Google Announces Intention to End Cookie Support Within Two Years

author image Written by: Nicole McCormick           Categories - In The News

What the End of Cookies Could Mean for Advertising and Digital Marketing

It’s hard to imagine a world without cookies (the Internet kind, not chocolate chip), but if all goes according to Google’s plan, we may see a more private Internet in as shortly as two years. According to a recent blog post published to Google’s Chromium Blog, Google has started working towards its goal of making the web a more private and secure place for users, while also still supporting publishers. “Users are demanding greater privacy–including transparency, choice and control over how their data is used–and it’s clear the web ecosystem needs to evolve to meet these increasing demands,” said Google. This shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise, since back in August, Google had announced its new Privacy Sandbox initiative and a goal of developing a set of open standards to enhance privacy on the web. Now, it appears as Google is making good on its word, by announcing its intention to phase out support for third-party cookies in Chrome within just two years. In other words, cookies will be gone for good.


“After initial dialogue with the web community, we are confident that with continued iteration and feedback, privacy-preserving and open-standard mechanisms like the Privacy Sandbox can sustain a healthy, ad-supported web in a way that will render third-party cookies obsolete,” said Google. “Once these approaches have addressed the needs of users, publishers, and advertisers, and we have developed the tools to mitigate workarounds, we plan to phase out support for third-party cookies in Chrome.” This success of this initiative will be dependent on how the development, testing and verification process will play out over the next two years. “We are working actively across the ecosystem so that browsers, publishers, developers, and advertisers have the opportunity to experiment with these new mechanisms, test whether they work well in various situations, and develop supporting implementations, including ad selection and measurement, denial of service (DoS) prevention, anti-spam/fraud, and federated authentication,” said Google.

How This Will Affect the Digital Marketing World

In simple terms, cookies are a tool used within browsers that allow websites to capture and save user data. For nearly three decades, cookies have driven digital advertising, making them an invaluable tool for advertisers and digital marketers.


And while Safari and Firefox browsers have already made the move to block third-party cookies, Google Chrome’s decision to follow suit represents a major industry shift, as the browser makes up 70% of all desktop Internet usage and 41% of mobile. With so much uncertainty over the ripple effect Google’s decision will have, it’s only natural to feel nervous about the inevitable death of cookies. But that’s not to say that a world without cookies is the end of digital marketing as we know it. For starters, the changes will only affect desktop, so you can breathe a sigh of relief about that. And, Google has also proposed changes that would allow tracking to continue without advertisers being able to access users’ personal information. And if you think about it, the lack of third-party cookies for desktop can actually be beneficial, as it would require you to take a more identity-centric approach. This approach can be highly effective, as it requires you to focus more on the customer’s overall journey, giving you more insight and control. So, while getting rid of cookies will inevitably have an impact on advertising and digital marketing, the future may not be so bleak after all.

Nicole McCormick

Nicole is a wordsmith wizard, passionate about the written word and an avid storyteller who uses creatively crafted prose to help bring your brand’s story to the next level. A former journalist with writing credits in both local and national news publications and a few newspaper awards under her belt, Nicole now enjoys telling your stories and finding new and creative ways to create valuable content that resonates with audiences in the digital landscape.

‘Related Search For Content Ads’ Launched By Google


Google has added a new ad unit to its AdSense suite that is supposed to point users to related content on your site. As seen in the image below, the new ad unit functions as a content type suggestion, directing users to additional content-related pages on your website.

So, essentially – it’s an effective way to keep visitors on your site longer, as well as increase advertising exposure and branding.


An example of AdSense’s related search for content pages. Image: Google.
Image Source: Google AdSense


Here’s how Google explained it:

“Related search for content is a contextual navigation unit that shows users search terms related to the page they’re viewing on a publisher’s website. When they click a search term, they’re taken to a search results page on the publisher’s site where they can explore other relevant topics, including search ads.

As a result, Related search for content can help publishers increase site engagement – including site traffic, pageviews and ad impressions – and drive incremental revenue.”

Taking Care Of privacy

Also, according to Google, its a ‘privacy-preserving’ solution’, since the new feature doesn’t use user data to deliver relevant search terms but uses page content instead.

“Meanwhile, ads on the search page target the search term the user clicked on, rather than actual user data.”

This option could help Google deliver more customized ad solutions without the need for cookies, as part of its move away from user data tracking.

Read More About Privacy, Cookies, And Ads Here

The Benefits Of Using The New Feature

  • Increased site engagement:
  • Relevant search ads
  • Incremental revenue
  • Better user experience
  • You get more ad revenue


Google also stated that, in order to start using Related Search For Content Ads, you must first activate AdSense for search for your AdSense account by contacting your account manager and making sure you comply with Google’s policies.

The full process and steps for creating a related search unit for your content pages can be found here.


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‘And That’s The Way The Cookie Crumbles’


Update from the future: Google extends the use of third-party cookies once again. Read more about it here.


The wish for having it both ways has always been out there, and when it comes to digital marketing, it’s getting even harder to achieve. With more and more concerns about privacy and data collection, it has become challenging to track your potential prospects. As we all know, tracking is crucial for a successful digital marketing strategy. So, what’s this with Google’s plan of stopping the support of third-party cookies in its Chrome browser? Well, it’s privacy.

General data protection and privacy is becoming more important by the day – it is a big thing in Europe and it has made it far harder to collect and use customer data. This part of the globe has its own versions of it and advertising companies are starting to think about alternatives.

The death of third-party data collection will make us try harder to accurately show just how well a marketing investment will result in, well, results (leads, sales, revenue – important stuff).

Third-Party Cookies

Third-party cookies have been a go-to solution for years when it comes to measuring digital ad performance – and once Google stops supporting them, it will be way harder to see view-through conversions (if someone saw your ad and converted on your website later).

The problem with them, as noted in this article, is fake results. Hold up, don’t come at me that easily, keep reading.

If you use multiple channels for your latest campaign, you will, of course, get multiple reports. Every report will have the same number of conversions, and by that logic – if you used two channels and got 100 new leads, according to the reports you will have 200 new leads because both channels showed the ads to a prospect. Ain’t that false? But, the channels will likely try to take credit for it – and that costs money, and reputation in a way.

How To Handle the removal of third party cookies

There are some options – one of them being using first-party cookies.

Having them on your website will help you see which marketing channels and campaigns are resulting in conversions. You can see the number of times people visited your website before they converted, you can give credit to your organic search and email, and you will avoid the double-tracking mentioned above. This way, you will have one true source of tracking information and will show you the exact results and true value of what you have going on.

Other options include:

  • Identity Solutions – email address, phone number, login ID. This uses 1st-party cookies on your website
  • Google’s Privacy Sandbox – still developing
  • Publisher Provided Identifiers (PPIDs) – a PPID is an identifier assigned to a user by a publisher, the user logs in and it enables to deliver of personalized ad campaigns
  • Contextual Targeting – doesn’t rely on personal data, but on the web page’s contents for keywords and phrases (time spent browsing)
  • Data Pools or Data Clean Rooms – storing a large amount of data
  • User Identity Graphs – combines personal identity information (email address) with 1st-party cookies and publisher IDs.
  • Digital Fingerprinting – identifying users by recording their IP, plugins, screen size, browser, time zone and OS.

Having a diverse approach might be a good strategy – combining multiple ways and gathering first-party data could give you a detailed understanding of what’s going on with your campaign while respecting your prospects’ privacy.

Measuring return on investment from media platforms is about to get harder, less accurate and, in the end, not even possible when we say goodbye to these cookies. That won’t happen until next year, but you need to start practising and adjusting now.


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