No reason to panic – Mitgo’s statement on Chrome 115, Google’s new API replacing third-party cookies

Aug 10, 2023 5 min

Chrome 115, Google’s latest browser update for Chrome, replaces third-party cookies with a series of APIs, bringing Google’s Privacy Sandbox initiative one step closer to reality. How will its introduction affect the affiliate and partner marketing industries?

An introduction to Interest-Based Advertising

As Google explained in a recent blog post, Chrome will be moving away from third-party cookies and into something called Interest-Based Advertising. According to Google, “Interest-Based Advertising doesn’t track the sites a user visits,” instead, the browser observes a user’s interests and can relay them to marketers without the need to record data on a user’s browsing history. 

To illustrate what they mean, Google provided the example of a user who visits a website about knitting. In this case, the API might suggest the topic “Fiber & Textile Arts” to be registered as one of the user’s interests.

Such topics of interest are recorded from a user’s browsing activity without actually tracking the individual sites they visit, and go on to inform the type of content-relevant ads they receive – all without the deep data collection associated with cookies.

Third-party cookies set to be phased-out in 2024

Chrome 115’s release in July 2023 has not led to an immediate halt in third-party cookie usage. Instead, Google plans to phase them out in controlled stages. 

This will start with a two-part test phase. In the first part of this test, scheduled for the final three months of this year, Google hopes to allow developers to simulate third-party cookie deprecation in Chrome.

Next, in the first three months of 2024, Google will expand the test by deprecating third-party cookies for one percent of Chrome users, helping developers to deepen their real-world knowledge on how the new API system changes browsing and online tracking.

Following the conclusion of this testing phase, Google aims to phase out third-party cookies entirely by Q3 2024.

Is Google’s Chrome 115 a cause for concern for advertisers and publishers?

A recent report by data analytics platform, DoubleVerify, examined cookie deprecation strategies, the shift towards greater user privacy and its impact on digital advertising. 

Conducted in Spring 2023 across four global markets (US, LATAM, APAC & EMEA), the report surveyed more than 800 respondents from a wide breadth of industry backgrounds – from media buyers to ad operations teams and senior decision makers on both sides of the industry.

Of the publishers surveyed, only 24% stated that they currently had a post-cookie solution in place, and many advertisers indicated that browsers phasing out third-party cookies was a primary concern amidst recent privacy changes. 

Still, the findings of the report suggested that the majority of publishers and advertisers shouldn’t be too concerned about Google’s latest move. 

Big changes don’t happen overnight, and there’s always time to prepare

The risk of being caught-short by these changes is low – especially if you start preparing now. 

At Admitad – a Mitgo business – our industry experience helped us to foresee these events, even before official announcements by the likes of Google were made. That’s why our tracking solutions such as TagTag and Teleport have been designed to be completely free of third-party cookies, enabling our clients to easily adapt to this new reality, take advantage of new technologies and continue to prosper without changing their operations.

By phasing out cookies, Google hasn’t closed a door. It’s opened many new, contextual-based and privacy-first ones. 

In a cookieless world, contextual advertising is key

Google’s Interest-Based Advertising is a perfect example of contextual advertising, the growing marketing method ready to step into the shoes left empty with the departure of the cookie. 

In contextual advertising, the ads or marketing messages offered fit in with the content of the website that features them. Because, if a user is on a fishing website, why shouldn’t they see ads for fishing-related products or content marketing editorials that actually really interest them, instead of the cold-calling of older methods? 

According to DoubleVerify’s report, 96% of publishers surveyed said that contextual advertising capabilities will be important for their businesses in 2023, and 76% considered the quality of their current contextual capabilities to be “good” or “very good.”

Contextual and attention-based advertising are on the rise and represent a new opportunity for effective, targeted, privacy-friendly and measurable performance marketing.
Pawel Mazurek
CEO of Takeads

Zero impact for partners working with Mitgo businesses

Mitgo and its businesses are constantly working to improve our tracking solutions and to simplify the transition process from third-party data collection to modern tools. 

Advertisers and publishers working with us can focus entirely on building long-term partnerships, while our technology ensures transparency and privacy policy adherence. 

We highly advise anyone still using third-party cookies and tracking redirects in their processes to change their approach now, so they don’t face any sudden difficulties when new restrictions come into effect. 

“The imminent deprecation of third-party tracking has publishers and advertisers looking for viable new solutions, and it seems that both sides are in agreement that contextual, attention and first-party data strategies are the future,” says Pawel Mazurek, CEO of Takeads.

Advice for advertisers or publishers still using third-party tracking

Still, third party tracking using outdated pixel and image/iframe pixel code integration types is still popular – especially in emerging and fast-growing markets such as India and LATAM.

In addition to violating laws, this can lead to other unpleasant consequences:

  • Due to restrictions, the quality of information gathered with these methods has become questionable, leading companies to base marketing strategies on false assumptions and waste advertising budgets
  • Orders brought in by partners will not be counted correctly, undermining the company’s reputation among publishers – with some even refusing to work with advertisers who still use such practices

The fact is: the case for using third-party data is getting thinner and thinner every day. 

We at Mitgo understand that sometimes it’s hard for clients to give up once-effective tools. But, the consequences of their use have become too severe and will only get worse in the future as tech companies and regulators continue to tighten regulations on how user data is obtained and used. 

Because of this, Mitgo businesses, including Admitad, are no longer accepting new clients who plan to use third-party tracking systems. 

Our modern tracking methods rely on first-party cookies and cookieless methods. Admitad currently refuses to connect new customers using legacy tracking methods, including third-party cookies. This means that Google Chrome’s rejection of third-party cookies will not affect the vast majority of Admitad customers.
Anna Gidirim
CEO of Admitad

Would you like to know more about our contextual advertising tools and solutions? Get in touch with our Mitgo team or reach out directly to the Takeads team – and stop worrying about third-party cookies today!