Andy Pullen

Andy Pullen

24th June 2022

What Does the Phasing Out of Third-Party Cookies Mean for Your Website?

In 2020, Google announced its plan to deprecate third-party cookies from the Chrome browser by 2023. This change was to make the web more secure and private for users. Chrome will join browsers like Safari and Firefox who have already implemented some blocking against third-party tracking cookies, so it’s never too early to start planning your course of action for when third-party cookies are gone. However, the end of third-party cookies is NOT the end of cookie banners (also known as consent management platforms, or CMPs). 

It’s important to understand how the removal of third-party cookies could impact your website and its CMP. This way, you can make all the necessary changes before third-party cookies start to phase out. 

How the cookie has crumbled 

For those of you who are trying to wrap your head around third-party cookies and what they do and mean, in essence, they are small pieces of data stored on an internet user’s browser. These cookies can be used for retargeting, user tracing and conversion attribution.  

For example, if you interact by hitting a like, share or sign up button on a website then it will store a cookie on your browser. That cookie can then later be used by social media giants such as Facebook to see which websites you have visited. This is what is known as a third-party cookie.   

The phase-out of third-party cookies will have some ramifications, especially for advertisers. Gathering information from users will now be extremely difficult, especially in terms of cross-device tracking. Target ads will also be affected as advertisers used third-party cookies to collect data from relevant audiences.    

The post-cookie world will be an uncertain one for many, especially for advertisers, publishers, and users. Some argue that this change is well overdue and will pave the way for a new and better solution, so it’s not all doom and gloom. Many predict that better tracking technology and targeting capabilities will be available which will benefit advertisers and publishers. For users, a higher standard of privacy whilst browsing the internet will be a welcome addition for many.  

What does it mean for your website?

Third-party cookie data allows you to learn about your website visitors’ online behaviours, such as other websites they frequently visit, their purchases, as well as their interests. With this detailed data, you can build a visitor profile. Once this has been established, you can then create targeted campaigns that can be used to send ads to past visitors or those with similar web profiles. 

Depending on how you use and collect this data, the end of third-party cookies will affect you in different ways. For example, if your only aim is to track your visitors’ behaviour, preferences, and other basic demographic information, then it's likely you will not be that affected by Google’s change to third-party cookies. 

However, if you’re an advertiser or publisher who relies heavily on this data for your advertising, then you will need to monitor the phase-out and consider alternatives which we have highlighted below. 

How can you prepare for the removal of third-party cookies? 

At present, everyone is unsure of the cookie landscape post removal of third-party cookies. However, there are ways you can prepare by focusing on delivering the best journey for your users. There are ways you can gather personal data from users in an intelligent way, allowing you to target customers with digital marketing campaigns that are more structured, relevant, and strategic. 

In order to best prepare, we recommend doing the following: 

  • Increase the focus on first-party cookie usage and look to personalise this on your website to increase your site’s user-friendliness. 

  • Review and manage your paid advertising so you are not so heavily reliant on third-party cookies. 

  • Implement SEO strategies that aim to increase your visibility on Google. Improving this will help your search rankings and therefore make your site easy for users to find, which will result in higher traffic and conversions. 


However you look at it, this new phase-out will undoubtedly lead to uncertainty in the digital advertising industry, with publishers likely to feel the full effects due to the decreased ability of advertisers to accurately target users on their websites. However, some believe that with third-party cookies gone, publishers will likely launch their own ad solutions. With such rich databases and an abundance of information on their audiences, online publishers will no doubt find a way to survive in the cookie-free world.   

If you would like help with your digital marketing, get in touch with SilverDisc. 

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