GA4’s new privacy features ahead of third-party cookie deprecation


Google Analytics 4 is enhancing its privacy features in preparation for the deprecation of third-party cookies next year.

The platform told Search Engine Land that it is accelerating the roll out of the Protected Audiences API and is also integrating enhanced conversions.

Why we care. These tools provide insights for strategic decision-making while ensuring compliance with privacy regulations, and maintaining a competitive edge in the market.

Enhanced conversion integration. GA4 is integrating enhanced conversions, eliminating the need for marketers to switch between Google Ads and GA4 to access this data. The beta rollout starts in the coming weeks, with general availability expected early next year.

What are enhanced conversions? Enhanced conversions is a privacy-focused tool designed to improve the accuracy of your conversion measurements and enable more effective bidding in a world without third-party cookies.

Protected Audiences API rollout. Google is speeding up the deployment of support for the Protected Audiences API, formerly known as FLEDGE, so that advertisers can reconnect with their customers even in the absence of third-party cookies.

What is the Protected Audiences API? A browser-based API that allows advertisers and ad tech companies to display interest-group-targeted ads without depending on third-party cookies. It ensures user privacy by preventing cross-site tracking.

Get your consent in order. Consent Mode, a tool in GA4, enables businesses to honor users’ consent preferences from cookie banners or widgets. This allows Google Analytics to dynamically adjust its behavior. For instance, if users decline consent, Consent Mode helps clear up uncertainties in the consumer journey, providing a full performance overview.

To utilize features like the Protected Audiences API, businesses must have appropriate consent and permissions, especially for those with traffic from the European Economic Area (EEA).

What Google is saying. A Google spokesperson told Search Engine Land:

  • “As businesses prepare for 2024, especially with third-party cookie deprecation on the horizon, it’s critical that they have a durable measurement foundation in place.”
  • “Privacy features have always been a critical part of the product roadmap. We’ve continued to invest in features that protect people’s privacy, while also delivering the insights businesses need to make strategic decisions.’

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Deep dive. Check out our investigation into SEO and the future world without cookies by Search Engine Land contributor Adam Audette for more information.


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