Goodbye, third-party cookies

May 10, 2021

Third-party cookies are going away. Safari and Firefox have already blocked these entirely, while Chrome is planning to next year.

Does this matter?

Let’s start by recapping what cookies are: Little bits of tracking info that your browser stores on behalf of sites you visit.

Cookies can be useful. One might store your username for a “Remember me” login box. But it might also store your demographic data for ads.

Third-party cookies take this one step further, storing data from sites you didn’t visit (at least, not directly). They have all the charm of a love note from someone you’ve never met.

So what does it mean that they’re going away?

  • It will become a little harder to target ads, and they may get more expensive, too. That means organic channels (like organic search) will become more important.
  • Getting your audience onto channels you control – like your email list – will become more important too.
  • And in general, content marketing will play a bigger role in lead generation as paid search tactics become more convoluted.

This is good for privacy, too, right?

It’s not bad. But the ad industry is way too big to not track you. So what we’re entering into now is not a golden era of user privacy, but an arms race between advertising technology vendors and users – with Google kind of playing both sides.


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