Google Turns Off Third-Party Cookies for 30 Million Chrome Users

Jan 20

Google Turns Off Third-Party Cookies for 30 Million Chrome Users

Google first announced its plans to phase out third-party cookies in 2020 but has delayed action here a few times.  It looks like the delays are over… and this means big changes for digital advertising!

Third-party cookies track a user’s browsing activity across the web and enable the delivery of targeted advertising including retargeting, a popular advertising tactic used by show organizers to drive attendance, so we wanted to share an update here.

A few weeks ago, Google started testing Tracking Protection, a new feature which limits cross-site tracking by default, and turned off third-party cookies for 1% of Chrome users – that’s about 30 million people around the world.

“This is a key milestone in our Privacy Sandbox initiative to phase out third-party cookies for everyone in the second half of 2024, subject to addressing any remaining competition concerns from the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority,” said Google in a recent blog post.

Whether this happens as planned or more time is needed for the full rollout here, the writing has been on the wall for a while that third-party cookies are on the way out and this latest action from Google makes the writing that much clearer.

Other browsers phased out third-party cookies a while ago but when Chrome, the most popular browser with a 65% global market share, finally does remove cookies from the menu, you will feel it much more.

Many marketers are still overly dependent on third-party cookies in their digital advertising.  Certainly, get as much out of this type of cookie-based advertising while you can but if you want to avoid a disruption to your visitor marketing in the post third-party cookie world, start the new year off by exploring alternatives.

As a starting point, consider these ideas which we covered in a January 2022 post on this topic…

  1. Offer value in exchange for permission to use attendees’ information.
  2. Shift ad spend to contextual targeting.
  3. Increase use of walled gardens.
  4. Use publisher created segments.
  5. Add new addressable channels to your digital strategy.

Third-party cookie deprecation will also affect performance measurement so you will need to rethink how you execute here as well.

It will be much easier to scale into this change than doing it all at once.  We have learned a lot by working with exhibitions and events to test and track new ideas to mitigate the loss of third-party cookies, especially that it takes time to transition so start now if you haven’t already!


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