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Google’s move to drop cookies pushes advertising into new era

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Google, Cookies, AdvertisingGoogle is upending the advertising world with its decision to “render obsolete” a key tool used by marketers for years to track would-be customers as they move around the Web: it’s phasing out the cookie.

On Tuesday, the company said it would stop supporting third-party cookies over the next two years. Cookies the bits of code that lodge in people’s browsers and follow them around the web allow advertisers to target people with ads for websites they previously visited, and keep track of which ads finally induced a purchase.

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Cookies have long been a core part of how the massive online ad industry operates. Criteo, a French marketing technology company that is particularly tied into the current system, dropped 16% on the news.

Google’s decision ushers in a new reality for digital marketing, even though it’s not the only company with a similar stance. Apple’s Safari and Mozilla’s Firefox browsers already block third-party cookies, but because Google’s Chrome is used by the majority of Internet users, the company’s decision represents a major industry shift.

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Getting rid of cookies “fundamentally makes everything different”, said Ari Paparo, head of digital ad firm Beeswax and a former Google executive. If the first era of online advertising was direct sales between publishers and advertisers, and the second era was algorithm-driven bidding, a system without cookies will be the third, Paparo said.

Despite the magnitude of the change, Paparo said many advertisers have had time to wean themselves off cookies. The tool’s fate had been in limbo for some time, and at least now there is clarity for the industry about what to expect, he said. Further comfort for marketers: the changes only affect desktop advertising, while many ad dollars are now pouring into mobile phones or connected televisions.

Source: Tech Central

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