The End of Third-Party Cookies (FLoC) (What this could mean for advertisers)

computer using third-party cookies

Since 1994, third-party cookies have tracked internet usage. And since people have known about the advent and use of cookies, internet users have been concerned about their privacy and how cookies impact it. To clarify, cookies are small files that are sent from a website to your computer or mobile device when you visit that website. In this blog post we discuss the end of third-party cookies and what this could mean for advertisers. 

What is a third-party cookie? 

According to whatis.techtarget.com, “A third-party cookie is placed on a website by someone other than the owner (a third party) and collects user data for the third party.” These third-party cookies are normally driven by advertising companies to gain knowledge on website users.  

Third-party cookies allow advertisers to track your browsing activity across different websites in order to serve advertisements for products that they think will interest you based on what other sites you’ve visited, thus invading your privacy.  

Google is taking a stand against third-party cookies, and by 2022, will no longer use them. However, with the absence of third-party cookies, advertisers are left wondering how their efforts will be directed to the correct target market. Enter FLoC.  

What is FLoC? 

Federated Learning of Cohorts, or FLoC, is Google’s newest algorithm for advertising. FLoC places people into groups, or cohorts, based on browsing history, not cookies. This means that cookies are no longer necessary to track your internet uses. As every click of the mouse you make is no longer being tracked, FLoC is a clear step in the right direction, and we’re excited about what it will do for our privacy. 

 With FLoC, your browser does the tracking rather than third parties. So you can feel safe knowing that everything is being tracked within your own computer and not some random company’s server somewhere else in the world.  

The data then gets boiled down to a behavioral profile. Your profile becomes a part of a cohort of similar users. This cohort is shared with websites, so they know who to advertise to. 

Why Change from third-party cookies? 

Some people can think of third-party cookies in a positive light. They help companies to tailor web experiences for their users. Third-party cookies can effectively provide information on website users for a better user experience. However, privacy remains a big concern for web users.  

Third-party cookies have traditionally been placed on domains and allowed advertisers the ability to track and target users throughout the internet. The two main reasons that Google is changing from cookies to FLoC is privacy and positive relationships with users.  

Increase Privacy 

People often feel that “big brother is watching” everything they do. With third-party cookies tracking your internet use for advertising purposes, that could feel very true.  With the use of FLoC, your privacy will be more protected than with the use of cookies.  

Your privacy is protected because every move you make on the internet is not being tracked. You are placed into cohorts based on browsing history alone. These cohorts include people with similar browsing habits and patterns.  

Promote business relationships 

With Google stopping third-party cookies, businesses are able to create stronger first-party relationships with their users. With more control over who sees user information, these types of partnerships can only strengthen. 

Using FLoC to Increase Your Leads 

GreenStar Marketing will leverage Google’s platforms to ensure target advertising still works the way it should – driving our clients’ customers to sites that are most relevant. While we can’t say how FLoC will work once fully implemented, Greenstar is committed to providing high-quality leads for their customers. If you have questions about upcoming changes contact us today! 

Lori Bowman

Lori Bowman

Lori left her teaching career at the end of the 2020/2021 school year to join the GreenStar marketing team. She has a background not only in education but also in public relations and business management & marketing.
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