what is advertised. AI and predictive solutions are almost limitless in their possibilities but will always require the user’s consent for more and more precise probability calculations.
This is the only way for these solutions to get the data they need to make predictions and calculations. ID-based targeting works primarily for content that gives users visible added value, as they voluntarily identify themselves anonymously using a mobile or device ID. For example, legally secure consent, obtained using a log-in solution, also makes secure cross-device tracking possible for advertisers.
Good Preparation Against Wastage
In addition to other existing tracking methods, creativity from online marketing and publishing experts is still required. Research into alternative, sustainable, transparent tracking and targeting concepts that comply with data protection regulations have only just begun. But that shouldn’t stop digital advertising companies from obtaining comprehensive information promptly: If Google switches off third-party cookies, the alternatives to cookie options should already be available on their website and not just arise. This is the only way companies can avoid large wastage of their online advertising campaigns, which reduces the efficiency of their ads.
What Can Be Done Right Now?
In 2023, therefore, there may be some progress, but there will be no end of track. Both because – as Google says – there are already invasive alternative systems (such as fingerprinting) and because other browsers (by default) and Chrome itself (through the settings) already allow you to block cookies. Just open the browser from your computer, click on the three dots icon at the top right and then on “Settings”. In the “Protection and security” segment, select “Treats and other site information” and pick the choice: “Acknowledge all treats”, “Block all treats”, “Block outsider treats in secret mode”, and “Block outsider treats”.
Big G’s move, however, is more complex than an update of the settings: it doesn’t just want to eliminate third-party cookies but find an alternative. Sure: it’s a functional effort for Google’s business, which earns from advertising. But it’s still an effort destined to have broad repercussions and go beyond the budget of Mountain View, if only for a question of scale: Chrome holds almost two-thirds of the browser market. The share of Safari, which, however, runs only on Apple devices, is around 18%. Firefox stops just over 3%.