Google plans to opt out of third-party cookies shortly. Some believe that this will have a huge impact on the advertising market. Let’s take a look at whether this is the case and how contextual targeting can help you get through a cookie ban painlessly.
Banning third-party cookies won’t turn the market around
Google is not the first player to opt out of third-party cookies. Firefox and Safari both banned them last year. It didn’t turn the market upside down then, and it won’t turn it around now, even despite the popularity of Google Chrome.
This is because users have long been concerned about the lack of anonymity of third-party cookies. The world of Internet users has long begun to become anonymous, and the banning of third-party identifiers is just another step along this path. Fortunately, modern targeting tools only serve ads to the interested user, even without personally identifying them.
Contextual targeting is a great replacement for third-party cookies. With this approach, ads are always displayed only in the context of interest to readers. This will help advertisers and publishers not only not lose their positions after changes in the market, but also better interact with users.
The audience will not lose either: the ads will be more relevant and more in line with the environment.
A world without third-party cookies
Disabling third-party cookies will result in the following:
- Anonymous open web… The classic targeting format is based on user information: you need to know the reader to show relevant ads. By banning identifiers, the open web will become anonymous and other targeting methods such as contextual targeting will have to be applied.
- It is impossible to prove the uniqueness of the media audience… Publishers will not be able to prove the uniqueness of the audience, because no more user data will be available. Some of the statistics used will no longer be relevant.
- Declining advertisers’ trust in websites as media… Many anti-fraud solutions work using third-party cookies. This, as well as the problems with analyzing data on the effectiveness of impressions and clicks on ads, will force advertisers to buy a limited number of sites.
- Changes in programmatic ad buying… Programmatic ad auctions use two criteria to determine the winner: price and ad relevance. User data targeting will no longer work as expected and only price will become important. You will have to pay more to win the auction or use contextual targeting. It will allow you to win the auction due to the relevance of the ad at a lower price.
- Growing budgets walled gardens… Private sites such as Facebook, YouTube, Google use their own cookies and, due to the huge audience coverage, do not need third-party data. Canceling third-party cookies will result in user data targeting only being possible within such walled gardens. If you don’t want to limit your reach to private sites with your own cookies, contextual targeting is a good alternative.
Benefits of contextual targeting in a cookie-free world
Context is always important, and with the development of technology, it makes it possible to effectively target the audience. By disabling third-party cookies, using contextual targeting in programmatic becomes a great alternative.
Suppose you are reading an article about jaguars in the jungle. The article may contain the keywords “jaguar”, “speed”. Context aside, the ad for a Jaguar would fit in, but it wouldn’t really be relevant.
Contextual targeting analyzes the content of a page, including images, audio and video, and helps you place ads in a relevant way, avoiding dangerous content and negative attitudes. This guarantees brand safety, reduced advertising costs, and at the same time ROAS growth, as well as a positive user experience.
Advertising content is shown only to the right audience at the right time in the right content. Contextual targeting is a more flexible approach. Marketers can reach their target audience based on the real, not the perceived interests of the readers.
Statistics show that users like contextual advertising. According to IAS research, 48% of users prefer this targeting format, and 72% of users consider contextual relevance to be important. GumGum research shows that contextually relevant ads increase ad recall by 2.2 times. Users prefer relevant ads, and contextual targeting is second to none.
Contextual market targeting solutions
One of the first big contextual advertising offers was Google Adsense. The service appeared back in 2003 and continues to work to this day. In addition to Google, Amazon has built-in contextual targeting. GumGum, Peer39, and Zefr are standalone contextual targeting companies, while Media.net operates the contextual SSP.
Recently, MGID also announced the launch of a contextual targeting solution on the market. Contextual Intelligence, the company’s own AI contextual targeting solution, analyzes page content and highlights important categories of context. The context and mood of the article is then determined using the BERT algorithm used by Google. The information obtained allows you to target the audience and select the displayed ads. You can select a specific audience and target it on pages with a different topic.
Banning third-party cookies will change the advertising market, but this is more a natural evolution than a revolution. Open web will become anonymous, which will challenge platforms and programmatic ad buying, and walled gardens will raise more money.
Modern contextual targeting solutions will help you painlessly survive the ban on third-party identifiers, which, according to the latest data, will occur in 2023. Users prefer contextual advertising, and Contextual Intelligence will increase relevance, maintain brand safety and not lose in revenue.