This week, two important articles ran in the news about search marketing and social media. Google Chrome announced it will be phasing out its third-party cookies for a more privacy-preserving software, complicating things for businesses and ad agencies. And Facebook announced it will be lifting its temporary ban on politician ads.
Google Chrome’s Cookies – Will they be phased out?
Cookies track which websites you visit and how you navigate through a website once there, tailoring your ads on other websites to the pages you’ve viewed. This helps websites “remember” you (by your IP address) and allows for a better, more personalized experience on a website and for sites to know which of its pages you visit, how long you spend on each, and how many times you revisit the website. Through Google, this helps you target ads to people who are most interested in your company’s services or products.
This week, Google has announced its removal of third-party cookies and that it will not replace cookies with alternative methods of tracking individual users in Chrome but instead will group users with other like-minded people, then serve ads based on your similar interests. In other words, rather than getting your own personal ad experience, your ads will get grouped with others who view similar things.
So, what will this mean for companies and viewers?
- Although cookies will not be phased out completely, it will be more difficult for companies to tailor ads to specific user preferences. Through this new privacy measure, advertising personalization will be somewhat limited. Without one-on-one targeting, you may see similar products and services, but potentially not the same brands and items you’ve been looking at.
- For a company, website and product views will likely decrease without these cookies. Specific products and companies may be shown to fewer people since ads will be less targeted. If there’s a specific website you’ve visited frequently, rather than that company appearing in your ads as you surf the Web, you will likely be shown similar products and services. In addition, companies will have less insights into how traffic is coming to their websites, whether through ads, pay per click, or web searches. They may also partially lose some ads analytics.
Learn more about Google Chrome’s third-party cookie removal:
Facebook Political Ads
Facebook recently announced it will be once again allowing political, electoral, and social issue ads on its platform after a ban that put in place after the United States presidential election in 2020. An article by The New York Times states that this temporary ban was put in effect as a way to eliminate political misinformation and threats of violence surrounding the election.
Political advertisers on Facebook will now be able to submit new or existing political ads existing that have already been approved. Each ad will appear with a disclaimer, stating that it has been paid for by a political organization. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg stated he wants to keep a “largely hands-off” approach towards free speech, unless ads contain directly harmful content. Facebook’s continuation of political ads had had mixed reviews. Many are against political ads, as they are often hard to control and monitor, and some are in favor. Those in favor of reinstating them claim the importance for up-and-coming elected officials, especially those who could not afford purchasing television and radio ads.
Learn more about Facebook’s political ad ban lift: