Google Delays Cookie Phase-Out to Late 2023 Company Reveals ‘New Timeline’ Following Privacy Investigations

author image Written by: Wade Morris           Categories - In The News, SEO

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

Google’s decision to phase out cookies has caused a lot of controversy and concern – and following regulatory pressure, the search engine company has delayed the elimination of cookies until 2023.

In a blog post published on Thursday, Google’s Privacy Engineering Director Vinay Goel revealed the company’s “new timeline,” indicating that support for cookies would begin to phase out at the end of 2023.

A ‘cookie’ is a digital tool that stores user data on websites. Third-party cookies are often created by advertising companies and track users to bring them targeted ads.

When Google announced the plan to phase out third-party cookies, they argued that the decision would benefit users’ privacy.

“If digital advertising doesn’t evolve to address the growing concerns people have about their privacy and how their personal identity is being used, we risk the future of the free and open web,” wrote David Temkin, Google’s director of product management in a blog post earlier this year.

READ MORE: Google Vows It Will No Longer Use Web Tracking Tool After Cookies are Phased Out

However, the decision was met with backlash from third-party companies and regulators. A blog post from the Electronic Frontier Foundation argued that Google’s replacement for third-party cookies will violate privacy similarly, but in a way that prioritizes Google’s business interests.

Regulatory bodies also raised eyebrows over the decision.

Britain’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) investigated the decision this month – and as a result, the window to phase out cookies was delayed from January 2022 to late 2023.

“If the commitments are accepted they become legally binding, promoting competition in digital markets, helping to protect the ability of online publishers to raise money through advertising and safeguarding users’ privacy,” a spokesperson said.

The U.S. Department of Justice and the European Union’s competition commission also investigated the issue.

READ MORE: Dept. of Justice Investigates Google Over Decision to Phase Out Cookies

The decision to delay the removal of cookies won’t cause the debate to die down. Google’s competitors, critics, and regulatory bodies will likely continue to investigate whether or not the move will truly protect users’ privacy, or simply give Google a competitive edge.

Wade Morris

Wade brings an energetic approach to writing – he is always on the hunt for stories and angles that matter. With years of experience in journalism and marketing environments, Wade has written about everything from politics to education. Now, he writes about SEO and digital marketing trends.

‘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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