Why Google Is Removing Cookies and What It Means for Users and Businesses

Why Google Is Removing Cookies and What It Means for Users and Businesses

January 12, 202411 min read

Why Google Is Removing Cookies and What It Means for Users and Businesses. This shift away from third-party cookies ushers in a coveted change for personal data protection. Read on to understand what this means for your daily browsing and the digital marketing sphere.

Key Takeaways

  • Google is phasing out third-party cookies in Chrome by 2024 to enhance user privacy and give users more control over their data, impacting the digital advertising landscape and prompting the need for viable alternatives.

  • While third-party cookies track user habits across websites for targeted advertising, first-party cookies collect data directly from user interactions on the host website to improve user experience and site functionality.

  • The elimination of third-party cookies is leading to new strategies for data collection and user tracking, with advertisers needing to adapt by using first-party data, alternative identity solutions, and new technologies that respect user privacy and data protection laws.

Google's Cookie Phase-Out: Understanding the Basics

Illustration of Google Chrome logo with a privacy lock

In a significant move, Google announced its plan to phase out third-party cookies in Chrome by 2024. This decision, rooted in safeguarding user privacy and addressing the growing need for transparency, choice and control over data usage, signifies a major shift in the digital advertising landscape.

Website owners and advertising agencies are naturally wary of this change. The discontinuation of third-party cookies is expected to result in reduced programmatic website advertising revenue for publishers. Advertising agencies and marketers have advocated for the persistence of third-party cookies until viable alternatives are established. However, this removal also presents an opportunity for advertisers to prioritize conversion rate optimization and improve website user experiences.

The anticipated effects of this move on user privacy and security are markedly positive. Blocking third-party cookies restricts the data that advertisers and other entities can gather on users, thereby enhancing user privacy and security.

The Mechanics Behind Third-Party Cookies in Chrome

Illustration of interconnected web cookies

Grasping the implications of Google’s decision requires a clear understanding of third-party cookies functionality. These cookies work by integrating third-party JavaScript to monitor users’ activities across various websites, primarily for tailored advertising and personalized content. They’re stored in the web browser and facilitate the presentation of targeted ads.

Third-party cookies monitor data related to users’ browsing history, user behavior, including frequently visited websites, purchases, and interests displayed on different sites. They enable advertisers to collect user data and gain insights into web visitors’ behaviors, allowing them to create retargeting lists for more effective advertising through cross site tracking. To better understand how third party cookies work, it is essential to grasp their role in collecting and analyzing user data for targeted marketing purposes.

Users can ascertain if a website is utilizing third-party cookies by examining the website’s code or utilizing online tools such as The process for identifying web browser stored third-party cookies may differ depending on the specific web browser being used.

First Party vs. Third Party: Distinguishing the Cookies

There are two types of cookies that serve different purposes - first-party and third-party. The main difference between them is the source or domain they come from, with first-party cookies being generated by the website you visit, while third-party ones come from external domains for tracking and online advertising purposes.

First party cookies play a crucial role in enhancing user experience on a website as they collect data directly from their interactions. This includes information such as language preferences, login details and items added to the cart. These types of cookies also help gather analytics data like session count per page, number of pages visited during each session, basic browser type used by visitors, geographical demographics and even referring websites that directed users to your site’s URL.

A well-known example of a website utilizing first-party cookie technology is Amazon, which stores important details about its customers’ activities on the site including their login information,language settings and items saved in their shopping carts.The purpose behind collecting this cookie data is primarily aimed at improving user experience, but it can also be helpful for businesses in understanding visitor behavior patterns through gathered analytic insights.

The Timeline of Google's Third-Party Cookie Deprecation

Google’s plan to gradually disable third-party cookies will be rolled out in stages. The initial phase, starting in Q1 2024, will involve disabling these cookies for only 1% of Chrome users. Later that year, it will extend to all users.

This approach aims to allow for small-scale testing and data gathering before the full implementation planned for 2024. During this early period, websites can assess and make any necessary adjustments to their services without relying on third-party cookies as a precaution against potential disruption when they are eventually disabled on Chrome.

