Google Third-Party Cookies: What B2B Companies Need to Know

For years, B2B companies have been using cookies to monitor their website visitors, track their actions, improve the overall end-user experience, and more. However, these cookies will soon be no more, as Google third-party cookies will be phased out of the Chrome browser by the end of 2023.

Yes, you heard that right!

The way companies use Google ad-tracking tools and cookies could change drastically in the effort to phase out third-party cookies.

Therefore, you must get ready to face the impact of the third-party phase-out and know how your B2B marketing efforts could get affected.

Per HubSpot, here's how the Google third-party cookies phase-out can affect marketing strategies:

  • 41% of marketers believe their inability to track data accurately will be their biggest challenge.
  • 23% of marketers are planning to invest more effort, money, and time in email marketing.
  • 44% of marketers are predicting a 5% to 25% increase in their marketing spend to meet the same goals as 2021.

6 Things B2B Marketers Need to Know About the Google Third-Party Cookies Phase-Out

Before you start building your plans to tackle Google third-party cookie phase-out efficiently, here are 5 things you need to know.

1. Google Announced the Third-Party Phase-Out to Protect User Privacy

Google announced the third-party phase-out in April 2019 intending to protect user privacy.

According to Google, "Users are demanding greater privacy – including transparency, choice, and control over how their data is used – and it's clear the web ecosystem needs to evolve to meet these increasing demands."

2. First-Party Cookies vs. Third-Party Cookies

When someone visits your website, a code known as a "first-party cookie" is automatically produced and saved on their computer. As it is in charge of remembering passwords, basic information about the visitor, and other preferences, this cookie is frequently used to improve user experience.

On the other hand, third-party cookies are tracking scripts that are generated by a website other than your own and then placed on a website visitor's computer. The third-party cookie keeps track of information about visitors on your site and other websites and provides it to the entity that made the cookie, such as an advertiser.

3. Google Will Not Ban All Cookies

The Google third-party cookies phase-out will not impact all your marketing strategies.

Per Google, so far, it's only planning to phase-out third-party cookies on its browsers. Therefore, you can rest assured that first-party cookies on your website will still be untouched. Moreover, according to Google, the first-party cookies are "vital" as they help you track end-user behavior on your own website.

4. The Google Third-Party Cookies Phase-Out Will Hurt Third-Party Ad Platforms

Without third-party cookies on Google Chrome, marketers will still be able to leverage and target Google ads as they will be powered by the Privacy Sandbox Tools and Google first-party cookies. Nevertheless, third-party ad platforms may take a significant hit.

Per HubSpot's Director of Acquisition, the Google third-party cookies phase-out could also be a step to "gain a further grip on the ad market by forcing the adoption of Chrome."

5. Google Won't Stop Tracking Users Completely

While Google is closely looking at end-user privacy and does not plan to track individuals going forward, it is still looking at alternative tracking opportunities.

Google's Privacy Sandbox and FloC advertising are two alternatives that Google is exploring.

Google's Privacy Sandbox is the door to a cookie-free future. It aims to provide anonymity to the user data; however, it uses browser APIs to help advertisers use behavioral targeting. On the other hand, FloC is a technology that tracks groups as opposed to individuals.

Per Google's recent announcement regarding FloC, "Our latest tests of FLoC show one way to effectively take third-party cookies out of the advertising equation and instead hide individuals within large crowds of people with common interests."

6. The Google Third-Party Cookies Phase-Out Can Be Used as an Opportunity to Drive Greater Innovation

Marketers are also known to be innovators. Therefore, instead of looking at the Google third-party cookies phase-out as a deterrent, we recommend leveraging it to drive better innovation.

Look for alternatives that are less vulnerable to such changes or not reliant on specific technologies.