Google has phased out targeting cookies, giving advertisers new ways to tell if their ads are working.

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  • Google is improving the tools that advertisers and publishers use to measure digital ads.
  • The tech giant has unveiled new ways for advertisers to track ad performance on YouTube and Google Search apps.
  • Google’s new products come as the tech giant tries to rebuild its advertising business without third-party cookies.

Google offers new ways for advertisers to measure digital ads.

Saurabh Sharma, senior director of measurement products at Google, said these new tools for advertisers do not use third-party cookies to track ad performance. Third-party cookies tell advertisers what someone did after seeing an ad, but their use under the fire of government regulators they are concerned about violating the privacy of consumers.

The biggest change will be how ads are measured on Google’s YouTube and Search mobile apps. A metric called on-device conversion metrics tells advertisers which ad someone clicked on and what they did afterward, such as whether a person downloaded a game app after seeing an ad.

This method preserves user security, as Google does this tracking without transmitting the person’s identity to the advertiser. Typically, Google sends data about who sees an ad to an ad network. Google’s new metric keeps this data on the user’s device.

“The approach is the gold standard and something every major advertising platform is looking for,” said Eric Seufert, mobile consultant on Google’s on-device conversion measurement.

Google is also introducing a new way to show which pages people interact with the most and which products they buy. In the past, advertisers and publishers who wanted this information needed engineers to place tags on their properties.

Sharma said the new Google tag reduces advertisers’ dependence on these engineers. This gives marketers more control over how consumer data is collected, but hasn’t clarified what that data might include.

Finally, Google will add new ways for advertisers to use Google’s modeling data to predict ad conversions this month. For example, if 50% of people choose to share their data, Google uses this group to predict how ads will perform on the larger population. Currently, this capability is limited to the Chrome and Safari browsers, but Google said it’s expanding these tools to other browsers like Firefox.

The changes come as Google transforms its advertising business to meet consumers’ growing demand for privacy. Google is leading an industry-wide initiative called Privacy Sandbox, which aims to enable advertisers to target and measure digital ads without using personally identifiable data or third-party cookies that track what people do online.