By implementing the gradual phasing-out process, Google hopes that websites can smoothly transition away from using third-party cookies by giving them time and resources to prepare ahead of the eventual complete removal of these tracking tools from Chrome.

Alternatives Rising from the End of Third-Party Cookies

Illustration of emerging alternatives to third-party cookies

As the use of third-party cookies is phased out, there are alternative options available for marketers to explore. These include partnering with entities that have a reliable and scalable ID graph, using tools that allow for the utilization of first-party and transactional data, and collaborating with vendors who have access to consented first-party data in order to target customers on the internet.

Rather than panicking about these changes, it’s important for marketers to stay informed and actively search for alternatives to third-party cookies. This allows them to take advantage of the constantly evolving digital advertising landscape.

One example of such an alternative is Epsilon’s identity graph, which relies on accurate purchase data from individuals. With its industry-leading match rates reaching 96%, it offers a solution amidst the absence of third party cookies.

Overall, instead of worrying about losing access through traditional means like third party cookies, it’s crucially essential for marketers to adoptalternative strategies in order to remain successful within the ever-shifting digital marketing realm.Ensuringaccessfirstpartyas well as transactionalaata, and seeking collaboration and partnership with trustedentitiescan help mitigate any impact caused by thephasingout of third party cookies.This includes taking advantage of innovative solutions like Epsilon’s identitygraph, which utilizesdeterministic datamethodologies and supports both accuracy and reachrates to provide an effective approach to audience targeting without relying on traditional methods like third party cookies.Flexibility, informed choices, and willingness to learn are key factors.

How Will Blocking Third-Party Cookies Affect Users?

The decision to block third party cookies may lead to a decrease in the number of targeted ads that users are exposed to, thereby reducing privacy risks and the potential for data breaches. Furthermore, most browsers will prohibit websites from tracking users through third-party cookies in the future, thereby improving user privacy.

It is anticipated that online advertisements will likely transition back to contextual advertisements, which target specific audiences based on the websites they visit, without relying on individual user tracking. There is a possibility that major advertising platforms may explore alternative approaches for tracking users across websites and retaining previous search history following the removal of third-party cookies.

What Website Owners Need to Know

Website owners should stay updated on changes in the online landscape and prepare accordingly. With Google phasing out third-party cookies, tracking will no longer be possible for websites not owned by the cookie writer and data retention across browsing sessions will cease. To adapt to this new privacy-centric environment, website owners need alternative approaches for user targeting and tracking.

Fortunately, there are several options available to replace third-party cookies such as using first-party cookies or leveraging first-party data. Another approach is utilizing identity solutions or taking advantage of tools like Google’s Privacy Sandbox which aims to improve user privacy while allowing advertisers access to anonymized data. Implementing Publisher Provided Identifiers (PPIDs) from Google can also help with accurate ad targeting.

CookieScript is a helpful tool that assists website owners in navigating these changes effectively. It ensures compliance with important regulations such as GDPR, CCPA and ePR by aiding adherence to them.Through its services, it allows easy implementation of strategies aimed at achieving conformity without infringing upon legitimate operations.

Navigating User Consent Post-Cookie

Although third-party cookies are being phased out, obtaining explicit user consent for data storage and tracking remains crucial. This is to ensure compliance with prominent data protection laws that websites must adhere to.

Websites can rely on consent management platforms for assistance in managing and identifying cookies and trackers, promoting transparency, and empowering users to make informed decisions about their personal information before it is collected or processed.

One helpful tool in this process is Google Consent Mode. It allows websites to adjust the way Google services operate based on a user’s provided consent, helping them comply with regulations while still utilizing these services from Google.

The Future Landscape of User Tracking and Data Collection

The evolution of user tracking and data collection is expected to incorporate novel technologies that strike a balance between respecting the privacy of users while meeting the demands of the advertising industry. These emerging methods may include GPS tracking, beacon-based monitoring, and online behavioral tracing with an emphasis on safeguarding user privacy. Website surveillance can be carried out in ways that comply with both data protection laws and maintain individual’s privacy.

As third-party cookies are becoming obsolete due to advancements in web technology, browser fingerprinting techniques will become more sophisticated as they attempt to distinguish different individuals based on their specific device configurations or attributes within their web browsers.

