Google stops tracking individual users, what’s next?

Google cookies

We all hear here and there about Google not supporting third-party cookies from 2022. They will be substituted by the project “Privacy Sandbox” with different proposals and technologies in areas like “fraud detection, the tailoring of content, first-party treatment of a company’s owned and related domains, ads measurement, and a private-by-default way to request browser info”.

One of them is the FloC (Federated Learning of Cohorts) algorithm. It should provide “at least 95% of the conversions per dollar spent when compared to cookie-based advertising”. This technology focuses no longer on the single individual (like cookies) but clusters made of people with similar interests and browsing behaviors. We are talking about a lookalike audience and cohort-based advertising, so we will no longer have an individual user ID but a cohort ID. Of course, there are many concerns for marketers about the efficacy of this new solution.

In our previous article, we have already talked about ad personalization and how important that is. With FloC you will not be able to address an individual but a group. How can you measure the effectiveness of your ads? Personalization will not be as effective anymore as it was for individuals. We are talking about a group with “similar” interests, but not the “same”. And even if they had the same interests, they would have for sure, e.g., different demographics.


And there is more. A Forbes article pointed out the concerns of Google’s ad rivals about how this company uses privacy to justify the closure of methods with are for now open to the competition. In Chad Engelgau, CEO of data broker Acxiom, own words, “there is a weaponization of privacy to justify business decisions that consolidate power to their business and disadvantage the broader marketplace” (source: Forbes).

It is important to find other effective identifiers, also because the iOS14 update is coming soon on iPhones. It will also make the job of advertisers much more difficult since, e.g., the app-based tracking will be harder, and the possibility to target audiences by demographics and location on Facebook will disappear. Facebook CFO David Wehner said that these changes would slow down Facebook’s growth since they do not expect a high number of people to opt-in for the app’s data tracking (source: Forbes).

It would be a pity to promote your content only to Android users, right? And even for Android, well, you have already read the problem of Google in the last paragraphs. But there is no need to worry. There are already efficient cookieless solutions out there, which can enable the tracking on iOS14 too while keeping protecting the personal data of the users.

Cookies raised some privacy concerns since, with them, you can extract much more data than just people’s interests and online behavior, like personal information (name, home addresses, etc.). But you can still target profiles, respecting the privacy of the person you are tracking. Mobile phones have an advertiser ID that creates a random pseudonym for the user and protects their personal information, which stays private. Together with the geolocation targeting, you can reach your targets completely without cookies and respecting the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation).

mobile phones

With platforms like Adello.Direct, which was built on cookieless technologies using advertising IDs, you can target mobile devices based on options like age, gender, interests, and geolocation. And again, yes, without cookies and respecting people’s privacy. Reach out, for example, to local tourists in Zurich, automotive enthusiasts in Geneva, or people between 18 and 34 in Bern, and promote your product or service (in this blog post, you can see more personalization options). This way, you can keep track of your audience as many individuals and not as a group with “similar” interests.

Why using mobile advertising? Because traffic via mobile phones is huge and increased by 222% in the last seven years, surpassing the traffic on laptops. If you think about it, every day you see people on public transportations and the streets looking at their smartphones. Even when they are shopping, they like to compare prices online using these devices. Or think about social media and how people regularly post stories, pictures, and videos while they are “on the go” or at home with their phones.

From the beginning, Adello never used cookies, but advertiser IDs and geolocation, using data anonymization and encryption in respect of people’s privacy. Do you want to have more information about us and our mobile marketing solution? Contact us, to learn how you can boost your business 😊

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