What Will Replace Cookie Tracking?

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Cookie tracking is on its way out; there are no doubts regarding the future of cookie tracking anymore. Mozilla and Microsoft have both announced that they are going to move away from cookies for good. Mozilla made it clear that the next version of Firefox will block all third-party cookies regardless of their source. This was followed by Microsoft announcing that it too would block third-party cookies. According to Google’s approach to cookie tracking recently, it isn’t unfathomable that the search giant is also going to do away with cookies.

The Future of Cookie Tracking

If the announcements are true, this will mean a major shift away from cookie tracking, a tool webmasters and affiliate marketers have gotten used to over the years. Fewer browsers available on the market will support cookies, making it difficult for websites to track the online activities of their visitors. Over time, online tracking has become an important component for marketing as targeted ads became a distinct possibility once a user’s online preferences became known. The websites that have been using cookies will have to develop the tools necessary to combat this.

However, this isn’t the end of the world. Even though cookies are widely used, they aren’t as effective as they are made out to be. For one, any person can easily clear cookies by deleting browsing data. Moreover, cookies are exclusive to computers, so they don’t work on mobile devices. As the number of mobile users increases, it won’t be long before smartphone and tablet users outnumber people who own desktops. In other words, this may prove to be beneficial for websites though they may incur a loss initially.

The websites which will be significantly affected by this change are the ones that focus on audience tracking through the use of different factors. Behavioral targeting in particular has become an important tool for online marketers. Cookie tracking not being available any longer could make things a tad difficult for them. So, subscription-based websites also have to up their game to cope up with this latest development.

Alternatives to Cookie Tracking

As far as alternatives to cookie tracking are concerned, Microsoft and Google have both revealed their plans to come up with relevant tools. With regards to their plans, Microsoft’s technology is going to focus on their own devices. Google is planning a more comprehensive solution that will target users through apps. This way, Google can track cookies for anyone using the Google Chrome browser or the Android mobile operating system.

Google has been fairly tight-lipped about the technology as of now. On the other hand, Microsoft has been quite willing to discuss their plans. It is clear that both tech giants will launch their cookie tracking alternatives in the near future. Also, it wouldn’t be a surprise if other tech companies throw their hats into the ring and start working on alternatives to cookie tracking. There is little doubt that the demand for these alternatives would be high.

A future without cookie tracking has been touted for some time, but now it is going to become a reality. So, webmasters and users should start preparing themselves for a cookie-free online browsing experience.