Google Postpones Elimination of Third-Party Cookies to 2023

by | Jul 9, 2021 | Blog, Digital Advertising, Digital Strategy, Smirk's Take

Marketers can breathe a sigh of relief as Google announces a delay in their plan to phase out third-party cookies. While other browsers such as Safari and Firefox have already taken a stand against third-party tracking, Google Chrome will have an even bigger impact in the industry, as almost 65% of the market uses the browser. The search engine giant revealed in a recent blog post that plans for such changes have been pushed to 2023, giving the ad industry more time to prepare.

Google has been making a lot of changes to benefit its users lately, from supporting e-commerce businesses to actively strengthening their privacy policies. They aren’t the only ones cracking down on protecting private information — with Apple giving the option to “Allow Tracking” or “Ask App Not To Track”, marketers have already been facing the reality of losing valuable consumer information used for retargeting.

A New Stand-In

In the meantime, Google has been pushing their alternative solution, the Privacy Sandbox. The initiative is proposed as a way to discourage improper tracking while still offering ad targeting within Google’s Chrome browser. However, industry professionals have deemed it as an insufficient replacement for collecting valuable third-party cookie data.


The Privacy Sandbox initiative aims to create web technologies that both protect people’s privacy online and give companies and developers the tools to build thriving digital businesses to keep the web open and accessible to everyone, now, and for the future.


Still Reaching Your Audience

The latest update to the Privacy Sandbox concept includes Federated Learning of Cohorts (FLoC) technology. This gives brands a way to reach people with relevant content and ads by observing the behavior of large groups of people with similar interests. This alternative would keep a person’s web history private and hide the individual identity within the group of people.

Google boasts that advertisers using the Privacy Sandbox can be expected to see at least 95% of the conversions per dollar spent that they would originally get with cookie-based advertising.

The Finishing Touches

Google plans to continue working with developers to increase privacy in areas such as ad measurement, delivering relevant ads and content, and fraud detection. It’s hoped that the initiative will be squared away by 2022 for the marketing community to start adopting.


While there's considerable progress with [the Privacy Sandbox], it's become clear that more time is needed across the ecosystem to get this right

Vinay Goel
Google Privacy Engineering Director

You’re On the Clock

As marketers, we’ve all been granted a bit more time — but this doesn’t mean you should put your preparation for the deprecation of third-party cookies to a halt. It’s important to take the next year to adapt to these new offerings by Google and strategize how to overcome the loss of such crucial data from your digital ad audience.

Chrome plans to start phasing out third-party data over a three-month period, starting in mid-2023 and ending in late 2023. Need some help planning out your ad strategy moving forward? We’d love to step in. Schedule a virtual coffee chat with our team and we can take a look at how you can use this extra time wisely.