Google has started phasing out third-party cookies

A new tool that defaults to restricting third-party cookies is now being rolled out to 1% of Chrome users globally.

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Google has officially started to phase out third-party cookies.

A new feature called Tracking Protection, which restricts third-party cookies by default, began rolling out to 1% of Chrome users globally on January 4, 2024.

If you have been affected, you will will receive a notification when you open Chrome on either desktop or Android devices.

Why we care. If your marketing heavily depends on targeted advertising with third-party cookies, it’s time to reconsider your tactics. Begin preparing your websites now before Google completely retires third-party cookies in the latter half of 2024.

Impact: The affect of the Tracking Protection tool rollout is yet to be determined, however, discussions among digital marketers on X indicate that advertisers are still not ready for the removal of third-party cookies:

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Problems to watch out for. If your site relies on third-party cookies and the roll out of Tracking Protection causes issues (for example, you refresh a page multiple times), Chrome will prompt you to temporarily re-enable them by clicking the eye icon on the address bar’s right side.

What are third-party cookies? A third-party cookie is a small piece of data placed on a user’s device (computer, cellphone, or tablet) by a website different from the one the user is currently visiting. It tracks the user’s browsing history, enabling personalized ads based on their activities.

Why now? Google considers phasing out third-party cookies by the second half of 2024 as a crucial move in its Privacy Sandbox initiative. The final decision depends on resolving competition concerns from the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority.

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Deep dive. Read ‘SEO and the future world without cookies‘ by Search Engine Land contributor Adam Audette for more information on what a cookieless world will look like for SEO and PPC marketers.

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.

About the author

Nicola Agius
Nicola Agius was Paid Media Editor of Search Engine Land after joining in 2023. She covered paid media, retail media and more. Prior to this, she was SEO Director at Jungle Creations (2020-2023), overseeing the company's editorial strategy for multiple websites. She has over 15 years of experience in journalism and has previously worked at OK! Magazine (2010-2014), Mail Online (2014-2015), Mirror (2015-2017), Digital Spy (2017-2018) and The Sun (2018-2020). She also previously teamed up with SEO agency Blue Array to co-author Amazon bestselling book Mastering In-House SEO.

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