Google has just announced that they will be postponing the demise of third-party cookies until H2 2024.
Google has said that they require more time to develop their alternative tracking system – ‘Privacy Sandbox’ – which will integrate directly within the Chrome browser.
Since the initial announcement in 2019, Google has tested a few different tracking methods which have included FloC (Federated Learning of Cohorts) and more recently, Topics API.
Both iterations seek a way to effectively track aggregated browsing behaviour and build audience lists which advertisers can then target. Neither solution will allow for user level targeting.
Why is this an important update for advertisers?
This comes a year after Google first pushed back the deprecation date, from their initial 2019 announcement.
It’s evident that Google do not yet have a workable solution that is technologically viable, privacy-compliant and attractive to both advertisers and Google.
Google will be in regular discussion with the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to ensure that any solution aligns with their original commitment to provide “effective, privacy-preserving technologies and (…) sufficient time to adopt these new solutions”
This announcement is important as it gives advertisers more time to continue using third-party targeting as part of their advertising strategies.
What action should advertisers take?
Whilst the shelf life of third-party cookies has been extended, we recommend testing cookieless solutions as part of your programmatic strategies.
At RocketMill, we have had success with innovative platforms that allow advertisers to target interest groups and first party data lookalikes in premium publisher environments.
Whatever form Google’s solution ends up taking, advertisers will need to get comfortable working with broader audiences across the digital ads ecosystem. It’s been widely discussed that the efficacy of third-party audiences has always been limited.
If you have any questions about how these changes will impact your campaigns, please get in touch with our team.