In 2024 Google Will Make Marketers Lose Their Cookies

Explore the profound impact of Google's 2024 cookieless initiative on digital marketing and website analytics. Understand the challenges and opportunities this major shift presents, following Google's 2023 updates to Analytics 4 and search algorithms.

Latest Update: Google has announced a third delay in its plan to phase out third-party cookies in Chrome, citing challenges from regulatory feedback and industry concerns. The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has influenced this decision, pressing Google to address potential anti-competitive impacts of its Privacy Sandbox, particularly the effects on digital ad auctions. Feedback about the Sandbox, such as issues with the Protected Audience API (PAAPI) which could slow ad loading and reduce profitability, has also played a role in this delay.

Concerns about the limited number of providers for Trusted Execution Environments, currently only Google and Amazon, have further complicated the process. Despite these setbacks, Google’s cookie phase-out is expected to continue, albeit at a slower pace. Initially set to start reducing cookies for 1% of Chrome users in early 2024, with full deprecation by the end of the year, the plan now faces a less certain timeline, especially with the added pressure of the holiday advertising season.

This extended timeline gives marketers, website owners, and digital advertisers more time to prepare and adapt, while continuing to engage in shaping the future of digital advertising technologies that respect user privacy and maintain market competitiveness. As the industry addresses these challenges, the push for innovation and consensus is likely to intensify, driving significant changes in digital marketing strategies.


Dec. 20, 2023:

Google’s decision to go cookieless in 2024 marks a significant shift in the digital landscape, especially for those websites and advertisers not adequately prepared for the change. This move follows Google’s disruptive actions in 2023, including the shift to Google Analytics 4 and various algorithm updates that already had a substantial impact on digital marketing strategies.

Starting in early 2024, Google plans to disable third-party cookies for 1% of Chrome users as part of its Privacy Sandbox initiative. This is a precursor to a complete deprecation of third-party cookies in the second half of the year. The Privacy Sandbox aims to replace third-party cookies with a more privacy-conscious approach, grouping users into cohorts based on similar browsing patterns. This change is expected to have a major impact on the online advertising industry, which has long relied on third-party cookies for targeted advertising and tracking user behavior across sites.

The removal of third-party cookies in Chrome, which is scheduled to expand to 100% of users by Q3 2024, will necessitate significant changes in digital advertising practices. Websites and advertisers will need to audit their current use of cookies and prepare for the impact of this change. This shift could benefit platforms like Google, Facebook, and Amazon, which have large troves of logged-in user data, while posing challenges for others that rely on third-party cookie tracking.

Publishers may face decreased revenue from programmatic website advertising due to the removal of third-party cookies. However, they can explore privacy-focused user ID solutions as replacements. The overall effect on privacy and advertising on the web remains to be seen, but the change is likely to drive innovation in how digital advertising functions without third-party cookies.

For websites and marketers, it’s crucial to start preparing now. They should audit their cookie usage and begin exploring new methods for serving relevant ads and tracking user engagement in a post-cookie world. The initial 1% deprecation phase in early 2024 provides a critical period for testing and adapting to these changes before they impact all Chrome users later in the year.

In summary, Google’s move to a cookieless world by 2024 represents a major shift for digital advertisers and website owners, emphasizing the need for new strategies and technologies that align with evolving privacy standards and user expectations.

About Alfred Goldberg

Co-founder and President of American Operations at Absolute Marketing Solutions. Alfred Goldberg has over 15 years of experience as a small business owner and is one of two individuals in Florida to hold the distinction of being a Mobile Marketing Association Certified Mobile Marketer.