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How third-party cookies work great for marketing

Controversies regarding third-party cookies spark now and then due to them being generated by a different website instead of the one you are visiting, which some consider intrusive and the rest helpful.
Reading Time: 4 minutes
third party cookies

It may come as a surprise that these cookies weren’t supposed to be developed in such a manner.

Third-party cookies were created in 1994 by a 23-year-old engineer known as Lou Montulli. The aim was to create a convenient way for websites to remember their users and necessary data such as passwords, experience, etc. He also tried to make these such that they are not used for cross-site tracking.

It was then used by the founders of a company named DoubleClick, who realized that the cookies can be used for tracking the users across the web and thus implemented it. This was a game-changer in the advertising arena. Google made broader approaches with these in 2008 after acquiring the company from SERPs to Programmatic ads on other websites.

Table of Contents

What are third-party cookies?

Third-Party cookies are those cookies that instead of being generated by the website the user is visiting are put on the user’s hard drive by a website of a different domain.

Cookies are also known as browser cookies, web cookies, HTTP cookies while Third-party cookies are known as trackers.


For example, you visit a site named website.com. The cookies which are generated by website.com at this domain will be considered First-party cookies whereas a cookie placed by another website such as an advertiser or social media site is a third-party cookie.

Who uses Third Party cookies and why?

Third-party cookies are used by social networks or advertisers to watch user activity so that they can use it to show the users targeted advertisements based on their behavior.

This increases the chances of the advertiser’s success and thus markets the appropriate products to users. 

Difference between First party and third-party cookies
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For example, you visit a website to search for the best umbrellas for women.

After spending some time on the site, you are now on another website that is entirely different from this one. But you see an ad for the best umbrellas for women. 

Usually useful, this came to light that everything done by the users and ads is monitored.

Are Third-Party Cookies friend or foe?

Let us dig into what are the various aspects that are there when it comes to the advantages and disadvantages of the existence of third-party cookies. Not only for the user but for the website operators and advertisers as well.

Advantages of third-party cookies

For Users

  • Users get more personalized advertising making the products search easier.
  • Users get advertisements based on their search which means no unnecessary advertising.
  • Generally, website operators offer to block third-party cookies at the user’s convenience.

For Website Operators

  • Increases the advertising revenue due to more interested audiences.
  • As compared to tracking with first-party cookies, these are more effective and productive.
  • Advertisements are not hosted on your server.
  • Most of the work is done by the Ad Server.

For Advertisers

  • Broadens the range for online marketing.
  • More productive and easier to track than first-party cookies.
  • Generates more advertising revenue due to the personalized assortment of products/services for the user.

Disadvantages of Third-Party cookies

For Users

The third-party cookies work kind of against data protection law as they read personal data of users such as age, gender, location, etc. 

For Website Operators

  • Amid the various speculations regarding third-party cookies, the users visiting are likely to mistrust your website.
  • Textual advertisements about cookie usage tend to annoy the users.
  • Due to the constant varying legalities, you need to keep yourself updated with the current regulations.
  • Third-Party cookies may impact search engine optimization(SEO) negatively.

For Advertisers

  • As many website operators move away from Third-party cookies, these may impact the relationship with them.
  • Unstable regulations may cause the application of different techniques.
  • As many users are aware of these cookies and do not agree with the breach of information, they already have them blocked through Adblockers and browsers resulting in lesser profits.

What Should I Do About Third-Party cookies?

It entirely depends on the users, if they are comfortable with sharing their information online or not.

Third-party cookies help in bringing you a nice internet experience with their personalized advertisements. But if you are hesitant about the idea of being tracked, then you can block or remove them.

Global market share of chrome (2021)
Click to Zoom

For instance, the above image shows tracking may affect other technology firms but google is sticking to tracking its users with its advanced technologies. 

FAQs

Users can protect their personal information by using the basics such as having a strong password, using VPN (Virtual Private Network), Protecting your domain name, etc. To know more, click here.

Third-party cookies are legal everywhere if they are being used with the consent of the user visiting the website.

The General data protection Regulation and central consumer protection authority are regulations that take care of the rules for factors that track users.

It depends entirely on how are the cookies used. For example, one can pose as an individual if the cookies are hijacked by the former and gain access to the latter’s unauthorized things.

Yes, there are browsers that block third-party cookies by default such as Safari, Firefox and Brave. 

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Picture of Anjali Tyagi

Anjali Tyagi

Building high-quality E-A-T based content is my main moto when it comes to article research and publication. Making sure my readers get highly verified content every time they go through my research.

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