The Future of Personalized Ads and Cookies


Last week, Google announced that they would be phasing out cookie tracking in 2022. Suddenly the world was turned upside down and every medium outlet took the opportunity to write a few sentences about it. Even if the content did not reflect more than the press release from Google itself.

With headings such as “Google: No more annoying cookies” – Zeit Online or “Cookies and tracking: This is how the persecution on the Internet is changing” – Spiegel Online wanted to show that the cookies are finally over.

This news did not surprise me. Google only follows the trend that was already initiated by Mozilla Firefox and is currently being tightened by Apple. For several years we have been heading towards a future that no longer stores delicious cookies on your end devices

With this change you want to make sure that you stay true to your motto “Don’t be Evil”. GAFAM (Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple and Microsoft) have been in the media for many years due to data protection debates.


There has also been a long discussion in the EU Parliament

In politics there is more talk of the topic and many possibilities are being considered. It’s about much more than just getting rid of cookies on the web. In Netzpolitik, I recently had a post with the headline “Should we ban personalized ads?”. An exciting contribution (in German) about the current discussions in the EU Parliament and digital privacy.

It is discussed whether a complete ban is necessary or only the use of sensitive data is prohibited. But also to prohibit tracking by third parties or to integrate the browser with a standard setting of “Do-not-track”. If you have the time, you should read it through once. Even if the e-privacy regulation continues to be discussed and processed, these changes will come.

Quick side track. What fascinates me most is that Springer CEO Döpfner advocates forbidding such tracking, but that Springer Publishing House is still allowed to track users for advertising purposes. Otherwise 2/3 of the advertising revenue is lost. ?‍♂️

So it’s no surprise that Google has embarked on this path. But as Springer CEO Döpfner already recognizes, the advertising income with personalized ads on the Internet is very lucrative. For us, too, re-marketing based on user behavior and interests is an important tool.


Will personalized ads fade into thin air in the years to come?

For everyone in a hurry, the short answer is: No. As we have already learned, advertising income is also important for GAFAM. And the budget invested by the brands will be invested in new opportunities in the coming years. In addition to the elimination of cookies in the Chrome browser, there was also an announcement that you want to increase the efficiency of the assignment in the future.

Behind this is the technology FLoC (Federated Learning of Cohorts). Cohorts are people who have the same interests. Or as t3n appropriately spelled “tick similarly”. A cohort should not contain less than 5,000 profiles. In other words, the individual and his or her behavior on the Internet is “hidden” in the crowd and advertisers can continue to display personalized ads.

It is important not to forget one topic in the debate. And I best quote the article “Why the end of individualized Google advertising is no surprise” by directly.

Because what is ignored in the entire debate: All of this only applies to users who are not already logged in with their Google account and thus […] have given the company the right to display personalized ads. They will continue to receive their customized advertising. – Tobias Weidemann

We continue to talk about the elimination of third party cookies. Registered users such as Android customers will continue to receive personalized advertising.

The ad tech industry just keeps evolving. It takes a certain rethink in the mind and the strategy of how we as marketers plan our measures. In the future, the customer will not be less accessible. We’re just going to take important steps to respect people’s privacy online.

As a business owner or marketing manager, I would not have to worry about the efficiency of digital marketing measures. I would like to find out more about how steps can be taken now to better protect people’s privacy and continue to maintain efficiency.

Also find here an article about maximizing Google Analytics Tracking.

Cover photo source: Joshua Earle on Unsplash

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