No More Cookies? It’s Not Too Early to Start Planning for Google’s 2023 Privacy Sandbox Updates
In 2021, Google announced its plans to remove third-party cookies by the end of 2023. This means marketers won’t be able to use third-party cookies to track users in Chrome and must find new ways to track conversions and perform retargeting.
For an advertiser, third-party cookies allow you to collect data about your visitor’s other browser behaviors, such as frequently visited websites, buying history, and interest-based searches. This data helps you form detailed audience avatars and send retargeted ads. Reportedly, not after 2023.
But not all hope is lost. Other browsers, like Safari, haven’t allowed third-party cookies for quite some time, and yet advertising is still successful. Here’s how you can start planning for Google’s 2023 Privacy Sandbox Updates!
Google’s Cookie Alternative
Google’s new Privacy Sandbox plan is called “Topics” and will replace Federated Learning of Cohorts (or FLoC). Rather than grouping users together in “cohorts” based on their interests, their browser will determine a selection of topics that correspond with their top interests that week, based on their browsing history.
These general topics are only logged locally and only for three weeks before being deleted. When visiting a website, Topics will choose one topic from each of the past three weeks to share with that website and any advertisers.
This is a far more secure privacy strategy for users and may result in a far less effective conversion tracking and targeting method for marketers. This new method will also make it difficult for advertisers to track users across multiple devices.
Other Ways to Track Advertising
To effectively scale your targeting after the end of 2023, marketers must adopt a varied portfolio of marketing tactics.
Use it while you can! Third-party cookies are still with us, for now. Leverage them as much as possible to learn more about your target audience and to build up your own private database of users.
Go old-school with contextual advertising! While this won’t allow you to serve ads directly to whom you’re trying to reach, contextual advertising will help you circulate PPC ads on sites and apps that successfully rank for similar keywords and keyphrases. If you sell health supplements, your ad could appear on health and wellness-related websites.
As of now, there will still be access to first-party cookies in browsers that block third-party cookies. While they will still frequently require consent, you can learn about that user’s behavior while they were on your website. You can also track how often they visit it and gain other basic analytics that can inform your developing marketing strategy.
Google’s Privacy Sandbox may still offer valuable alternatives for ad targeting, time will tell. The best plan, for now, is to learn how you can leverage first-party data more effectively.