Google Will No Longer Sell Ads Based on Your Browsing History

Google made a major announcement Wednesday, March 3 that it will stop selling ads based on your browsing history across websites. This is a major development that has the potential to shake up the digital advertising industry. Let’s break down Google’s decision and its impact, including what it means for you. 

Google to Stop Selling Ads Based on Your Browsing History

Google’s Announcement to Stop Selling Ads Based on Your History

The move was announced in a blog post by David Temkin, the Director of Product Management, Ads Privacy and Trust for the search engine.

Google is trying to protect user privacy.

He noted that 72% of people feel that almost all of what they do online is being tracked by advertisers, and 81% feel that the potential risks they face because of data collection outweigh the benefits. 

“If digital advertising doesn’t evolve to address the growing concerns people have about their privacy and how their personal identity is being used, we risk the future of the free and open web,” Temkin said. 

The decision comes as the search engine has faced increasing criticism from some lawmakers, privacy advocates, and regulators. Consumers are increasingly concerned about their privacy as they shop online. However, Google might see a backlash from its competitors in the digital advertising industry. Many companies rely on tracking individuals in order to target their ads, as well as measure their effectiveness. 

There are some exceptions to Google’s update, however. The changes will not apply to first-party data, which is the information that companies collect directly from consumers. This includes Google’s products like Gmail, YouTube, and Chrome. The changes will only apply to websites – not smartphones, where consumers are increasingly performing their web searches. 

computer cookies

Chrome to Remove Support for Third-Party Cookies

Last year, Google announced that it will phase out third-party cookies. Cookies are small bits of code that let advertisers track your user history across the web. However, they will completely disappear from Google Chrome sometime in 2022. Chrome is the most dominant web browser in the world. 

The company will not use an alternative tracking technology that will track you at an individual level. Instead, Google will use new technologies it has been developing with others in a “privacy sandbox” to target ads without collecting data about individuals from multiple websites. It will begin open testing of buying using that tech in the second quarter. 

“Today, we’re making explicit that once third-party cookies are phased out, we will not build alternate identifiers to track individuals as they browse across the web, nor will we use them in our products,” Temkin said. 

What Does This Mean? 

Google’s latest news update could speed up larger changes to how companies target their ads. We will have to wait and see how the digital advertising industry adapts and changes to this news. 

FAQs about Google to Stop Selling Ads Based on Browsing History:

  • When will Google phase out third-party cookies?
  • Is Google still selling ads based on individual browsing history?
  • What are the exceptions to Google’s announcement that it will stop selling ads based on browsing history?
  • Why is Google no longer selling ads based on individual browser history?
  • How is Google protecting users’ privacy?

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