Google’s advertising business is all set to undergo some major privacy-pro changes.
In what can only be called a shocking announcement, the search giant revealed its plans to move away from individualised cross-site tracking.
This news from the Alphabet-owned tech giant breaks at a time when consumers worldwide are becoming increasingly aware of how ad tracking technologies collect user data to aggressively feed them personalised ads.
Google, on Wednesday, said that it will phase out and stop investing in tracking technologies that are capable of uniquely identifying web users as they move from one site to another across the internet.
In a blog post announcing the same, David Temkin who is a Google Product Manager leading this massive change wrote: “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.”
Two months ago, prior to this recent declaration, Google reaffirmed that they are going to phase out the usage of third party cookies used for tracking by 2022 as well. The company’s ad-buying tools will now operate on new technologies which are being developed in what Google calls a ‘privacy sandbox’. It has the ability to serve targeted ads without the collection of personalised information from the user’s activity on multiple websites.
One such experimental technology from the search giant’s privacy sandbox analyses the browsing habits of users on their own device and then allows advertisers to target aggregated cohort of users with similar users. The Alphabet-owned tech giant, in January, revealed that it plans to begin open testing of ad-buying using this technology in Q2 2021.
Now, note here that Google’s decision to abandon individualised cross-site tracking will very likely cause a momentary dent in its business model. As one must already be aware, a huge portion of the Alphabet-owned search giant’s revenue is made up of its advertising business. To put things in perspective, in Q4 2020, Google’s total revenue stood at $56.7 billion out of which $46.19 billion, accounting for 81.47% of the total revenue, was raked in by its advertising segment alone.
The move, however, could put Google is a tricky and rather difficult situation to deal with. As the internet giant shifts gears to move away from personalised ads, which is extremely effective besides harbouring a lot of cons for user privacy, advertisers might not be willing to accept the change with open arms at first.
But the announcement comes with a twist and that leaves a safe passage for Google and its advertisers. Google has made it clear in its announcement that the change will only be implemented for websites and won’t cover its ad tools and unique identifiers related to mobile apps. No prize for guessing that the future belongs to apps and increasing usage of apps have started showing its impact on ad revenue coming from mobile apps.
However, it is safe to assume, that the recent change will be implemented across all ad-buying tools of the search giant sooner than we anticipate. Just a few days back we reported that Google is exploring options to limit data collection on Android devices, similar to what Apple has done with iOS – what is being the bone of contention between Facebook and Apple for months now.
All in all, given that Google is one of the world’s largest digital advertising company, its latest push for pro-privacy advertisement solutions can help the industry at the large move past the usage of such individualised tracking as well – particularly Facebook, which is still advocating for personalised ads as it apparently serves as a huge boon for small businesses worldwide.