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How Google Plans to Target You, Without the Cookies

The digital world is always changing, and here's a big one: Google Chrome is saying goodbye to third-party cookies by 2024. This can be scary for marketers, not to mention the significant implications, especially when it comes to re-engagement or retargeting strategies.

Now, the challenge is unraveling how marketers can continue getting their messages to the right people.

However, fear not, as Google has been diligently working on alternative solutions to ensure advertisers can continue reaching their most valuable customers while still respecting user privacy. How? Keep on reading!

In a recent Q & A video, Radhika Mani, Senior Product Manager for Google Display Ads, presented Google's vision for a future where cookies play no part and we’re here to break it down for you.

Building Durable Re-engagement Strategies

An iPad showing Google homepage with cup of coffee next to it

To tackle this change, marketers need to adopt more durable audience strategies.

Google has some solutions up its sleeve, like Customer Match on Search, Discovery, YouTube, and Shopping, and Publisher Advertiser Identity Reconciliation (PAIR) in Display & Video 360. These tools give marketers the ability to reach out to their top customers with personalized and relevant messages, all while still prioritizing privacy.

Google is also bringing in the Protected Audience API from the Privacy Sandbox (once called FLEDGE) and adding it to its ad platforms. The API uses techniques that keep privacy intact, making it easier to reconnect with your audience or exclude specific groups without leaning on third-party cookies.

The Role of Protected Audience API in Google's Ad Platforms

The Protected Audience API is about to change the game in how we target audiences. You can now create lists of people who visited your website before or checked out certain products without the help of third-party cookies.

This integration incorporates privacy-preserving techniques, including minimum thresholds for ad serving and shorter list membership durations. Most importantly, it's steering clear of those sneaky tracking methods, putting control back in the hands of users.

Seamless Integration for Marketers

A person using Google on his iPad

The good news for marketers is that the integration of the Protected Audience API into Google's ad platforms will occur on the backend. This means that the setup experience for creating and activating audience lists won't undergo significant changes.

Marketers can continue using familiar platforms like Google Ads, Google Analytics, or Display & Video 360 to seamlessly manage their re-engagement campaigns.

Performance Boost with AI-Powered Solutions

As the customer journey gets more intricate, there's a chance it might affect how well re-engagement campaigns reach a lot of people.

To address this, Google offers AI-powered solutions such as Smart Bidding, Optimized Targeting, and Performance Max.

  • Smart Bidding leverages billions of signals at auction time to set bids, ensuring more accurate predictions and improved overall performance.

  • Optimized Targeting extends the reach to potential converters as an extension of the re-engagement strategy, showcasing an average 50% increase in conversions on Google Display Ads.

  • Performance Max, when applied to Display campaigns, has demonstrated an average increase of over 20% in conversions at a similar or lower CPA.

Preparing for the Future

White blocks that spells GOOGLE

To make sure the audience re-engagement strategies are working well, marketers are encouraged to adopt AI-powered solutions like Optimized Targeting and Smart Bidding. Those already using these tools in Google Ads may be eligible to upgrade Display campaigns to Performance Max. For those using Display & Video 360, diving into the Enhanced Automation Pool lets you tap into the magic of Google's AI.

To keep your audience lists working seamlessly even after third-party cookies are gone, it's important to lay down some groundwork. This includes adopting the Google tag following the best practices recommended by the platform.

Think of it as the essential foundation to ensure everything keeps running smoothly.

Final Words

To sum everything up, as digital advertising undergoes transformation with the phasing out of third-party cookies, Google is compensating by providing useful tools and solutions to empower marketers to adapt, engage, and excel in this new era.

Embracing privacy-first strategies and tapping into the potential of AI-powered tools, advertisers can not only navigate these changes but also thrive in a world without third party cookies.


Well, aren’t we glad you asked! We at DigiCom are obsessive data-driven marketers pulling from multi-disciplinary strategies to unlock scale. We buy media across all platforms and placements and provide creative solutions alongside content creation, and conversion rate optimizations. We pride ourselves on your successes and will stop at nothing to help you grow.

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