The end of third-party cookies, now what?
With Apple announcing the end of Facebook tracking in 2021 and Google announcing the end of third-party cookies in Q2-2024 in Google Chrome (global market share of 65%), we’re facing changes in online advertising. In this newsletter we will explain more about cookies, third-party cookies, the changes we are facing, and our view of the future.
The end of third-party cookies, now what?
First things first: what do cookies do?
Without cookies, it is as if the internet has no memory. Cookies make sure data on (search)behavior on websites is collected. Think shopping baskets, logins, forms, etc. Cookies allow us to recognize returning visitors to our website, even if it has been a while since we last saw them.
How about third-party cookies?
Third-party cookies are different kinds of cookies. They are – as the name suggests – cookies from third parties, such as Google, Facebook, and Instagram. These cookies are loaded from an external domain on the website to collect data for advertising purposes. For example, Facebook can collect data to help advertisers improve their targeting and Google Analytics collects data on the browsing behavior of a website visitor before they even land on your website. Third-party cookies allow us to show advertisements to our target audience on other websites, which results in them visiting your website, which is called retargeting.
Does the end of third-party cookies result in online advertising crumbling?
To be able to answer this question, we will start off by explaining the impact of the ending of third-party cookies on our advertising campaigns.
The impact on analytics and conversion tracking
As a result of blocking third-party cookies, website analytics and conversion tracking cookies suffer as well. Blocking cookies means that returning visitors are not recognized. Therefore campaigns that – for example – do not have an impact in 24 hours, but only after 14 days, will receive the wrong rating.
Fewer insights in traffic as a result of advertising and website traffic and online behavior results in less data to be able to optimize campaigns and reach the right audience. In time you will have to invest more to be able to get the same results.
The most prominent change with the disappearance of third-party cookies is that we are not able to target users on other websites and platforms anymore. This creates a dependence of platforms like Facebook and Google where users can be identified despite of cookies.
Due to the GDPR users have to give permission for the usage of third-party cookies, and the number of people that allow third-party cookies is decreasing steadily. There is a clear anti-cookie trend, both for private users and businesses.
Luckily, there is a solution to the problem
With the disappearance of third-party cookies, a solution is created to be able to collect data to manage your campaigns effectively. With a slight change to the backend of your website, you are able to collect the data needed. Of course, you continue to take care of the privacy of the website visitors. The solution is called server side tagging.
The current situation
When someone visits your website or webshop, a piece of code is loaded in the browser. This is sent to Google or Facebook. This is called client side tagging.
The new situation
With server side tagging things are different. An intermediate step is added by a separate server, so that it is not immediately loaded in the browser. On this server or server side tagging, this is forwarded to the final destination. The positive consequence of this is that you have more influence on what happens because you manage the server yourself. The benefits of server side tracking are:
- Improved security: because you have better control of the data that is sent to third parties such as Google and Facebook
- Improved reliability of first-party analytics: because the impact of tracking prevention and ad-blockers is limited. This results in better data quality for first-party data.
- Adjustment or enrichment of data: before this is sent to analytics or advertising platforms.
- Privacy legislation: comply with increasingly strict legislation regarding cookies
So, do we take action, or sit back and relax?
If you take action, you
- Are ready for the future
- Improve the reliability of analytics
- Create a faster loading website (and create a better user experience)
- Increased insight into website visitors
- Increased security
Note: Added (monthly) costs (approx. 100-150 EUR)
- If you choose to sit back and relax, you
- Have less insight into website visitors and their behavior
- Are not able to remarket your advertisements
- Directing advertising campaigns based on web analytics is inaccurate
- No complex installation
- Extra costs to achieve the same results with a campaign
If you have decided that server side tagging is what you want for the future, these are your next steps:
- Contact Holland Travel Marketing.
- Together we decide on the best approach for your website.
- We take care of the implementation of server side tagging.