In order to track consumer sentiment accurately, identify patterns and trends, and improve overall customer experience, some companies are implementing machine learning algorithms aided by artificial intelligence systems which allow them to analyze large amounts of tracked data from various sources.These tools enable businesses to gain insights into remote monitoring streams through identifying key behavior patterns.

Adapting to Change: Strategies for Advertisers and Agencies

To successfully adapt to the discontinuation of third-party cookies, advertisers and agencies must prioritize flexibility and innovation. They can do this by implementing various strategies such as directly collecting first-party data from their own websites, encouraging user-provided information, leveraging consumer touchpoints for data collection, personalizing experiences for targeted advertising purposes, establishing referral programs to obtain customer information through word-of-mouth recommendations or introducing subscription services.

Another valuable approach is working with vendors that offer access to consented first-party data specifically designed for targeted advertising solutions like Lotame Data Exchange (LDX). Alongside these actions towards obtaining valid customer data sources in a post-third party cookie era. Staying up-to-date on privacy regulations changes is essential. It’s crucial for advertisers and agencies alike not only to monitor industry-related trade magazines but also subscribe to legal journals relating to privacy policies that change regularly. Internal policy assessments ought frequent adjustments allowing timely compliance maintenance.


As we navigate the wave of change brought about by Google’s decision to phase out third-party cookies, it’s clear that innovation and adaptation will be key. This new era provides an opportunity for a more privacy-centric digital landscape, balanced with the needs of the advertising industry. It’s a pivotal moment in the evolution of the digital world that will undoubtedly shape the future of user tracking and data collection.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is Google getting rid of cookies?

Google is making changes to its advertising ecosystem by gradually eliminating the use of third-party cookies in order to enhance user privacy. This move will have a significant impact on digital advertising and tracking methods used by websites. It signals a substantial shift in how user data is collected and utilized online, as Google aims to improve the protection of personal information.

What will Google replace cookies with?

Google has recently declared that it will be implementing Privacy Sandbox and FloC as replacements for third-party cookies, in an effort to safeguard user privacy. These alternatives are designed by Google with the aim of providing a more secure browsing experience for users while still gathering necessary data.

How do I stop Google from clearing cookies?

To prevent Google from deleting your cookies, you have the option to modify your Chrome settings and disable the feature that automatically clears cookies and site data when exiting the browser. This will allow you to keep your stored data for a longer period of time without it being erased.

By adjusting this setting in Chrome, you can retain important information such as website preferences and login details. Instead of relying on Google’s automatic clearance process, taking control of clearing cookies.

What is an example of a first party cookie?

First-party cookies refer to information such as login details and items in a shopping cart that are stored on the user’s device when they interact with a website. An example of this is when someone signs into an eCommerce site like Amazon, creating a sense of reliability for their experience on the platform. These types of cookies play a significant role in building trust between the user and the site during their interaction.

What are the reasons behind Google's decision to phase out third-party cookies?

The decision made by Google to gradually eliminate third-party cookies in their Chrome browser is motivated by the goal of placing user privacy as a top priority and promoting increased transparency, choice, and control over data usage. This step taken by Google aims to prioritize protecting personal information for its users while still allowing them to have full control over how they use it.

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Emmitte Beard

Emmitte Beard brings over a decade of expertise in lead generation to the forefront of his insightful blog posts. With a rich background in both B2B and B2C markets, Emmitte has developed a profound understanding of customer psychology, digital marketing trends, and effective conversion strategies. Throughout his career, Emmitte has crafted and executed numerous successful lead generation campaigns, skillfully integrating SEO, content marketing, social media, and email marketing to attract and nurture potential clients. His approach artfully combines data-driven insights with creative solutions, consistently yielding impressive ROI for a variety of companies. As a regular contributor to industry forums and publications, Emmitte is passionate about sharing his knowledge with a wider audience. His articles are packed with practical tips, information on emerging technologies, and innovative tactics, enabling readers to apply these insights to their own lead generation efforts. Emmitte's expertise makes him a valuable resource for anyone looking to enhance their marketing strategies and grow their business.

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