In the world of PPC advertising, a cookie is king. But what if cookies don’t exist? That’s the question that many marketers are asking themselves these days as more and more consumers make purchases online without ever leaving their home. This blog post explores PPC ads without cookies in detail to help you prepare for this brave new world!

What are cookies and why do they matter to advertisers?

Cookies are bits of information that a website places on your device to help them remember who you are. For example, think about how many cookies exist for Facebook – the social media site has one cookie if you’re logged into the platform as a user and another cookie when you visit their page as an advertiser. These two different types of cookies are examples of how cookies can be used to track you when you visit a website.

Cookies are the backbone of PPC advertising, and without them marketers will have to change their strategies drastically. Tracking demographic data is essential for future marketing campaigns, but this information will need to come from other sources outside of cookies once they’re gone.

How Google Adwords is moving away from cookie-based targeting

Google has recently announced that they’re moving away from cookie-based targeting in their ad platform. To make pay-per-click less dependent on cookies, Google will start to collect data about users’ browsing habits through other sources like search history and YouTube views. They are doing t this because cookies are becoming increasingly unreliable and they don’t want advertisers to be penalized for efficiency.

Google’s shift towards browser-ID has sparked a lot of debate in the industry, but many companies are already starting to make changes based on this change due to cookie fatigue. The lack of reliable data from cookies is not only going to affect Google but social media advertisers as well.

Why this change matters for advertisers (and you)

One major way this change will affect advertisers and your business is the elimination of conversion tracking. Without cookies, there’s no way to track conversions or how many times someone has seen an ad before converting. This lack of data will make it more difficult for advertisers to optimize their campaigns and improve ROI.

The other major impact this change is going to have on advertisers is the inability to target ads based off people’s past browsing experience on the internet.

One major impact of these changes is that they will make it impossible for advertisers to target ads based off your past browsing experience on the internet. This means an ad about camping equipment may pop up while reading a story unrelated to campers in a news website, which can lessen the effectiveness of the ad.

Strategies for navigating a brave new world without cookies

Marketers and business owners are going to need to be a lot more creative with their paid advertising strategies. There are a few common strategies:

Focus On Behavioral Analysis

If you have a product or service that appeals to specific demographics, it is possible to target ads based on the person’s behavior. For example, if someone visits your website and clicks through several pages of camping equipment before returning an outdoor jacket page with no items in their cart, this may be indicative they are looking for jackets and not tents.

Build Data Assets You Own

The technology exists already for companies to build a list of cookies tied to their company. This is the type of strategy that will be most helpful for companies with large email databases or existing customer bases where they can build a common identity between website visitors and customers.

Focus On New Identification Capabilities

First-party cookies and other similar technologies are used to overcome privacy concerns. The best way for companies to make this happen is to focus on new identification capabilities like “fingerprinting” and other technologies that can be used for a more universal recognition of visitors and customers.

Don’t Forget The Third Party

Third-party cookies will still exist, but the value is in what they are able to do with them. They need to stay one step ahead of first party companies by not only doing things that other third parties cannot do.

When it comes to ads, cookies are no longer king. The good news is that there’s more than one way to track what your customers do online in order for you to target them with the right message at the right time.  What strategies have worked well when transitioning away from traditional cookie-based tracking? Share your story with us!

Noah Vertefeuille

Noah Vertefeuille is a marketing genius. He has an uncanny ability to see opportunities where others don't and create businesses out of thin air. He is the CMO of, a company that helps small businesses achieve their online marketing goals. Noah is also a serial entrepreneur and father of three. He's always looking for more efficient ways to get things done, and he loves using technology to make life easier. When he's not working or spending time with his family, Noah enjoys brewing beer and hobby farming.

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