No more cookies and other Google updates

"No more cookies" and other Google updates

By Manuela Vulpescu

At the beginning of 2021, Google announced a series of new updates. Two of them will definitely have a high impact on how data collection and PPC (Pay-per-Click) campaigns will be managed soon.

“Phrase Match” will integrate “Broad Match."

“Phrase Match” keyword match type will be extended to include more modifier traffic previously discoverable under “Broad Match” selections. The update will influence both keyword match types and is supposed to roll out starting with February 2021. According to Search Engine Land, the new version will be fully operating worldwide from July 2021, when the “Broad Match” as we know it will completely vanish.

How will the new “Phrase Match” from Google work?

Suppose you opt for a “Broad Match” selection to attract an audience that searches for +services +relocation +Bucharest +Berlin. In this case, you should expect your ad to show up for queries that include both the expression “relocation service Bucharest Berlin” and the form “relocation services Berlin Bucharest.” This may not be entirely beneficial if your company does not offer the services in both directions and only organize relocations from Romania to Germany.

The new update intends to exclude such misinterpretations. Therefore, it will take the words' order into account to better understand the search intention and match queries with the most relevant results. Under such circumstances, the “Broad Match,” as we know it, will no longer be available as it will be assimilated into the “Phrase Match” search type.

In conclusion, both match types will be affected. Thus, there will be no need to organize manual keyword transfers from one group to another in your Google Ads account. All your previous selections that are now under the “Broad Match” umbrella will be automatically moved under the new “Phrase Match” one.

These changes will decrease the time invested in sorting out the keywords for your PPC campaigns and increase the efforts necessary to optimize results. Site traffic will most probably fluctuate initially, and adjustments will be needed to keep performance rates intact.

Cookies will disappear, but users will still want personalized experiences.

Both Google and Apple decided to exclude the third-party cookies to comply with the GDPR and CCPA rules. These sorts of cookies are basically responsible for an essential part of the online customized experiences people still wish to enjoy.

In an article Google released in January, the company announced an alternative meant to be operative from Q2, 2021.

Federated Learning of Cohorts - shortly named FLoC - will replace cookies and hide individual data in groups with similar interests. This way, people will be able to browse in private mode while also taking advantage of the personalization of their online journeys. The update will be tested in March and is supposed to be rolled out for marketers from Q2 this year, as mentioned above.

Practically, the new version will allow advertisers to target a specific audience with the right message at the right time while selecting it from a variety of cohorts instead of using individual browsing information.

According to Google, the Federated Learning of Cohorts model should ensure at least 95% of the conversion rates businesses used to get during the cookie era.

In a recent update, AdExchanger mentioned that Europe will be excluded for now from the rollout because there are some debates about whether the Federated Learning of Cohorts is fully compliant with the GDPR and ePrivacy Directive. It has not been clarified if a browser placing a user into a cohort without having a previous and express consent from the user should be considered or not a violation of the privacy policy. This may leave advertisers in Europe either waiting longer for the FLoC to be effective in the region or for a new solution to replace the cookies in the GDPR zone.


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