Google Delays Cookie Removal to Late 2023

What does it mean for our publishers?

Google has announced that it will be delaying its plan to phase out third-party cookies in Chrome to mid-2023 amid pushback from regulators and from our advertising industry.

The open web thrives on free, ad-supported content; it is essential that any future changes to advertising protect open web publisher’s ability to monetize their high-quality content.

A timed-opportunity for the Ad-tech Industry

This delay presents an important opportunity for us and other leaders in the industry to spend more time to prepare and ensure that new technologies work for everyone across the digital ecosystem — this as much as content readers, brands, advertisers and publishers.

Why is Google holding off on removing third-party cookies? 

The delay reveals Google’s challenge to find a solution that would capitalize on the opportunity – with objections coming across all sides of the industry:

Jeopardizing Web Publishers business model

Google has realized that it cannot jeopardize the current business models of the majority of web publishers which support freely available content.

Chrome Engineering Director Vinay Goel shared on the blog post: We need to move at a responsible pace, allowing sufficient time for public discussion on the right solutions and for publishers and the advertising industry to migrate their services”.   

Privacy Concerns over FLoC

FLoC being one of the key components of Google’s Privacy Sandbox has faced major privacy concerns with initial trials not being able to run across the EU due to GDPR. Other Privacy Sandbox proposals have seen similar objections and delays in real-world testing.

Alternative tracking solutions

Google is concerned that moving too fast will encourage tracking companies to use alternative tracking methods, such as fingerprinting trackers which gather browser configuration details that defy the purpose of removing third-party cookies.

What does this mean for Project Agora’s publishers? 

Without a doubt, it is a positive development that Google recognizes the complexity of changing the technical foundations of digital advertising and that they are showing the required flexibility to take the time to develop the right solution which will protect our publishers’ revenue model.

On the other hand, it shows yet again the over reliance our industry has on one player alone and why publishers should strive to diversify their technology options and hedge their overall risk.

These two extra years will be invested by the industry and Project Agora towards better preparing for the future of digital advertising. On our end we are already working on solutions for the next day, and this extra time will allow us to further engage our partners to deploy solutions that help them maximize the value out of every user engagement.

We will continue being one of the strongest proponents of “Keeping the Open Web Open” by developing technology that:

  • Provides equal access to the benefits of tech-innovation.
  • Creates a fair-play field for publishers of all sizes.
  • Maintains high Privacy Standards for all users.

Let’s make this happen the right way!