How Google’s New Privacy Settings Can Impact Your Digital Marketing Strategy
Early last year, Google announced a new policy that would end the support for all third-party cookies. Web cookies are pieces of code that allow user data to be saved and tracked between different sites.
Earlier this March, Google expanded on their initial statement. Google promised not only the removal of third-party cookies but also claimed they would not replace them with any other third-party data tracking methods. This means that Google is stopping third-party companies from tracking user data rather than just changing the ways of doing so.
There are two aspects of this decision. While this is a huge step forward for user’s online privacy, it is also preventing advertisers from using a system that they have grown accustomed to over the years.
What are Third-Party Cookies?
A web cookie is a piece of code commonly used in web browsers to save user information. First-party cookies, or cookies designed and implemented directly by the website the user is visiting, can be helpful and convenient. Every time a person visits a site and their login information, such as username or password, is saved on that site, that is the result of a first-party cookie.
A third-party cookie is a piece of code created by someone other than the website host that is still used on that site. The most common forms of third-party cookies come from online advertisers. Advertisers often pay websites to place their third-party cookies on the site then use that data to track users across multiple sites.
Often when a person notices they are receiving targeted ads, third-party cookies are tracking them. While third-party cookies are not inherently harmful or dangerous, many people view them as an invasion of privacy.
Users generally understand that when they visit a site, they provide the creators or hosts of the site with some level of information. However, many feel that third-party companies using cookies to track and store their information is wrong and prevents users from controlling their own data sharing.
What is Google Actually Changing?
Google is implementing a new policy that will disallow any use of third-party cookies. The company is claiming this a move to enhance the user experience and provide better clarity and privacy while using the Chrome browser.
While third-party cookies will rarely result in computer viruses or other malware, many people find their widespread use to be incredibly concerning. In a recent blog post, Google claims that 72% of users feel that companies track everything they do online, and 81% say the risks of third-party data collection outweigh any benefit.
Google is clearly emphasizing user privacy and relationships between users and first-party companies. However, it should be noted that this policy does not mean user information is no longer being tracked. Instead, this change represents Google making sure they are better at controlling which companies can track information on Chrome.
How Does This Change Affect Marketing?
While this new policy change is not a doomsday scenario, it is also something that may have a negative impact on digital marketing agencies. The marketing agencies most affected by these changes will be the ones who rely heavily on pay-per-click advertising.
Instead of tracking user data themselves directly, marketing companies will now rely on a new system Google is introducing called the Federated Learning of Cohorts, or FLoC. The Federated Learning of Cohorts is a system that will allow Google to use user data to sort individuals into ad-based groupings or cohorts. Marketing agencies will then be able to pay to target their ads at a specific group instead of an individual.
In many ways, this change will leave many people unsatisfied. Many users will still feel that they are receiving too many targeted ads and that their information is too widely accessible. However, now it will be accessible to only Google and the sites a user visits instead of a variety of third-party agencies. Additionally, many marketers will feel that this change has a negative financial impact on their approaches.
Long-term, this will likely mean other forms of digital marketing become even more essential to business growth. Pay-per-click advertising and data tracking were techniques that have been questionable for a while now. While PPC ads can immediately impact web traffic, they can commonly cost far more than they are worth. Now they are likely to become even less effective.
Companies trying to market their products or services online should expect an even more meaningful emphasis on content marketing and brand image. Content marketing has been vital to digital marketing for years. It is now set to become an even more significant factor in the process.
With the ever-changing landscape of digital marketing, it can be challenging to navigate the field on your own. At Transparent Strategies, we make sure we are constantly up-to-date on the latest policies and trends across all search platforms and browsers so that we can make sure your marketing strategy is always the best option.
At Transparent Strategies, we have your best interests at heart. We focus on transparent and ethical marketing strategies that are completely catered to your business’s unique needs. Our company is different, and we believe that your marketing strategy should reflect that. Other marketing agencies will use generic “one-size-fits-all” marketing strategies to cut down on time and work they need to invest. We guarantee that we will build a complete plan from the ground up that works best for you. Never let a marketing company talk you into a campaign that doesn’t convert or wastes your money. We get results, and most importantly, you keep the data!