Google has officially started to phase out third-party cookies.
A new feature called Tracking Protection, which restricts third-party cookies by default, began rolling out to 1% of Chrome users globally on January 4, 2024.
If you have been affected, you will will receive a notification when you open Chrome on either desktop or Android devices.
Why we care. If your marketing heavily depends on targeted advertising with third-party cookies, it’s time to reconsider your tactics. Begin preparing your websites now before Google completely retires third-party cookies in the latter half of 2024.
Impact: The affect of the Tracking Protection tool rollout is yet to be determined, however, discussions among digital marketers on X indicate that advertisers are still not ready for the removal of third-party cookies:
Problems to watch out for. If your site relies on third-party cookies and the roll out of Tracking Protection causes issues (for example, you refresh a page multiple times), Chrome will prompt you to temporarily re-enable them by clicking the eye icon on the address bar’s right side.
What are third-party cookies? A third-party cookie is a small piece of data placed on a user’s device (computer, cellphone, or tablet) by a website different from the one the user is currently visiting. It tracks the user’s browsing history, enabling personalized ads based on their activities.
Why now? Google considers phasing out third-party cookies by the second half of 2024 as a crucial move in its Privacy Sandbox initiative. The final decision depends on resolving competition concerns from the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority.
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Deep dive. Read ‘SEO and the future world without cookies‘ by Search Engine Land contributor Adam Audette for more information on what a cookieless world will look like for SEO and PPC marketers.