This came across my social wall and I noticed a few misconception around it, so I wanted to write this to explain and share my thoughts.
Google announced that they hope to be making a change (within 2 years) to their popular web browser, Google Chrome – that it no longer supports third-party cookies.
Firstly, Third-Party Cookies are mainly used by advertising platform to ‘retarget’ users across the internet.
If you’ve been on Lazada, looking at a pair of shoes and then begin seeing ads everywhere you go on the internet – that’s the effect of third-party cookies.
The difference between First-Party & Third-Party cookies
I’ll explain them in layman terms. If you’re a tech-whizz who sees faults in my writing, let me know.
First-party cookies are issued by the domain (or website) that you’re visiting. Say you’re visiting www.thelead.io and the site places a cookie into your browser. That’s a first-party cookie.
And first-party cookies are actually a good thing. It helps create a better browsing experience for you. For example, if you went to an e-commerce site and added some products to cart, it’ll recognize and save the cart for you when you re-visit the website a few days later.
Third-party cookies, on the other hand, are not created by the domain you visited, but by someone else. For example, you visit www.entrepreneur.com and an ad appears on the site. The ad then drops a cookie into your browser (to track you). That’s a third-party cookie because it was issued by ‘someone else’.
Note: Your pop-ups and tracking tools that you place on your own website will still work. That’s a first-party cookie because you placed it yourself.
Why this change is good for internet users.
With browsers moving to drop support for third-party cookies, that means you get less ‘creepy’ & retarget ads aimed at you.
You also feel safer, because this also means less invasion on your privacy, with Adtech companies now unable to track you across the internet.
Why this is bad for advertisers.
If you’re a business who relies on digital advertising, or an advertiser yourself, this is potentially bad news.
Remarketing with ads will begin to pose a challenge, as most advertising platform relies on third-party cookies for this. With support removed on possibly the most popular web browser, Chrome, it’ll be hard to run retargeting ads.
Larger advertisers will begin to move into other forms of targeting in digital advertising, to name a few – contextual targeting, interest-based targeting and list ads.
Wait.. How does Google benefit from this?
Yes, Google makes most of its money from digital advertising.
Surely this will affect its own business? Here’s my take on this.
Because Google owns Google Chrome, they collect data using a totally different way. It’s advertising model clearly does not rely on third-party cookies.
So this move, in fact, might make Google a bigger monopoly of digital advertising by eliminating the other Adtech companies (who do not own web browsers) and have to rely on third-party cookies for audience data collection and remarketing.
Final thoughts. Google’s goal in its move to kill third-party cookie support is to build a more private web for internet users. But is it really?