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May'24·Andrés Auchterlonie·2 MIN

Google's Cookie Deprecation delayed again - what does it really mean for advertisers?

Home Google's Cookie Deprecation delayed again - what does it really mean for advertisers?

At this point, Google’s intentions to phase out third-party cookies from Chrome are no surprise to anyone. But how has this transition actually played out, and why does the deadline keep getting extended? Google Q1 2024 report, published by The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) and Google, shared the latest update on the timeline for the phase-out of third-party cookies on Chrome. In the report, Google recognized ongoing challenges related to reconciling divergent feedback from the industry, regulators, and developers, and said they will continue to engage closely with the entire ecosystem. Google also said that the CMA must have sufficient time to review all evidence including results from industry tests, which the CMA has asked market participants to provide by the end of June. 

Citing these reasons, Google revealed that they will not be able to complete the phase-out of third-party cookies during the second half of Q4. However, the news doesn’t come as a complete surprise to those who have been following the cookie phase-out space. 

Google Chrome third-party cookie depreciation: A timeline

As a part of its broader initiative to improve user privacy and create a more sustainable web ecosystem, Google first announced its intention to deprecate third-party cookies in January 2020. 

  • After announcing its intention to phase out support for third-party cookies in Chrome, Google worked with the web community and engaged with various industry stakeholders to gather feedback, as part of a larger initiative called the Privacy Sandbox, and explore alternative solutions to third-party cookies.
  • The Privacy Sandbox initiative introduced a set of proposals for privacy-preserving advertising and measurement solutions. 
  • Google provided an update on the Privacy Sandbox, outlining potential solutions like Federated Learning of Cohorts (FLoC) for interest-based advertising while preserving user privacy.
  • From the original deadline of 2020, Google shifted the phase-out to mid-2023. 
  • However, Google acknowledged the need for more testing and refinement of Privacy Sandbox APIs before complete removal, pushing back the date again to 2024. 
  • In late 2023, the testing phase began, and in early 2024, third-party cookies were restricted for 1% of Chrome users. Later that year, Google further expanded the test group to 20% of Chrome users. 
  • In April 2024, Google announced another delay, pushing back the full phase-out to early 2025, citing ongoing discussions with regulators and the need for further testing.

As it stands today, third-party cookies remain restricted for a portion of Chrome users as testing continues. However, the official phase-out is expected to be completed in early 2025.

You can view the latest update report on the implementation of Google’s Privacy Sandbox here.

The future of advertising

While Google’s plan to phase out third-party cookies will not be complete in 2024; it is merely a delay but imminent. Brands and agencies have already begun opting out of legacy, audience-based targeting practices and embracing privacy-compliant and effective alternatives like contextual advertising.

Leading global brands are using this time to test newer alternatives, better understand them, quantify the value created by these solutions, and how they can be incorporated into targeting playbooks to ensure a smooth transition once cookies inevitably disappear. 

Contextual advertising is quickly emerging as one of the most sought-after alternatives to cookie-based targeting practices as it offers a privacy-compliant and non-intrusive way to reach the desired target audience. Powered by next-gen tech like AI, ML, and NLP, contextual advertising analyzes both the written and visual content of a web page, enabling brands to deliver ads on relevant websites that target relevant audiences without the use of cookies.

Powered by Liz, our pioneering AI technology, we at Seedtag offer future-proof, thoroughly tested contextual targeting solutions that find and engage with nuanced audiences and capture their attention by aligning with their current line of interest. Popular brands like KIA, Pedigree, LG, and Garnier have partnered with us to implement a superior AI-powered contextual advertising strategy to achieve higher accuracy and better ROI. 

The results? 

  • KIA saw a 43% increase in brand awareness for contextual ads versus 18% for cookie-based ads
  • Pedigree noticed a 61% increase in messaging association
  • LG observed a 53% uplift in CTR

Want to learn more about our contextual advertising solutions? 


Contextual advertising: The future of advertising in today’s privacy-conscious world

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