What is Data Protection Day?
On January 28th, 1981, back when shoulder pads and lycra were first in fashion, the Council of Europe officially opened “Convention 108” for signature. Known as the Data Protection Convention, this internationally agreed treaty was the first of its kind and designed to protect the data of individuals and organisations.
When the European Union introduced the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in May 2018, this worked in tandem with the existing Data Protection.
With an estimated 65% of all internet users going online through Google Chrome, it’s no wonder Google is constantly reviewing its privacy and cookie policies. Despite being labelled as a 2024 policy, Google has been slowly rolling out changes since July 2023, so what will this mean for your business moving forward?
Although we need to get ahead of these changes soon, we don’t need to worry too much about making any drastic changes this very second. Google has chosen a slow rollout, with only an estimated 1% of all users having cookies disabled during quarter 1 of 2024.
What is a cookie?
Sadly, we don’t mean the chocolate chip kind! That being said, digital cookies aren’t as complicated (or as fun) as you might think.
Cookies are stored chunks of data which websites use for all manner of different reasons. From tracking your user journey on the site to storing login information for easier future access.
There are also two different types of cookies, first-party and third-party. As with car insurance, third-party covers everyone else (other websites) whereas first-party is the data that individual sites store and keep safely themselves.
That being said, with increasing awareness and consideration for data protection, you have more control over your cookies than ever before. They’re not something to be scared of and they can make your online experience more convenient.
What does cookieless tracking mean for my business?
With the growing need for cookieless tracking, your business will need to evolve and adapt in order to keep up and continue to see high quality lead generation. Choosing to invest in new technologies and partnering with digital marketing agencies will have a big impact on this.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, or you simply want to stay ahead of the changes, you can contact our team who will be able to help you devise an effective strategy. Let us help you innovate.
Replacing 3rd Party Cookies With Sandbox
To balance consumer privacy with the needs of advertisers and third-party services, Google is introducing the Privacy Sandbox. Yes, all this talk of cookies and
sandboxes gives us flashbacks to being five years old again; this sandbox probably isn’t quite as fun, although it is potentially safer.
We can break the sandbox down into three main components: tracking, targeting and processing.
Tracking: There will be no more individual tracking which means a potential end to individualised advertising.
Targeting: Because Google doesn’t want to eradicate personalised advertising altogether, it will group users based on similar browsing habits and allow targeted advertising with this in mind.
Processing: Rather than sending and storing your data online, Google intends to store your data on your device. Essentially your device will work like a personal assistant and show you the things you like without telling other people what it’s showing you.
Ultimately, these changes will benefit users’ privacy by giving them more control over their data and a better sense of online security.
What does this mean for businesses?
For businesses and advertisers, this might seem a bit concerning, and you will have to make some changes moving forward. After all, who wants to spend money on adverts that might be shown to irrelevant audiences?
First, it’s important to understand the difference between first-party and third-party cookies, as these changes are only going to impact the use of third-party cookies. Unlike first-party cookies, third-party cookies can essentially track users across the whole internet and as such are not considered to be as safe or to keep user data private.
How can my businesses thrive under these changes?
With an estimated 80% of the UK’s population making purchases online, it is more important than ever for businesses to have a functioning website. Not just one which looks great, but one that works hard to ensure your business is not missing out on potential leads or sales.
This goes way beyond just the visual elements of your website’s design. It’s important to consider your user’s journey and how you can better capture first-party cookies to increase your potential conversions.
Your website needs to be accessible to all users as well as provide ample opportunity for data capturing through things like contact form submission, and newsletter sign-ups. Your users need to be kept engaged so they spend more time on your website and want to build a relationship with your brand.
Search engine optimisation (SEO) is going to be even more important than ever. With increasing online competition and these new regulations having a potential impact on Google ads, it’s going to be important to ensure that your site will show up organically for an evolving consumer base.
Are Google ads still viable?
Yes. Although advertising will change, and it’s important to fully understand all of these changes, Google doesn’t want to eradicate advertising and is looking at ways to ensure it is still effective for businesses.
Currently, most of the conversions are tracked using individual data and Google is looking into ways to track conversions without this. As these changes are being rolled out slowly, there is plenty of time to make adaptations so that your business will continue benefiting from Google ads and other pay-per-click advertising platforms which could be impacted..
Google still wants to ensure that all users are being shown adverts which are relevant to them which is a good thing for businesses. Now more than ever, it is going to be important to have a well structured digital marketing plan which includes many aspects of online advertising.
Are you worried about the impact on your business?
With all businesses predicted to be impacted by these changes by the end of quarter 4 of 2024, it’s no wonder that you might be feeling uncertain about the future. With roughly four out of five people using Google to start their search for a new product or service rather than going directly to a site, understanding these changes is crucial to business success.
If you need any help or advice on ensuring your website will not only be compliant with data protection rules and regulations but will also help increase your leads and conversions, get in touch with us now. We have the solutions you need to stay ahead of the click.