We all knew that new privacy laws were going to change the way our information is collected and stored for the use of advertising. We didn’t know how big of a change it would be to one of the worlds largest advertising companies. Google has long used “cookies” to save our preferences and use them to re-market products and services to users on multiple online platforms.
What is a cookie exactly?
Cookies are created when you use your browser to visit a website. The website uses a piece of code called a “cookie” to keep track of your views and clicks on a particular website. It was designed to help users to go back to a website they had previously looked at to go to where you left off. It also has the ability to remember your login information, all of your site preferences and all the websites products and services you may have clicked on.
You will notice when you clear your cookies your username and passwords for site disappear when you re-visit a website you frequent. Users are in the drivers seat when it comes to “saving” cookies, but advertisers use them to target you after you leave the site.
Every website that uses these snippets of code can then store all your information about how you used their website in a file. Many of these files are stored under your IP address or an ID tag you set up for their website. It allows the website to store corresponding files and can track and keep information on your movements within the website.
Another way to look at Cookies:
Tracking cookies an more specifically the third-party tracking cookies, are compiling long-term records of individuals’ browsing history. This has prompted privacy concern in Europe and in the USA. In the USA, we passed some privacy regulations you can read about here: U.S. lawmakers take action to protect user privacy in 2011.
Using cookies for re-marketing, advertisers can use Google ads to target previous visitors to a website. Then use that data to target the vast number of Google partner sites in the Google Display Network.
What sites are part of the Google Display Network?
How does Google Re-marketing work?
. Have you ever looked at a product on Amazon, and then saw that same product on your feed on Facebook and in ads found on other favorite websites? These are re-marketing ads. A useful tool if you are selling something, not useful if your kids can see everything you have been looking at on their Christmas list.
Through “cookies” Google enables sites to collect data about users. They can see what products and services we clicked on in our online footprint and use them to target us through re-marketing ads. Hence, the ads we see that follow us everywhere even after we have already made an online purchase for that product.
How do you delete your “cookies”
Here are the word for word instructions from Google on how to remove the cookies from your browser:
In the Google Chrome browser, the Tools menu contains an option to Clear Browsing Data. You can use this option to delete cookies and other site and plug-in data, including data stored on your device by the Adobe Flash Player (commonly known as Flash cookies). See our instructions for managing cookies in Chrome.
Another feature of Chrome is its incognito mode. You can browse in incognito mode when you don’t want your website visits or downloads to be recorded in your browsing and download histories. Any cookies created while in incognito mode are deleted after you close all incognito windows.
Why is Google phasing out “cookies” by 2022?
Google’s wants to make third-party cookies “obsolete” in the next two years.
Now advertisers need to rely on other methods to engage with their customers. We should not rely on third party “cookies” to identify potential customers. We need to find different ways to engage our customers on digital platforms.
Third-party cookies that lead to “stalker ads” are not well liked by users. Consumers do not like having their search history tracked around every website they visit. In many ways Google is listening to consumers.
Google is not the first company to try and stop the third-party stalker ads from following us around the web. Apple began blocking third-party user tracking on Safari in 2017.
So the concept of privacy online is not new, but it means that all marketers need to start approaching PPC advertising differently. Starting in 2020 with strict privacy laws in Europe and now in the USA through legislation passed by the State of California our information is more protected than ever.
“Users are demanding greater privacy…and it’s clear the web ecosystem needs to evolve to meet these increasing demands,” Justin Schuh, Google’s director of Chrome Engineering
At the end of the day the digital world continues to evolve and marketers need to develop new tools. We have long believed that when you do the work, do the research, and really provide quality content for your brand, Google rewards you. That hasn’t changed.
What has changed is privacy. Privacy of users is becoming more and more important. Google knows that to continue to thrive means that protecting users privacy takes a front seat. As Google continues to evolve so will the ways that they use our information.
For more on this topic please see our blog: What you need to know about the end of life for Google+ this article talks about the impact of privacy laws for big
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