Google had proposed an alternative ad targeting system for third-party cookies, but the criticism from the public, especially from some industry participants forced the Alphabet Inc. owned company to ditch the move.
But not to be left undone, the company has introduced a new proposal to replace the withdrawn plan. According to Google, its new proposal known as ‘Topics’ will give advertisers the leverage to target users on its Chrome web browser with the use of subjects browsed by the end-user.
The new plan includes the company having to block tracking cookies in its Chrome web browser by the end of 2023, a move that would stop advertising companies from logging the websites someone is visiting.
But the transition is without its hiccups, as many interested parties like advertisers, website owners, privacy groups and others have raised concerns on the planned advertising transition and the various complaints has prompted antitrust authorities in the U.S., UK, and other places to closely scrutinize Google’s plans.
Online ad buyers and sellers not to be taken unawares are weighing successors to the cookies. Part of the options to choose from is a tracking system whereby users are asked to input their email addresses to be able to access websites, another one is the adoption of new technologies that Google, Mozilla, and other browser makers could build into their software.
In addition, Google has a ‘Federated Learning of Cohorts’ (FLoC) plan that repeatedly gathers users into big baskets designed by algorithms based on websites users visited in the last week.
The method offers advertisers the opportunity to ads to a particular desired basket, but they won’t be able to know the individuals in it or their common interest. But some advertisers in the 2021 test discovered that the FLoC may be less effective than cookies in the case of choosing the kind of users to target, with the Product Director for Google, Vinay Goel also opining that the system carried the risk of exposing an individual’s browsing history.
Different companies had in recent times been wary of the loss of cookies, in effect making them majorly reliant on buying ads from Google and Facebook as a result of their extensive user databases.
The new ‘Topics’ browser system plan is programmed to set each user up to 15 baskets out of about 350 human-designed choices, such as “fitness” and “travel,” based on three weeks of browsing.
According to Goel, browsing will only be tracked on Websites that enable ‘Topics’, while also affording users the option of disconnecting from a topic or turning off the technology altogether, with testing to begin in few months..