What Google’s cookie-less privacy measures mean for marketers and what is the alternative in the cookie-less world has summarised Lee Wilson, Head of services at Vertical Leap, in the article in The Drum.

“Google’s phasing out of third-party cookies is well documented and the entire industry is speculating what this transition will mean for marketers and advertisers, as well as everyday web users.

In March, Google released its first major announcement with details of what its vision for a cookie-free web will involve – and some important points were clarified.” – wrote Lee Wilson.

“Google is confident about tracking users anonymously

Google might be ditching third-party cookies but this doesn’t mean it’s done with tracking users entirely and it’s confident about the effectiveness of its anonymous tracking technology.

“Advances in aggregation, anonymization, on-device processing and other privacy-preserving technologies offer a clear path to replacing individual identifiers,” – Temkin insists.

Google’s headline technology is Federated Learning of Cohorts (FLoC), which essentially groups users anonymously into “flocks” with other users who complete the same actions. In his statement, Temkin references Google’s latest tests of FLoC where the solution achieves roughly 95% of the conversion power advertisers are used to with cookies.

“Our tests of FLoC to reach in-market and affinity Google Audiences show that advertisers can expect to see at least 95% of the conversions per dollar spent when compared to cookie-based advertising,”

said Chetna Bindra, group product manager, user trust and privacy at Google.

Temkin says this:

“Points to a future where there is no need to sacrifice relevant advertising and monetization in order to deliver a private and secure experience”.

Not everybody is convinced FLoC is the solution advertisers are looking for, though, while others point to a new set of privacy concerns it raises. It will be interesting to see whether advertisers and publishers buy into Google’s rhetoric or sit back and see how it compares with other options before drawing any conclusions.”

“What are the alternatives for marketers and advertisers?

As things stand, the most viable advertising solutions for a cookie-free web either replace them with similar technologies or anonymous grouping, as seen in Google’s FLoC standard. If Google is right that “advertisers don’t need to track individual consumers across the web to get the performance benefits of digital advertising,” then perhaps more alternatives will emerge.
The most obvious example is contextual advertising, which focuses more on contextual relevance with the content users are currently engaging with.

Let’s imagine a small business owner gets home and opens up their favourite recipe website for some idea on what to cook for dinner. Is this the right time to deliver ads for accounting software, using interest targeting options (typical of cookie advertising), or would it make more sense to show ads related to food products/services while accounting is the last thing this hungry business owner is currently interested in?
Either way, Google needs to find the right balance between addressing users’ privacy concerns and keeping advertisers excited about paying for ad placements.”

Source: The Drum, “What Google’s cookieless privacy measures mean for marketers” by Lee Wilson

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