What is FLoC?

Most of the content published on this blog relates to SEO, but it’s also important to remember about paid digital. In this post I’ll be discussing FLoC.

Browser cookies are a fundamental component of the online surfing experience, and advertisers have been using them for more than two decades to provide consumers with relevant, targeted adverts. However, the end of cookies is approaching. In an effort to get past the myriad data privacy concerns that have arisen as a result of digital advertising, Google plans to phase them out of Chrome by 2023.

So, what will take their place?

What is FLoC?

Google’s new interest-based tracking technology is called Federated Learning of Cohorts (FLoC). It use machine learning to group people into cohorts with at least broadly similar browsing behaviors. It’s aimed to keep advertising from having to rely on third-party cookies to target specific behaviors.

FLoC is Google’s current ad targeting method in the absence of third-party cookies. It operates by storing surfing data in the user’s browser and forming anonymous cohorts that advertising may target.

Users’ browsing history will be reduced into a concise overview of their online activities. Thousands of cohorts will be formed, each comprising the information from thousands of these browser histories, allowing marketers to continue targeting specific groups of people while maintaining anonymity.

Google FLoC

FLoC has been proposed by Google as a remedy to the privacy problems posed by third-party cookies, with the following definition: “Groups of individuals with shared interests (that) might replace common identifiers.”

In essence, Google’s FLoC is a browser API (application programming interface) designed to secure users’ privacy while yet allowing advertisers to do business.

Other browsers, such as Safari and Firefox, have long prohibited the use of third-party cookies, but Google has been hesitant to do so, believing that doing so would not be a true solution to privacy concerns, and would instead encourage advertisers to use other, potentially more harmful methods, such as fingerprinting, which can identify users and devices without the use of cookies.

In terms of advertising, a lack of cookies can lead to users receiving ads that are irrelevant to them, resulting in a negative user experience.

FLoC has been rejected by Firefox, Safari, and other browsers such as Brave, Vivaldi, and Microsoft Edge. Without cookies or FLoC, digital advertising in the future will be very different from what we are used to now. Brave, for example, has launched Brave Ads, which compensates consumers who are prepared to watch non-intrusive advertisements.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation has expressed some reservations about FLoC, claiming that it is a horrible concept in terms of privacy and user security. By reviewing your browsing history and condensing it into a simple behavioural label that can subsequently be shared with advertisers and other websites, FLoC allows your browser to do the duties that third-party trackers now undertake.

Despite the lack of personal characteristics on this label, trackers may still be able to identify your browser in a cohort of thousands rather than millions. Furthermore, services such as “log in with Google” can assist marketers and websites with current user monitoring in matching user profiles to FLoC-tracked behaviors.

FloC Vs. Cookies

Cookies are tiny files containing unique identifiers that are transmitted to browsers and then sent back to the server with new pages requested by your browser. This enables websites to remember your preferences and get insight into your online activities. How will advertising target consumers after cookies are no longer available?

Marketers will be able to utilize their own technology to create seed lists containing the most valuable FLoC IDs, according to Google’s Ginny Marvin. In Google’s open-source Privacy Sandbox, FLoC will have access to targeting and measurement capabilities, as well as other technologies.

Is FLoC better than cookies?

Furthermore, Google asserts that FLoC provides greater privacy restrictions than third-party cookies or alternatives such as browser fingerprinting, among other things. In part, this is due to the fact that marketers only have access to the cohort ID and not the identities of individual users, which Google touts as a “privacy-preserving API.”

FLoC Tracking

Internet advertising tracking tools such as Google’s proposed Turtledove (in addition to other bird-themed technologies) should be available to sites that support FloC. These tools will make retargeting possible post-cookies and assist in using first-party data (including site visitors) to influence consumer ads possible, among other things.

Preparing for FLoC

Here are some steps that you can take to prepare for the release of FLoC and the end of third-party cookies:

Focus on Collecting First-Party Data

Implement the appropriate digital marketing strategies. It is possible to obtain information directly from site visitors and potential clients by generating fresh email lists or expanding on previous efforts. Other sources of first-party data, such as mobile applications, websites, and social media platforms, can also be used to gather information.

Inform Clients and Customers About Upcoming Changes

Inform your consumers about the upcoming changes so that they are aware of what is going on and what is required of them.

Keep Up to Date

Because this is still under development, there will very certainly be some modifications between now and the implementation of FLoC. While the end objective is clear—to delete third-party cookies and replace them with user behavior tracking—the path to that goal is likely to change over the coming months.

Keep a watch out for developments from Google on FLoC and their Privacy Sandbox to ensure you’re properly prepared. There are some reservations about FLoC in its current form, so make careful to get both sides of the story.

Seek Help From a Google Ads or Hong Kong SEO Agency

FLoC is a huge shift with a lot of moving elements to keep track of and several months before it takes effect. Working with a Google Ads firm that can help you manage these essential developments is your best choice for staying informed and developing a suitable plan.

What should you anticipate from FLoC?

How will you deal with issues like contacting clients that don’t use Google since Safari, Firefox, and other browsers aren’t going to support it? Your Google Ad Agency partner can assist you in resolving these issues.

It’s critical to stay aware and adaptable as we go into the post-cookies era so that you can change and adapt as needed.

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