Google is changing the way online advertisers target users! FLoC is Google’s attempt to ensure user privacy while maintaining the ability to target ads. Here’s everything we know so far.
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Welcome back to another Wednesday Workshop from DealerOn.
In an effort to address concerns over privacy, Google is phasing out third party cookies. What’s replacing it? What will that do? And what does that mean for you? Today we’re going to answer these questions and more about this huge change in the landscape of online advertising.
This change is part of Google’s Privacy Sandbox Initiative called the Federated Learning of Cohorts, which has been predictably shortened to FLoC.
Instead of cookies individually targeting consumers based on their specific browsing history, FLoC will now group them into clusters of thousands of users with similar interests. Those groups will now be targeted based on the browsing history they have in common.
The algorithm that selects these groups of users will do so based on both the URLs of the sites they visit as well as the content on those sites. The idea is that Google can retain the power of targeted ads but dilute the user base just enough to provide anonymity. In addition, these groups will get re-sorted every week, to keep up with changing browsing habits and to preserve privacy.
Google has promised that FLoC will be effective, stating: “Our tests of FLoC to reach in-market and affinity Google Audiences show that advertisers can expect to see at least 95% of the conversions per dollar spent when compared to cookie-based advertising.”
Currently, we only have Google’s internal testing to verify this stat. Widespread third party testing will have to wait for now.
Google has also promised that these groups will NOT be organized on the basis of what it calls “sensitive data.” Categories Google has specifically mentioned that will not be included are race, sexuality, and personal hardship.
One important note. FLoC will only be coming out on the Chrome web browser. What this means for users who do their browsing on Safari or Firefox is anyone’s guess.
Needless to say, advertisers are concerned about leaving cookies behind. They have been a tried-and-true part of online marketing for many years, and any switch to a new kind of targeting is bound to be rocky. If Google’s internal metrics are right, we shouldn’t see that much of a change. We won’t know until we know. But as soon as we do, you will too.
That’s all the time we have for today’s workshop. As always, if you have any questions or comments, leave them below and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can. Thanks for watching. We’ll see you next week for another Wednesday Workshop from DealerOn.