Alternatives To Third-Party Cookies

Alternatives To Third-Party Cookies

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    Concerns about online privacy and restrictions on the use of third-party cookies have prompted businesses to seek out new methods of online tracking and advertising. Companies in the online advertising industry are facing a significant shift as a result of the deprecation of third-party cookies, and as a result, they need to develop new strategies for providing users with tailored content and advertisements.


    Companies are looking into alternative tracking and advertising technologies for the Internet as the use of cookies placed on users' computers by third parties is becoming increasingly restricted due to privacy concerns.

    Covered In This Article

    First-Party Data
    Contextual advertising
    Device fingerprinting
    Server-side tracking
    Google's Privacy Sandbox

    First-Party Data

    First-party data is data that is directly collected from users by a company, such as information that is provided through forms or sign-ups. Businesses are allowed to collect and use this type of data. This method is thought to be less intrusive to users' privacy and has the potential to facilitate the delivery of more tailored experiences, as well as advertisements.

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    Contextual advertising

    Contextual advertising is a method that delivers advertisements to users based on the content of the website they are currently visiting, as opposed to basing the advertisements on the user's behaviour or other personal information. This method is thought to be less intrusive to users' privacy and allows for the delivery of advertisements that are better tailored to the individual who is viewing them.

    Device fingerprinting

    Device fingerprinting is a method that can be used to track the behaviour of a user by making use of information about the user's device, such as the operating system, browser, and screen size. Even though it is thought to be less invasive to users' privacy than cookies from third parties, it is still possible for it to cause problems if it is utilised in a manner that is intrusive.

    Server-side tracking

    Server-side tracking is an approach that involves tracking user behaviour on the server rather than in the user's browser. This method is also known as "server-tracking." Because the personal data of the user is not stored in the browser, this tracking method may be more respectful of the user's right to privacy; however, it may also be more difficult to put into practice.

    Google's Privacy Sandbox

    In the future, when cookies won't exist, Google wants ad targeting, measurement, and fraud prevention to be carried out in accordance with the standards established by its Privacy Sandbox. These standards stipulate that five application programming interfaces will take the place of cookies in this scenario.

    Advertisers will use each API to receive aggregated data about issues such as conversion (how well their ads performed), and attribution, amongst other things (which entity is credited, say, for a purchase).

    Privacy Sandbox is an alternative route that Google is providing for the advertising industry to take. It relies on anonymised signals (which are not cookies) that are contained within a person's Chrome browser in order to profit from the browsing habits of that user. Due to the fact that the Privacy Sandbox initiative is still in its infancy, Google has proposed many features; however, there is currently no actual platform or code for marketers to accurately evaluate.

    Here is what our current knowledge is regarding each API:

    • The trust API is Google's replacement for CAPTCHA; it will ask a Chrome user only once to complete a programme that is similar to CAPTCHA, and then it will rely on anonymous "trust tokens" to demonstrate in the future that this person is an actual living human. By assigning a "budget" to each website, the privacy budget API will put a cap on the amount of data that can be gleaned from Google's APIs by third-party websites.
    • An alternative to cookies, the conversion measurement API from Google will inform an advertiser if a user who saw the advertiser's ad ultimately purchased the product or landed on the promoted page after clicking on the ad. When researching the browsing behaviours of cohorts of users who are similar to one another, the Federated Learning of Cohorts will utilise machine learning.
    • The final component is known as PIGIN, which stands for private interest groups and includes noise. This component gives each Chrome browser the ability to track a set of interest groups that a user is believed to belong to.

    These are some of the most promising alternatives to cookies placed on a user's computer by a third party; however, the specific approach that companies decide to take will depend on the particular requirements of their company, as well as the preferences of the customers they serve. Regardless of the strategy that is taken, it is abundantly clear that the deprecation of third-party cookies will necessitate the adoption of new tracking technologies as well as advertising strategies by businesses operating online.

    Alternatives to Third-Party Cookies FAQs

    How do I market without third-party cookies?

    In a world without third-party cookies, marketers can use various strategies to reach their target audience effectively. First, consider using first-party data, which is the information you collect directly from your audience or customers. By offering value in return, like personalised content or exclusive deals, you can encourage visitors to share their information. Next, contextual targeting, which involves placing ads on websites with related content, is a viable strategy. Moreover, embracing privacy-friendly techniques like browser fingerprinting or using hashed emails can also help. A hashed email address is a method of encrypting an email address by giving it a unique 32, 40, or 64-character code. This code remains the same no matter if the email address is used on different platforms, browsers, or devices.

    It's also essential to invest in technologies like data management platforms (DMPs) or customer data platforms (CDPs) to manage, store, and analyse data effectively. Finally, fostering strong relationships with customers through direct communications and loyalty programs will become increasingly important in the post-cookie era.

    Why is Google removing 3rd party cookies?

    Google is phasing out third-party cookies in its Chrome browser as part of an initiative called the Privacy Sandbox. The main reason behind this move is the growing concern over privacy regulations and the demand for greater transparency, control, and choice from users regarding how their personal data is used. With changing public attitudes towards privacy and increased scrutiny from regulators, Google aims to develop new ways to meet the needs of advertisers without compromising user privacy.

    Are third-party cookies going away?

    Yes, third-party cookies are being phased out. This move is primarily led by Google, which announced that it would stop supporting third-party cookies on its Chrome browser by 2023. Other browsers, like Safari and Firefox, have already implemented measures to block third-party cookies by default. This marks a significant shift in the digital marketing landscape, pushing towards a more privacy-focused web browsing experience.

    What is cookieless marketing?

    Cookieless marketing refers to the methods of targeting and reaching potential customers without relying on third-party cookies. As privacy concerns grow, and with the phasing out of third-party cookies, marketers need to adapt to new ways of gathering and analysing data. Cookieless marketing strategies can include the use of first-party data collected directly from consumers, contextual advertising based on the content of the website the user is viewing, predictive modelling to anticipate customer behaviours, and leveraging privacy-compliant identifiers. The goal of cookieless marketing is to create a more personalised and privacy-respectful interaction between businesses and consumers.

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