How Will You Deal With Google Ads In A Cookieless World?

Cookies have been a controversial issue when it comes to customer privacy. For marketing, cookies are great and can help marketers place highly targeted ads in front of the people who have visited their website or shown an interest in their products. But with Google set to stop the use of third-party tracking cookies by the end of 2024, what does that mean for the effectiveness of Google Ads? That’s what we talk about in this blog.

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What Are Cookies?

A cookie is a small file of user information created by the website you’re visiting. This data helps the website to understand the visitor’s interest and personalise their experience.

When the file is made, it’s sent to your web browser. The data is then applied to the site when you visit in the future.

Users now have to accept cookies (usually using a popup or banner) so steps have already been taken to limit how user behaviour is tracked on.

How Important Are Cookies For Google Ads?

Cookies are very valuable for many reasons when it comes to Google Ads.

  1. They help to show personalised ads to users, meaning your marketing efforts are aimed at your target customers.
  2. Limit the number of times an ad is shown to a shopper, reducing your advertising costs.
  3. Cookies on Google Ads recognise customers who have already bought your product and stop showing them your ad, saving you money.
  4. Thanks to cookies, site owners and merchants can track how effective an ad is and how many conversions it gets.

If the numbers aren’t great, sellers can start optimising the ad to gain more sales!

Google’s Plan With Third-Party Cookies

Unlike first-party cookies added by the site you’re visiting, third-party cookies are placed on it by another site.

For example, if you were to browse for Adidas football boots on search, third-party cookies may have been placed on sites by advertising platforms like Google Ads to track consumer behaviour.

This is why you may see Adidas football boots advertised on other sites.

However, Google announced in 2021 that they would be phasing out third-party cookies completely. This was due to a growing demand for consumer privacy.

So, how will Google ads continue to track and show relevant adverts to consumers?

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Alternatives To Third-Party Cookies Offered By Google

To keep advertisers and merchants in the loop with consumer behaviours and trends, Google is introducing The Privacy Sandbox.

Privacy Sandbox will meet users and advertisers in the middle.

It will use the latest privacy techniques to limit invasive tracking and restrict the level of information sites can access.

So, merchants can still access data without taking too much and breaking the trust between consumers and Google.

  1. With ad personalisation, Google are proposing Topics, a method “designed to preserve privacy while showing relevant content and ads”.So
  2. advertisers can continue tracking whilst preserving user privacy, a new proposal, Attribution Reporting, is in development.

We won’t know how effective the new Google proposals will be until the end of 2023, when Google plans to roll out Privacy Sandbox.

Adjusting To A Cookie-Free World

Google has stated that first-party cookies will stay, so there’s no need to worry about your Google analytics tracking.

Other than The Privacy Sandbox, how will your Google Ads campaign adjust without third-party cookies?

In a world with fewer consumer data available to advertisers and businesses, AI features and products that integrate with Google Ads may hold the key…

AI systems will take first-party cookie data and enable you to communicate just as effectively with your shoppers!

Examples of these advanced techniques include;

  1. Dynamic search adverts – tailored ads created from your site content targeting specific consumer queries on Google.
  2. Smart bidding – uses machine algorithms that accurately predicts how bid costs will affect sales and conversions.
  3. Performance Max – uses your product feeds to create and show ads across Google Search, Display, YouTube, and Gmail.
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Google Ads Without Cookies: Conclusion

Of course, killing third-party cookies will disrupt Google Ads and many other marketing tactics.

Businesses will have to adapt their ad targeting strategies to adjust without them and find other ways to reach shoppers.

But Google won’t be standing back and letting merchants suffer.

Their new Privacy Sandbox proposal will combat user privacy issues and give companies the right to track and use smaller amounts of data.

2023 isn’t too far away, so start prepping for a cookie-less world now!

A digital marketing specialist can help your business navigate the Google Ads cookie transition.

If you’re interested in creating a Google Ads campaign or optimising your current strategy, get in touch with Paramount Digital today.


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