Google Follows Apple in Ending Third-Party ‘Cookies’ in Ad-Tracking

What is it: Cookies — the bits of code that lodge in peoples’ browsers and follow them around the web — allow advertisers to target people with ads for websites they previously visited and keep track of which ads finally induced a purchase. The two-year time period for the phase-out of cookies should give marketers some time to adjust.

Why is it important: Getting rid of cookies “fundamentally makes everything different,” said Ari Paparo, head of digital ad firm Beeswax and a former Google executive. If the first era of online advertising was direct sales between publishers and advertisers, and the second era was algorithm-driven bidding, a system without cookies will be the third, Paparo said. Google has billed the change as a concession to changing sentiments toward online data collection. Users are demanding greater privacy. Google has proposed changes that would allow tracking to continue without passing personal information back to advertisers. That could give Google more power by cutting off marketers’ use of valuable data streams, while at the same time arguably increasing privacy online. What are your thoughts to the changing environment when it comes to your marketing strategy?