If you haven’t heard, Google recently announced that replacing third-party cookies for advertising will be delayed until 2024. As the initial 2022 target loomed, it became evident that more time was needed to build privacy-first alternatives without jeopardizing the ad-funded internet. However, despite Google’s statement that this shift will increase openness and allow users better control, there is some uncertainty about how the changes will affect the ad industry. Let’s take a closer look.

What Are Third-Party Cookies?

The simplest way to explain cookies is to say that they are small text files containing user data and activity kept in the user’s browser, or a subdirectory on the user’s computer. Like regular cookies, third-party cookies allow a site to remember a user’s preferences at a later date. However, they are often set by somebody other than the site owner to collect information about visitors to increase sales or page views. For example, an advertiser can trace users around the web and tailor advertisements based on their behavior.

Why Is the Third-party Cookie Being Replaced?

Third-party cookies are being phased out for two primary reasons: data vulnerabilities and growing user concerns over privacy. Not everyone is happy with data tracking, which is why Google is addressing these issues toward a cookie-free future, despite the fact cookies can help deliver targeted advertising for users. Google’s decision to remove third-party cookies is a component of a larger transition toward more open and privacy-focused digital marketing solutions.

How Are E-commerce and Advertising Companies Affected by the Delay?

A few digital marketers and publishers were probably happy to hear Google’s announcement that they now had more time to get ready for the post-cookie era of digital advertising. However, celebrating the postponement of the cookie’s downfall could be brief and potentially harm marketers, publishers, and, of course, the customers whose privacy these measures are meant to safeguard.

For example, cookies that are expensive and inefficient can now be kept on the market longer than expected because of the delay. It costs money and time to maintain cookies, which means less time and effort can be given to discovering new solutions.

Advertisers and publishers with a vision will abandon cookie-based marketing tactics in favor of more creative approaches. Cookie-based advertising will soon be a thing of the past, and behavioral targeting will be phased out. As such, advertisers should welcome alternatives and look forward to a new era of online experiences that are much more transparent to customers and equally successful for brands.

The Bottom Line

Cookies are becoming a thing of the past, and that’s not a bad thing. Don’t get yourself into trouble by relying too heavily on technology that’s going out of date. This is also an excellent opportunity to adapt to the new realities of a world where consumers are increasingly concerned about the security of their personal data. In addition, it’s in your best interests to be prepared for any new data privacy regulations that may come around in the future. After all, because of the dynamic nature of the ad industry, the only thing that stays the same is change.

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