AdvertisingAffiliate Marketing

Cookie Apocalypse: The Countdown Is Already On


Not a long time ago, Google announced that third-party cookies from its Chrome browser are going to be blocked next year. This claim was enough to raise the hair of marketers around the world. Essentially, this means that most of the long-present marketing strategies need significant changes and some of them will hardly survive at all. 

Before you start running around your room, exclaiming that the end is near, let’s find out more about the issue. And the main thing – what does cookie elimination mean for affiliate marketing?

The basics: what are third-party cookies?

Third-party cookies are used to identify users’ needs considering their online journey. In simple words, cookies track users behavior, including websites they visited before, to show the most relevant ads based on suggested preferences. 

The main issue with user confidentiality that cookies raise is a lack of control over the shared information. Users don’t know which companies receive their data through cookies and they are not always aware that their behavior is being tracked. 

Why is Google eliminating cookies? 

The Internet adds transparency to our lives, but as anything else in this world, transparency has two sides – the positive and negative one. As you understand, the intention of cookie elimination follows the dark side of the issue. Namely, the global community’s concern about users’ confidentiality.

The customer data gathering through cookies served an enormous amount of companies during the last years. Cookies allowed these companies to retrieve third-party data about website visitors, including previously visited pages. 

Cookies were always thought to be harmless in terms of confidentiality since they provide non-personal data about customers. That’s true.

However, today, with the help of modern malicious technologies used by web criminals, anonymous identifiers can be tied to real users. For example, if the criminal locates a special pixel in any personal account available via phone number or email, he can get sensitive information about the user. 

Well, in today’s world, such identifying operations are made by the FBI and similar governmental structures to track potentially dangerous people. However, when regular user’s data appears in the hands of banks, retailers, or even hackers – this is not the best scenario.  

And, no wonder, that Google’s ambitions to become even more dominant around the online space are also mixed up with the matter. As the third-party cookies will become unavailable in Chrome, Google will roll out alternative tools of its own. 

Thus, advertisers will have no chance but to use Google’s FLoC (Federated Learning of Cohorts), a tool created to ensure user privacy still allowing marketers to get information about their behavior. FLoC will track users’ behavior and divide them into different cohorts that stand for 33K+ browsing patterns.

As such, the data previously stored by advertisers will belong to Chrome. Well, the one who holds information in the world of informational technologies will always win. 

Brace yourselves, affiliates: which problems are coming?

So, which consequences affiliate marketers are going to face after the cookie Apocalypse? Let’s figure out:

  • Targeting by demographics will disappear

Non-personal data about previous online actions as well as visitor’s age and gender will be impossible to retrieve. 

  • Retargeting will disappear, as well

After visitors leave a website without buying anything, marketers might use a retargeting strategy to remind them about the goods or services. Again, in case third-party cookies, including the data about previous visits, won’t be available, retargeting will become impossible. 

  • Ad frequency won’t make sense

Ad frequency will also go nowhere. Without cookie data, the same user will see the same ad for an infinite number of times.

As you can see, the new day is bringing new challenges. However, do we have any ideas on how to meet the catastrophe with dignity? Sure thing. 

How to survive in the post-apocalyptic world without cookies?

Indeed, the cookie catastrophe will ruin millions of campaigns and thousands of companies around the world will face really hard times.

By the way, a small notice: this will also ease the competition and clear some space for younger businesses that can manage to embrace the new world with new rules. What are those potential strategies to keep up with? Let’s see.

Custom databases

There are technologies for first-party data assets gathering, which will definitely become more widespread after the cookie Apocalypse. In addition to custom databases, marketers are likely to strengthen direct relationships with publishers or cooperate with advertising networks with straight access to publishers and use new targeting strategies. 

Device ID and IP addresses 

Also, user behavior can be tracked by device ID and IP address – non-personalized data, which doesn’t include any sensitive details. Ads can be delivered regarding GEOs and device characteristics, which is absolutely legitimate. 

Great creatives

Nothing works better than really powerful creatives that attract and engage the audience. Whenever your creatives evoke self-authentication, users just cannot resist clicking.

In simple words, try to make your creatives… creative! And make sure they reflect clients’ needs and desires, since banners that maintain communication between ads and customers work better than any cookies. 

Content relevance 

Technologies change – they come and go. Something that stays for all times is content relevance, since your potential leads don’t really care about cookies, but they do care about your offers. Affiliates should focus on the content and stay flexible when it comes to the technological side of the issue. 

Wide message 

Also, affiliates should strive for universality, since it is hard to focus on the individual needs of every user, when the cookies are gone. The ad message (both images and text) might be broad and clear to engage more people without isolating any potential leads.


Storytelling is hard to call the new advertising strategy. Those affiliates who work with Finance or Sweepstakes verticals already know that – success stories are attractive and they do bring conversions.

Remember the point about customer authentication with ads? This is it – success stories are engaging and easy to relate to. 

Indeed, online advertising will change after cookies are gone, but we still have all chances to survive – shifting to new approaches and seeking new strategies. Isn’t it a motivating boost for you? 

Is PropellerAds ready for the end of cookies?

And here is the good news. PropellerAds is ready for the end of cookies – our network will continue working and push notifications will definitely stay afloat, which is less certain for native ads.

We have been equipping ourselves with new tools and solutions from the day cookie Apocalypse was announced by Google. So new technologies are already in place. 

As you may know, our platform holds the ISO/IEC 27001 certification for information security management, which proves our focus on safety measures.

Experts from all of our departments always care about your convenience and success on the market, so we develop numerous tools to make your affiliate marketing more efficient. And there is more to come, even in the world without cookies, so stay with PropellerAds and have no fear! 

Our Telegram chat is always open for you! Make sure to join and let’s discuss our Apocalyptic plans together


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