March 27, 2023

Google Is Pushing Back Its Plans to Block 3rd Party Cookies Into 2024

If you’ve been working in marketing and advertising since January 2020 or following Google trends, chances are you’ve heard about Google’s plans to block 3rd party cookies on its Chrome browser. This marks a significant but limited change for the advertising industry, but it’s also a big step forward for those worried about online privacy. In short, it halts the common practice of Google selling web ads targeted to users’ online browsing habits, and it stops Chrome from collecting that data as you surf with the browser. In other words, Ad companies who’ve relied on this method to collect user data will have to find another way to do so.

In truth, Google has been building up to this for quite some time. Their competitors Safari and Firefox had already implemented this change into their own browsers, so it was only a matter of time before Google followed suit. As the general public becomes more aware of online privacy and increasingly wary of that privacy feeling breached, Google and its competitors know they’ll have to focus more on privacy-first initiatives.

That being said, it looks as if Google has decided to push back its plans to block 3rd party cookies in Chrome. The company now plans to begin deprecating its support for third-party cookies over a two-month period in the second half of 2024. 

In announcing their latest timeline adjustment, Google explained that they wanted to give marketers more time to adjust their strategies. The company also wanted more time to test less-intrusive advertising tools that can still operate in the targeted manner marketers demand.  

Going forward, Google’s game plan is as follows:

  • Google has released trial versions of new Privacy Sandbox APIs for developers to test. In the second half of 2022, these trials grew to include millions of users worldwide, and Google will continue to grow that number in 2023.  
  • Google will continue to evaluate and act on feedback as API trials continue through Q2 2023. 
  • Google expects to launch Privacy Sandbox APIs and generally make them available in Chrome by Q3 2023. As developers adopt the new APIs, Google will begin phasing out third-party cookies in Chrome. 


What Does This Mean for Marketers and Advertisers?

This delay gives marketers and advertisers more time of their own to prepare for the changes, as the rollout of Google’s privacy initiatives was set to have big impacts on their metrics and clients. As Google continues to make changes, it’s important to find technology solutions that adjust when cookies are removed. The next step is figuring out a first-party strategy, then pulling data from other sources.

The best thing digital marketers can do right now is get started with a new Google Analytics 4 property, since Universal Analytics will stop processing new data as of July 1, 2023. 

Haven’t set up your new GA4 property yet? Don’t worry—our comprehensive guide for Google Analytics 4 has everything you need to know about why Universal Analytics is going away, how GA4 delivers superior measurement and insights, and what you need to do to maximize the value of your data. 

Contact VELOX today to learn more about how we are preparing for Google’s new changes.

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