How The New Cookie Update To Safari Will Impact Your Google Ads

How The New Cookie Update To Safari Will Impact Your Google Ads

Intelligent Tracking Prevention 2.2 is quietly disrupting the paid advertising marketplace as we know it.

The latest update to the Safari browser has put a huge restriction on cross-domain cookies, limiting them to 24 hours. The update to the way in which cookies collect data is having an adverse effect on advertisers ability to measure attribution and revenue through remarketing.

For example, someone is searching for a product, they click through your ad on Friday, mull over their decision during the weekend, then return on Monday to purchase the product. The cookie won’t be there on Monday to register the connection between your customers click on Friday and purchase on Monday.

It’s conversion paths like this that are invaluable to advertisers and the lack of attribution creates a clear issue for advertisers. Not only will this negatively influence analytics results, but poses a threat to your ability to split test and accurately track conversions.

Essentially, any online retailer with iOS customers will notice a difference during Q4.

How This Will Impact Your Data

You’ll probably notice that your conversion rate stats for returning customers will be off. It’s more than likely your shoppers will engage in sessions over 30 minutes, but under 24 hours, and with the 2-7 day purchasing window being essentially ‘un-trackable’ we may see the reliance on remarketing dwindle.

If a user visits your site multiple times with a 24-hour time gap between sessions, they’ll be recorded as a new user each time. This means the number of new visitors recorded from Safari browsers will increase.

As you’ve probably already guessed, this sneaky change is also going to scupper your attribution models for Safari users; and, if you’re a Google Ads advertiser using data-driven attribution, then you’re pretty much snookered.

The introduction of Intelligent Tracking Prevention 2.2 is, without a doubt, one of the biggest disruptions to paid search in 2019. Experts say that limiting cookie data to just 24 hours will mean less relevant ads and therefore less revenue for ecommerce advertisers. Google explains that it has seen remarketing revenue plummet for advertisers already in 2019 and it’s only going to be an uphill battle from now on. The paid search industry is experiencing a huge shift away from cookies towards ads based on context, and, it goes without saying that paid search advertisers will be at a clear disadvantage in Q4 this year compared to 2018.

How To Make The Most Out Of This Bad Situation

Research suggests that there are quite a few solutions, but the most popular is to set cookie headers in a serverside script. Whichever option you decide to go for it will involve a discussion with your platform developers. You must find an effective solution that works for your business goals, your site itself and your PPC advertising. You can find out more about this server option here –

In Conclusion…

Whatever you decide to do, do something. 2019 has been a testing year for Google Ads advertisers, and it’s not showing any sign of easing up just yet. Your remarketing revenue may be decreasing already so it’s now more important than ever to take action. If you’re currently advertising on Google Ads and wondering how this change will impact you, feel free to get in touch with a paid search specialist to see how we can help.


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