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2022: The End of Third-Party Cookies

Rob Swinburne

October 11th, 2021

For years now websites have been using third-party cookies to track website visitors, improve user experience and collect data for things like ads but come 2022 this is all set to change as third-party cookies get phased out. 

 The announcement arrived initially in February of 2020 and Google has since announced that there won’t be any alternate identifiers to track individuals across the web and that they have no plan to use them in any Google products.

Of course, this produces more challenges for marketers who will struggle to understand their audiences and will have to find another way to define audiences, it also opens the door to new opportunities, more on that later. 

What comes next?

As you’d probably expect with any significant change revolving around privacy and data people have been scrambling to try and work out how the new changes will affect the way online business works. 

Do we really need to stress?

Yes and no, some areas of marketing will be affected more than others, some will stay practically the same as they are now. If you’re someone who relies on third-party data for your online strategy, understandably, you’d be worried. 

It’s worth knowing some important points though to help ease your mind: 

  • Google isn’t completely getting rid of cookies, so far they have only spoken about third-party cookies but the first-party cookies that track basic data about your own traffic will still be safe and sound. 

In 2021 Google even called first-party cookies “vital” so they aren’t going anywhere any time soon. 

  • Third-party cookies being phased out isn’t a surprise either, governments the world over have been cracking down on data privacy issues more than ever. Tools are now being created that heavily leverage first-party cookies and lump visitor profiles into more 

anonymous segments. 

  • There’s more to marketing than data, you'll still be able to leverage and target Google Ads using first-party cookies and so on. The real question is why is google so keen to get rid of third-party cookies? 

Is it to improve consumer privacy? The change is definitely good for the consumer but is definitely going to hurt the majority of third-party platforms that rely on these cookies to generate revenue. 

How to Prepare for the Phase-Out

People are of course now looking for solutions to work out what to do next, right now the best thing to do is to keep up with as much news as much as possible around the changes. If you rely on third-party data it might be time to start looking at your other options for the near future. 

Remember that solution we mentioned earlier? For those of you who have a physical location, it could provide all the answers. Social wi-fi is a service you’ve more than likely encountered in your life without realising it. Customers are asked to enter basic information or log in using things like social media in exchange for free Wi-Fi, this means you can learn about your audience and they receive Wi-Fi in return. 

Seemingly the only drawback is that social wi-fi requires a physical location but can really make your marketing life easier as long as people use the service. You can gather insights into your audience, your website and more. If you’re interested check out our social wi-fi page or contact us to learn more.