Getting Ready for the Great Crumble

2024 marks the year when Google Chrome will start to block cookies. In fact, on January 4th, Google started by suppressing 3rd party cookies to 1% of their users (roughly 15M users worldwide.)

Relying on cookie tracking is not future proofing. Safari and Firefox already block third-party cookies by default, representing 34% of conversions that are currently not being tracked. In 2024, this will grow to 87%.

According to the Hubspot State of Marketing Report, 2024, only 47% of marketers reported their company is working on a plan to approach cookie-free targeting. To ensure a smooth transition, we’ve developed this step-by-step guide and will continue to update the FAQs as we all go forward into the cookieless world.

What does this mean for you?

Visibility to ad performance is not the only impact. With most performance marketing being driven by AI and machine learning, any data deprecation means a significant performance decline. Action is needed ASAP to keep feeding the right data into Google & Facebook’s AI and to avoid disruptions to performance.

What do you need to do?

In addition to focusing internally on 1P data integrity, all advertisers need to take a few key steps to future-proof advertising measurement:

1. Enable Enhanced Conversion Tracking on Google

Step 1: Enable Enhanced Conversion Tracking for Web – Enhanced conversion tracking supplements your existing conversion, pixel-based tags by sending hashed first-party conversion data from your website to Google in a privacy-safe way.

Step 2: Enable Enhanced Conversion for Leads – For those advertisers who drive offline sales, enhanced conversions for leads uses first-party user-provided data from your website to measure sales and transactions that happen off your website.

All enhanced conversion tracking can be set up through Google Tag Manager or custom tagging on your site. 

2. Enable Consent Mode V2

Via consent mode, if a user has opted out of cookie tracking, conversions and other activity on your website can still be tracked by analytics and media platforms, but in an anonymous and privacy-compliant manner.  While most major consent management platforms and their cookie banner technology enable Consent Mode, there are many conflicts between website cookie banners and subsequent tracking pixel and cookie behavior which put your business at risk.

In March, new European privacy regulations ramped up enforcement of user privacy compliance, and in response, Google launched a mandatory migration to Consent Mode V2.  Advertisers should enable Consent Mode V2 ASAP to remain compliant. 

The bottom line is that Consent Mode needs to be updated by March 2024 to ensure personalization capabilities (such as tag-based remarketing) continue to work as expected. 

3. Enable Server-to-Server Tracking on Google & Facebook

Server-to-server tracking leverages Google & Facebook’s API to provide unique IDs to platform servers without the information being stored in a cookie. The tracking is privacy-safe and more accurate than previous cookie tracking methods. This needs to be completed by the end of 2024, a critical step to future-proofing measurement.

Closed Loop has been working with our clients over the past month to take these critical steps above. Through this process, we’ve identified some FAQs that can be useful as you go through these steps for your accounts. 


Q. How easy is this to do ourselves?

A. Not very easy. Google and Facebook have provided starting points, but there are entire sections in the help documentation and countless YouTube tutorials. It is a complex and advertiser-by-advertiser tailored process, which is why we have dedicated a resource to take care of this for our clients.

Q. Is this really going to happen? Google has been talking about this for years. 

A. Google does need to resolve concerns around its proposed Privacy Sandbox changes that have been raised by the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) before deprecating third-party cookies from Chrome. That being said, Google has time to address this and advertisers should proceed in future-proofing efforts.

Q. What is the specific benefit to addressing server-to-server tracking on Facebook?

A. There is already an estimated 20% of conversions that are already not being tracked and therefore not credited due to technical issues with Safari and Firefox browsers blocking or limiting third party tracking cookies. That number will go to 100% when Google stops using third-party cookies. The immediate effect of enabling server-to-server tracking on Facebook now is an estimated 20% lift in credited conversions. 

Q. What will the relationship be with new server to server conversions and our current conversions? Do we keep them both, do they de-duplicate?

Current / “old” conversions will continue to be sent via browser tags and they will de-duplicate against the new server side conversions. 

Q. Is this important for other ad platforms too?

So far most of the attention has been on Facebook and Google, but the same thing is impacting all of the ad platforms. We are monitoring all available server-to-server integrations (LinkedIn has one, for example) and will be keeping our clients informed in the coming months.

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