The future of advertising online, as it currently stands, looks quite bleak.
Back in January 2020, Google confirmed that they are starting the process of removing cookies from the Chrome browser. Considering this is the most used browser out there, this is the start of the end for cookies as we know it.
Ultimately, this is not good news for publishers that monetize websites with PPC – cookies are a key ingredient to determining what is relevant to web users, so advertisers know who to target. If they know this, they are much more likely to gain a better return on investment for that traffic, since the conversion rate would be naturally higher.
However, what does this mean for publishers that monetize their website with ads? How can we cope and deal with this huge blow? Here’s a few tips that I’m taking into consideration over the next few years.
Who I’m advertising with
The biggest losers out of this news seems to be the independent and small websites. If advertisers have less information on the traffic of websites, they are generally more likely to stick to the big companies for advertising campaigns. 1 point to big organisations, and 0 to the open web.
However, what classes as a big organisation? What companies are advertisers likely to go to if cookies disappear?
A good way to answer this is looking at the comscore, say for US. This shows the traffic the top properties get – these are likely going to profit from cookies being banned, or not be affected as much.
If you look down the list, there is CafeMedia (Ad Thrive) in 12th and Mediavine in 22nd – these are both companies that you can sign up to, if you have enough traffic and the right metrics, to earn through PPC.
For this reason, it could be a safe bet to make a connection to be included in a ‘big company’, according to comscore, so that you can still gain access to high paying advertisers.
If cookies are removed, the next best way to target is through contextuality of content.
This means to make your content specific and as good as possible. if you have adverts relating to the content, then it’s sure going to do better than if the contextuality was not there.
This might also mean changing the approach you take to content – instead of talking about vague topics, it might be better to hit niche topics hard instead, based on such contextuality advertising.
It might not be the end…
We are 1-2 years away from the cookies disappearing from Chrome, so there is a lot of time to fix this. Cookies are currently being removed due to the security flaw in them, so hopefully many companies are investing to find workarounds, so advertisers gain access to spending habits etc, without compromising on security. With this, it’s a good idea to stay tuned every few weeks on any progresses made for replacing cookies for advertising purposes.