How Chrome’s 3rd party cookies blocking impacts the future of online marketing

Published
Dec 1, 2022
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Google is constantly updating its cookie policies, and it can take some work to keep track of what's happening. That's why we decided to make this blog post to keep you updated with the latest information.

As many of you may have heard, Google is making a change to how third-party cookies are handled in Chrome again. According to the last statements, Google will stop the use of third-party cookies in Chrome by the end of 2024.

In this blog post, we'll discuss what third-party cookies are, why they're essential, and what you need to do to prepare for their removal from Chrome. We'll also provide tips for getting the most out of these changes. So read on for all the details!

What is wrong with 3rd party cookiesCopy link to this section

Third-party cookies are a technology websites use to collect data on user behavior. These cookies are placed by websites other than the website you're currently visiting, such as Google and Facebook. Third-party cookies are used for a variety of purposes, such as advertising and user profiling. They allow websites to know what pages or products users have visited, what links they have clicked on, and more. This data can be used to track analytics, improve customer experience, display tailored ads, and more.

From a technical perspective, third-party cookies are stored in the browser memory when users visit a webpage belonging to a certain domain (the "third-party"). They usually have a longer lifespan than first-party cookies (from minutes to years), meaning that the third party can collect information about the user's browsing habits over time rather than just within one session. 

third-party cookies

From a privacy perspective, third-party cookies can also be used to track user behavior across different websites without their consent. It's due to the fact that they allow third parties access to personal data gathered from multiple sites, which could then be used for targeted marketing or other purposes. To combat this issue, some browsers offer opt-out options or tools that block third-party requests in order to increase privacy protection for their users.

Third-party cookies are powerful tools that enable companies to track analytics and customize advertisements and offerings based on users' browsing habits. However, it is important for web developers and companies who utilize these tracking tools to ensure compliance with consumer privacy standards in order to protect user data in accordance with current regulations.

Details of Google Chrome 3rd party cookies phase outCopy link to this section

Google originally planned to discontinue Chrome's support for third-party cookies this year. But they changed their plans as they needed more time to test the Privacy Sandbox initiative — a less intrusive solution for delivering targeted advertising. The Sandbox is a set of technologies that seek to secure people's online privacy while still offering businesses the tools to advertise successfully.

So by the end of 2024, Google will be deprecating third-party cookies. For marketers and advertisers, this means more time before adjusting your advertising strategies to target Chrome users.

How will this change affect your siteCopy link to this section

The impact this change will have on websites depends on how reliant they are on 3rd party cookies for analytics and marketing purposes. Websites that rely heavily on these types of cookies may face difficulty adjusting their strategy or finding alternative ways to collect data about their users once the phaseout begins. Companies that lack first-party data will struggle to target and remarket to customers, making advertising more difficult.

You may need to invest more resources into developing your own analytics solutions, as well as look into alternative marketing strategies such as using first-party data and first-party cookies, as well as email campaigns or social media outreach instead of relying solely on targeted ads. Additionally, many websites may also need to update their privacy policies in order to comply with the new regulations regarding user data collection once the phaseout begins. 

What can you do to prepare for the sunset of 3rd party cookiesCopy link to this section

Safari and Firefox already limit the use of 3r party cookies. When Chrome starts doing the same, it will mean that most browsers will not support 3rd party cookies, which may have a massive impact on website analytics and online advertising.

One of the best ways to prepare for the third-party cookies phaseout is by moving towards a server-side tracking model. The three main ways of solving 3rd party cookie issues with server-side tracking are:

- 1st party cookies

You can set first-party cookies when using a custom domain for your tagging server. For example, using client-side tracking for Google Analytics sets 3rd party cookies that expire in 1 or 7 days. For the server-side tagging, cookies will be set from your custom domain, treated as the first party, and left for up to 2 years. 

- 1st party data

After sun setting cookies for major browsers, advertising platforms like Facebook or TikTok will have less ability to understand users' interests. With the help of server-side tagging, you can send 1st party user data to advertising platforms, giving them more information about your users. It will reflect in more accurate interest targeting.

Conclusion:Copy link to this section

While the 3rd party cookies will certainly cause some changes for site owners and users, it doesn't have to be a negative experience. With a little preparation and by working with Stape support, you can ensure that your website is ready for this change and that your visitors continue to have a positive experience when browsing your content. Don't hesitate to reach out to Stape if you have any questions or need help getting started!

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