Both Safari and Firefox have gradually removed third-party cookies from their browsers, but neither caused as much concern as Google announcing his plan to do the same by 2023.
There is no doubt that a paradigm shift is taking place for advertisers and publishers, and the effects it will have on their businesses are far reaching.
When Google finally puts this policy in place, I think it will be the nail in the coffin.
This is what you need to know about third-party cookies
At the beginning, there was the third-party cookie.
The phasing out of third-party cookies may come as a surprise, but this should come as no surprise to anyone who knows the story. Cookies were not developed to be used in this way in the first place.
In 1994, a 23-year-old Netscape engineer, Lou Mountulli, invented the cookie. His goal was to create a tool to help websites remember their users, that is, their password, experience and what they did on the site. But it tried to prevent it from being used for cross-site tracking.
Google acquired this company in 2008 and expanded its advertising business from mere SERPs to programmatic ads on other websites.
The ad targeting business became one of the main reasons we have so much free content in the world today as it allowed publishers to monetize their content creation efforts.
Third-party cookies became popular. Unfortunately, however, these cookies also became a tool for privacy violations.
What do third-party cookies mean?
Generally, cookies are a piece of code stored in your browser by a website that you visit.
This code snippet helps websites collect data about your website behavior, and is used by website owners to provide you with a personalized experience each time you are on the site.
However, third-party cookies are not created by the website you visited, but are developed by a third party. Most likely, that third party is an advertising company and tracks you across the web to collect data about your behavior, interest, etc.
This data is then used to deliver targeted advertisements to you.
Here’s an example: You visited a website previously while searching for the best men’s loafers. You spend some time on the website, then a few minutes later, while you’re busy browsing something completely different on another website, you see an ad about the best loafers for men. Most likely, a third party will serve the ads. Neither the previous website you visited nor the current website is the owner of the ad. Is the third.
While this served advertisers, it became a real problem as ads follow internet users and it seems that everything users and ads do is monitored.
The ad technology industry is well advanced, and companies in this industry are making millions of dollars. You can’t expect them to just abandon their source of income without implementing a solution.
Google is currently working with other stakeholders to resolve this issue, including as it strengthens the user privacy space.
Some of the solutions they have found so far are:
Google Privacy Sandbox Initiative
Although Google plays a critical role in creating this problem, it is also working to solve it. For example, it was reported that part of the reason Google delayed phasing out until 2022 is because it is exploring other possible options to protect the web and allow publishers and advertisers to make money.
But what is the Privacy SandBox initiative?
This, According to Google, “A collaborative effort to develop new web technologies that will improve the protection of people’s privacy and maintain existing web capabilities, including advertising.”
FLoC stands for Federated Learning Cohorts. In a whitepaper on the cohort algorithm evaluation for the FLoC API, “The goal of the FLoC API is to preserve interest-based advertising, but to do so in a way that preserves privacy.”
This means that it would still be possible to serve ads relevant to internet users, but targeting would be based on cohort identification rather than personal data. FLoC API assigns a cohort ID by creating large cohorts of people with similar behaviors.
But due to the complex nature of this matter, all of these things are still in development, and you will have to keep up with these developments by following them in the news. Also, you can read more here.
In the meantime, below are some existing solutions that have always been there.
Email marketing has been around for a long time. And despite the occasional rumor of his death, email marketing is still one of the best marketing investments out there, with every dollar spent on email marketing earning $ 36.
But long before the death of third-party cookies, author Ryan Holiday has pointed out the need for every publisher and business owner to have an email list on their own. Perennial seller. This is because, as he explains, if any of the platforms we trust today decides to take us out or fall, their mailing list will always be theirs and, that way, they will not lose their customers and audience.
For many companies, affiliate marketing has been a lifesaver.
It remains, and increasingly, popular because when you implement affiliate marketing, no one loses.
I wrote a post about fitness blogging and it is a perfect example of how affiliate marketing works.
I remember how a company approached me when they saw it on page one of Google.
I wasn’t even in the top three yet, but they did offer me a nice reward if I mentioned their product.
As a blog owner, it was a source of income for me, although the blog was not for an affiliate income in the first place. So, I tried harder to rank it higher on Google, and they didn’t have to do anything on their part.
Instead, they had focused on improving their business while I was focused on bringing users to them.
When the renowned father of modern marketing, Seth Godin, said that “content marketing is the only marketing left,” no one anticipated that it would be useful in this context.
Instead of annoying your target audience with ads, why not let them find you for themselves? All the supporting stats aside, it makes sense that an audience that found you organically is more likely to convert than the one you bombarded with ads.
They have over 2,000 of them vying for your attention.
A user searching for a keyword related to your business is more likely to buy than someone who only sees an ad about it, whether they want to or not.
These are the three most popular types of content marketing in the 2020s.
- Blogging: Blogging is the foundation of content marketing. And to date, it remains the most widely used and beneficial type of content marketing. Businesses that blog produce 67% more leads than companies that don’t. But you need to learn about SEO content writing to get it right.
- Social Media Marketing – I don’t normally quote social media marketing when talking about content marketing. Not because I’m not part of it, but because sometimes you need to run ads, and I’m interested in organic reach. However, without running ads, there is a lot you could do on social media. Some of the amazing things I’ve seen recently are how B2B brands use Instagram and the incredible reach of TikTok. Regardless of what industry you operate in, if you know how to use social media well, there is no limit to what you can achieve.
- Guest Posts: Despite how big Peep Laja’s CXL is in the digital marketing world, Peep Laja and his team continue to guest post on top industry blogs. And if that tells you anything, it shows that guest posting is indeed a very powerful marketing strategy. Not only would you be able to get relevant backlinks from the guest post, but you would also get referral traffic.
Well, go on.
Should you be worried?
If you own a business in an industry that is different from advertising and publishing, I think you should leave this problem to those in those industries, as it is their fight.
If you fall into the categories of those who have to worry about phasing out third-party cookies, what you can do is stay up-to-date with the latest news from the best and influential in the industry, namely Google.
I understand that it may not be easy for you to cross over into content marketing if you are not already familiar with the field, but it is advisable to start researching how you can get it right here as you are already a marketer.
The fundamentals of marketing do not usually change. What changes is the channel and the tactics, and we all have to keep up with this knowledge.
Image credit: provided by the author; Thanks!