Although many may think third-party cookies are simply an upgraded version of first-party cookies, it is not necessarily the case. The main differences between first and third-party cookies are:

  • Setting the cookie: A first-party cookie is set by your web server or any JavaScript you have loaded onto this website. Third-party cookies can come from an advertising vendor, as well as code that has been put on our site directly and henceforth recognized with these technologies called "third parties."
  • Cookie availability: Cookies are a way to remember what you have chosen on one website so that they can be restored when visiting another site. First-party cookies will only show up if the domain which created them is also being used as an entry point, while third-party ones should work cross-domain without any issues whatsoever!
  • Browser support/blocking: The user can delete third-party cookies from their browser, but many browsers block this action by default. First-party cookie support is universal across all browsers and deleted ones will not be stored on your computer unless you enable them first!

There are so many differences that third-party cookies are now being phased out from many web browsers. This is a big change for advertisers and knowing what to expect ahead of time can help you use this change to your advantage.

First-Party Cookies

First-party cookies are created by the website you are visiting and allow the website to store information about anyone who visits the website. First-party cookies are only on websites that create them but can be blocked by users if they choose. 

Do you ever notice that when you log in to your bank account online, you don’t have to put in a password or user ID? This is because of first-party cookies. The website stores that information for you to make logging in more seamless. 

First-party cookies are here to stay because they are considered necessary.

Third-Party Cookies

When you’re browsing Amazon for a new pair of shoes and then visit a different website and see the shoes you were just looking at served as an ad on the sidebar, it is no coincidence. This is a third-party cookie doing its job. Third-party cookies collect data on your engagement with ads and help with cross-site tracking and retargeting. Collecting your data helps website owners craft their advertising strategy based on what is and isn’t working. 

Third-party cookies are found on any website that loads third-party cookie code, but some browsers no longer support them. Eventually, no browsers will allow third-party cookie tracking because of a variety of privacy concerns. Changing your strategy during this transformation is important.

Using First-Party Data to Your Advantage

Websites will now need to find new ways to utilize the first-party data you are still able to collect and having a plan on how to do this before it becomes your only option will set you apart. Some options include:

  • Using the first-party data you are given to create data-driven content catered to your audience
  • Use contextual advertising to get the most out of your data. This strategy allows you to show ads to users relevant to what is on the webpage they are visiting. You can group the content into specific sections to narrow down your targeting.
  • Partner with publishers or data management firms that have direct access and relationship to website visitors.

Although change can be frustrating, this is a positive step to take care of user privacy and safety concerns. Users may also feel more comfortable giving more accurate first-party data giving you an even better return on your improved marketing strategy. If you have questions about how to stay ahead of these changes, Revv Partners can help. Schedule a call with us today.

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Bob Lange

Written by Bob Lange