How the third-party cookie crumbles: Google Chrome change to force ad strategy rethink

chrome third party cookies

Online marketers will soon need a new strategy to track website visitors as Google Chrome prepares to phase out third-party cookies by 2022.

Back in August last year, Google released its proposal to implement a new set of web standards dubbed Privacy Sandbox, in an effort to “sustain a healthy, ad-supported web in a way that will render third-party cookies obsolete”.

Cookies are the main mechanism used by website owners to store data, improve user experience and target advertisements.

Under the new changes, first-party cookies stored directly by website owners will be untouched, so businesses will be able to continue to use capabilities such as live-chat support, log-in details records and remembering what has been added to shopping carts.

However, third-party cookies hosted on other domains such as ad.doubleclick.net, which track cross-site behaviour and allow for retargeting of ads, will be phased out.

As Chrome moves onto HTTPS, it has also introduced the SameSite attribute, which will allow third-party cookies to be labelled for one website use only. The attribute is intended to assist in the transition period and give website developers an alternative to more aggressive tracking techniques.

On the other hand, the change will push brands to build out first-party-cookies strategies and rethink their optimisation goals.

Marketing and SEO agencies may also see a resurgence, and older models of metric measuring may come back into the fold.

For the time being, other popular web browsers such as Firefox, Safari and Opera are not following Chrome in making these changes.

While this may be good news for some, Chrome does lead the web browser market share by a huge margin. A recent report revealed 58% of all internet browsers used Chrome over all other competing platforms last month.

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