Google made tidal waves with its initial announcement to rid Chrome of all third-party cookie tracking by the end of 2022. Since then, marketers have been doing their best to understand what this means for their business and the future of online advertising. Then, at the end of June 2021, Google announced it would delay putting an end to third-party cookies in Chrome until late 2023. This updated timeline pushes back the date by a year. Discover why Google decided to delay the end of third-party cookies and what it means for advertisers adjusting to the ever-changing online marketing landscape.
Why Did Google Delay the End Third-Party Cookies?
Google has been very vocal about its plan to move away from third-party cookies, with the initial timeline set for 2022. And while other web browsers like Firefox and Safari have already removed third-party tracking from their systems, Google has now decided to extend their use of third-party cookies.
In a statement released by Google, the reason is simple: “…more time is needed across the ecosystem to get this right.” Essentially, Google needs more time to work on its privacy landscape initiatives to ensure they rightly preserve the vitality of the open web while prioritizing consumer privacy. With this extended timeline, Google plans to continue developing open standards that enhance privacy, transparency, and control over user data at a more “responsible pace.”
How Does Google Plan to Use This Extra Time?
Now that they have given themselves more time to develop an effective solution for advertisers and consumers before ending third-party advertising on Chrome, what will they do with it? Google plans to continue engaging in public discussions and conversations with industry leaders to find the best solutions. This provides publishers, advertisers, and regulators more time to become familiar with the technologies and processes without feeling rushed. Essentially, Google will use this extra time to get user privacy right in the eyes of the consumer and address any potential setbacks of their privacy solutions, such as fingerprinting.
How Does the Updated Third-Party Cookie Deprecation Schedule Look Like?
Along with the announcement of postponing the deprecation of third-party cookies on Chrome, Google also provided a more detailed schedule of when various technologies aiming at replacing third-party cookies will be available and when the transition will begin.
The transition will take place in two stages:
- Stage 1 transition will start from Q4 2022. During Stage 1, all APIs will be available for adoption. Publishers and advertisers are expected to start to migrate their services to new technologies.
- Stage 2 transition will start from Q3 2023. According to Google, Chrome will phase out support for third-party cookies over a three-month period finishing in late 2023.
What Does Google’s Delay to End Third-Party Cookies Mean for Advertisers?
So, what does Google’s third-party cookie delay mean for digital advertising? It means advertisers have more time to focus on their third-party cookie alternatives for advertising campaigns. Eventually, the use of third-party cookie tracking will be gone on all browsers, including the Chrome browser. Although Google has pushed back the date, that doesn’t mean advertisers should stop building robust alternative advertising solutions. It just means there is more time to create, test, and utilize these solutions. During this time of delay, focus on improving the following three aspects of your advertising campaigns.
1. Focus on building consumer relationships
Google’s delay in putting an end to third-party cookies means advertisers have more time to focus on building first-party technology and site data solutions. This means focusing on consumer relationships because building relationships with consumers is the key to collecting and effectively using first-party data to increase engagement and sales.
2. Focus on creating robust multi-channel solutions
Google’s delay in putting an end to third-party cookies also provides advertisers with more time to build solid multi-channel advertising solutions. While some advertisers may already have solutions like these in place, now is the time to test, analyze, and strengthen them. Because third-party cookies will eventually no longer be available, multi-channel solutions will become the primary way for businesses to reach their audiences. This is true even after Google’s proposed solutions are widely available. It takes time to understand, adapt, and effectively use new technologies, so your multi-channel solutions will continue to be essential.
From email marketing to contextual targeting to API integrations to lookalike targeting to social media marketing and more, diversifying and enhancing marketing campaigns is vital. Investing in these solutions provides increased engagement and ROI because they aid in relationship building with your consumers. Although advertisers can still use third-party cookies right now, it’s wise to begin transitioning away from them, even before Google does, and focusing on multi-channel solutions.
3. Focus on understanding Google’s Privacy Sandbox solutions
Just because Google delayed putting an end to third-party cookies doesn’t mean advertisers should stop engaging in conversations about their proposals. One of the best ways to stay ahead of the game is to be actively involved in meetings with industry leaders and test various solutions from Google’s Privacy Sandbox initiative and others when available.
A cookieless online experience is coming, so educate yourself now rather than figuring out how to navigate it once the time comes. Get ahead of the game to understand proposed solutions and alternative advertising approaches for when user adoption is here. Evaluate new technologies as they become available and explore what options will work best for your company and your consumers. Start planning for the cookieless future now.
Wilson is the Sr. SEO Marketing Manager at AdRoll.