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Google Kills Cookies for Good—and Publishers Need a Plan, Now

By Kristen Dunleavy

The third-party cookie’s days are numbered. So it’s time to learn how to use first party data.

This week Google announced that they will not track users after they deprecate third-party cookies in 2022.

No alternative identifiers. No new third-party tracking magic.

Once cookies are gone, they’re gone

With Google accounting for nearly 70% of US digital ad revenue, the clock is ticking as companies come to grips with a cookieless reality—one that is only 10 months away.

Why did this happen?

Google is moving toward a “privacy-first web” as an answer to increased regulatory pressure to foster a more consent-based web experience. Third-party cookies—which track users as they browse across various websites—serve up ads based on the user’s behavior. Now, many of those behavioral targeting capabilities will go away. Safari and Firefox have already phased out cookies, and Chrome—owning 69% of the global browser market share—will be next.

What can publishers do right now? 

If you’re not already thinking about your first-party data strategy, you should be. 

Since first-party data is data that you collect directly from your users, you have the opportunity to build stronger, lasting relationships—the kind that third-party cookies could never facilitate—while still providing behavioral and demographic segmentation for effective, targeted brand experiences.

A publisher-hosted community provides an invaluable source of first-party data for publishers. You get audience insights on trending topics, interests, and engagement (just to name a few) that not only make it easier to align the right advertisers with your users, but also help inform your editorial strategy. 

And it’s all based on trust and consent—and it’s the kind of experience that keeps users engaged, spending more time on your site, and coming back again and again.

Your community is your first-party data strategy 

So what’s next? A publisher-hosted community is essential—but you also need a solution for making your data actionable, including the ability to create customer segments to attract the right advertisers. OpenWeb’s DMP works with your existing systems, helps you manage community data, and build custom segments. Learn more about OpenWeb’s DMP here.

As the cookieless era looms nearer, publishers can’t afford not to have a first-party data strategy. OpenWeb is bringing power back to publishers – by helping you future-proof your business. Contact us to learn more.

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