Google 3rd Party Cookies Decision explained

Posted on January 27, 2020 (Last Updated: January 28, 2020)

Google has announced that in the next 2 years it will be moving away from the 3rd party cookie. 

This might not have come as such a surprise to all, given Google’s recent announcements around these tracking mechanisms and user privacy in Chrome.

Over the next 2 years, these changes will undoubtedly have significant implications for ecommerce digital advertising. We checked in with Wakeupdata client, Tony Zara at Iron Pulley, to hear what this could mean for digital marketers.

WakeupData - What impacts do you see Google’s decision having on the marketing landscape? 

Tony Zara - "The impact is greatest on display advertising because third party cookies are used to identify audiences and for view-through attribution. It looks like this decision will drive market consolidation. The retargeting firm Criteo, who relies on 3rd party cookies, saw an immediate and severe drop in their stock prices.

This change potentially benefits the GAFA group (Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Apple). This is because GAFA has other ways to authenticate users and identify audiences, they don’t need 3rd party cookies. 

It may also benefit publishers that authenticate users, since that data will be in higher demand."


WUD - Will this change the way you do business at your agency? 

TZ - "We’ve already had a big blind spot with Safari since Intelligent Tracking Prevention was put into place.

On average 30% of users can’t be used in retargeting or interest based campaigns, but for some websites the use of Safari is higher.

These sites struggle with reaching display audiences. Those types of sites are moving more of their budget to search."


WUD - Do you think retargeting or interest based audiences will go away? 


TZ - "No. The entire publishing ecosystem of the web depends on it, but it could all move to the current walled gardens of Google, Facebook, Amazon or in app with Apple and Google.

Publishers may band together to form their own solutions with contextual targeting."


WUD - Are there some positive aspects to this change for ecommerce companies? 

TZ - "There are many potential benefits. Aside from the potential consumer privacy benefits, one thing that is a big problem in display advertising is fraud. Display fraud thrives on the 3rd party cookie and it’s a huge problem.

Estimates of display fraud vary wildly, but we believe it’s between 30 - 50% of clicks. This type of change could reduce fraud significantly.

If the ad industry wipes out fraud, it will more than make up for the changes in the perceived accuracy of targeting."


WUD - Do you have any advice for ecommerce companies on how to prepare for the upcoming changes? 

TZ -"We’ll have to work together as a community to keep up on the standards as they come along. Google said these changes will be within 2 years. That could mean that some of the changes may be coming sooner.

Safari, Firefox, and Brave browsers have been very aggressive in implementing privacy changes over the last 2 years. Safari has slowly closed every work-around for Analytics and retargeting. It’s still too early to tell, but analytics may come back to the server side. It’s very likely that attribution, including view-through will be going away.

Working hard on click-based channels, and ecommerce conversion fundamentals may be even more important in the future."


What do you think of Google's decision to move away from 3rd party cookies? 
If you have any comments, questions or inquiries about this could affect your business, don't hesitate in reaching out to us.

Iron Pulley are a Ecommerce Marketing Agency, offering Google Shopping and Dynamic Creative Optimization. You can find out more about their services below:

Iron Pulley

Written by Guest Author

Topics:NewsGoogle Ads

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