How Will the Move Away from Cookies Affect Google Ads?

In the interest of promoting user privacy, Google and other tech giants are slowly moving towards a cookie-less future. That change has massive implications for digital advertising platforms like Facebook and Instagram, which rely on cookies to track to user behaviour and deliver relevant advertising.

Prevailing wisdom suggests that Google Ads will be less affected because search engine marketing relies more on keyword research and bidding strategies than it does on behavioural tracking. This is a largely accurate assumption; your Google Ads targeting is unlikely to suffer.

However, the transition away from cookies won’t be completely seamless. As Space & Time PPC team manager Steve Jones recently wrote in The Drum, “it’s when audiences get applied to campaigns, as extra signals of intent to help smart bidding, that we’d expect to see an impact.”

Another thing to keep in mind is that very few digital advertising campaigns rely solely on search engine marketing – in fact, almost none do. Successful digital marketing means getting found wherever your target audience uses the internet, be that Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, or any of the millions of sites in Google’s Display Network. Advertising agencies rely on cookies to reach customers in these diverse digital locations, so there will almost certainly be a loss of accuracy across your advertising campaigns in general, at least until industry leaders develop sophisticated new targeting methods.

The takeaway? As long as your agency runs competent Google Ads and SEO campaigns, your business shouldn’t suffer from the gradual transition away from third-party cookies. But for the digital advertising community as a whole, the transition promises to be turbulent.

As a Google Premier Partner digital marketing agency, GrowthEngine Media has unique insights on Google’s preferred practices. Our experienced team has been managing Google Ads accounts for close to a decade – if you have questions about your account, reach out today.


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