What Does Google’s Phaseout of Browser Cookies Mean for You?

Privacy is a constant concern when it comes user data. As more and more consumers express anxiety about the ways their private data is compiled and used, companies are scrambling to address their questions and offer assurances. Privacy concerns may be what is driving Google’s decision to cease tracking users once it phases out use of third-party cookies in Chrome.

While some companies plan to enact other user identifiers to ensure personalized content is delivered to target audiences, Google claims these methods are too invasive. Instead, they will rely on anonymous methods or those that aggregate data from multiple users in an effort to preserve their privacy.

What Are Browser Cookies?

Despite their innocent name, cookies remain a contentious subject. Cookies contain identifying data that is stored on a server. When you visit a website you’ve visited in the past, the server calls up your data to provide you personalized information.

First-party cookies are created by the specific website you’re browsing. There are also third-party cookies, which are created by other websites. In many cases, third-party cookies are created by websites with ads on the webpage you’re visiting, even if you don’t interact with those ads.

How Are They Used in Advertising?

While they can enhance user experience, cookies also play a huge role in digital advertising. Your cookies bring you specific advertisements that other users might not be privy to. Conversely, other users will receive ads based on their browsing habits and preferences. Ecommerce sites also use cookies to track customers. When you return to a site you’ve shopped at previously, you’ll receive suggestions based on your past shopping activity.

How Will Google’s Decision Impact Digital Marketing?

The good news is that Google is only phasing out third-party cookies, meaning websites are still allowed to use first-party cookies to track users. And Google will still track and collect data, just not on the individual level.

When it comes to Google Analytics, which provides helpful information to business owners regarding who visits their website, how often, what a user does while visiting, etc., the loss of third-party cookies may prove challenging. This is because Google Analytics generates third-party cookies itself to track relevant user information. While google has not addressed this issue specifically, it’s projected that they will develop another method of compiling pertinent information that is friendly to privacy concerns.

Alternative Methods for Business Owners

For businesses that currently rely on third-party cookies, there are already alternatives available. Contextual advertising involves placing ads on pages with relevant content. For instance, a post about the latest tech developments might features ads for laptops or tablets.

Businesses can also make use of Google’s Privacy Sandbox. Instead of cookies, Privacy Sandbox uses five separate application programming interfaces (APIs) that aggregate data from groups of people. This information can be used to target certain consumers but fails to drill down into data on the individual level.

When it comes to the impact on SEO strategy, businesses are encouraged to be transparent about data collection and use. Consumers are more likely to agree to tracking when they understand what information is being accessed. They’re also more likely to trust a company that takes user privacy seriously.

Let’s Discuss Your Strategy Today

While the death of third-party cookies may throw up some roadblocks, there are plenty of other ways to create a successful SEO strategy. SonicSEO.com is happy to be your trusted guide through the ever-changing digital landscape. We stay on top of new developments so we can tweak your digital marketing solutions to offer the most benefit.