SEO

Google is allowing select sites to delay phase out of third-party cookies

Google is giving websites the opportunity to request additional time to transition away from third-party cookie dependencies.

To address possible compatibility concerns, the search engine has introduced a third-party cookie deprecation trial. While Chrome plans to eliminate third-party cookies by Q3 2024, this program lets embedded sites and services temporarily enable them until December 27, 2024.

However, developers are expected to make the necessary changes by the trial end date.

Why we care. For marketers heavily dependent on targeted advertising through third-party cookies, delaying Chrome’s phase-out until the end of the year could come as a huge relief. But it’s still crucial to update your marketing strategy to be cookieless before the December deadline, as there won’t be any additional help afterward.

How it works. Eligible websites can enable third party cookie deprecation trials by using JavaScript to provide unique access tokens in Chrome. To request a third-party token during registration, activate the “Third-party matching” option on the origin trial’s registration page. The third-party token should be provided through JavaScript by creating an origin trial <meta> tag, not in HTML code or an HTTP header.

Trial participants are advised to deploy deprecation trial tokens before the grace period ends on April 1, 2024.

Eligibility. The program is specifically designed for embeds and services that use third-party cookies and meet Google’s strict eligibility criteria”

  • Advertising-related services won’t get approval.
  • If your domain is known for advertising, even subdomains, it’s likely to be rejected.
  • To be considered, you need to show direct impact on end-users; problems just affecting later data analysis won’t qualify. Submit bug reports to Google with detailed steps to reproduce the issue.
  • Google will only consider requests with confirmed breakage, and there’s an appeals process for clarification.
  • Even if your site has both ad and non-ad content, if it’s associated with advertising domains, it’s likely to be denied.

Review process. After you submit your application for the third-party cookie deprecation trial, Google will review your request. Response times will vary, however, if you have not received a response with one to two weeks, Google advises contacting them at [email protected].

What Google is saying. A Google spokesperson said in a statement:

  • “At the moment we are only focusing on third-party embeds and services.”
  • “We recommend first-party sites continue making changes to their sites directly to fix the breakage and encourage their embedded third parties to sign up for this deprecation trial.”

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Deep dive. Read Google’s guidance in full for more information.

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About the author

Nicola Agius

Nicola Agius is Paid Media Editor of Search Engine Land after joining in 2023. She covers paid search, paid social, 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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