What Are First Party Cookies And How To Use Them To Generate Leads

What Are First Party Cookies

How can you tell if your website provides first party cookies or third-party cookies to its users, and why is this distinction crucial for digital marketers? Our marketer’s manual has the solutions you’re looking for.

To begin, a little review: what exactly is a cookie?

When a person browses the web, the sites add “cookies” to their browser. When a user accepts a cookie, the cookie’s owner can access that user’s browsing history and other information. The data may help monitor user behavior or customize the user’s experience on the website.

  • By enabling retargeting advertisements
  • Keeping track of shopping cart data
  • Including pre-populated fields in online forms
  • Preferences are saved
  • Account Verification
  • Ad conversion tracking

Both the site’s visitors and the site’s proprietors may benefit from this kind of cookie use. The owners get access to user data that may be used in their marketing operations and have more options to implement marketing strategies directly. At the same time, the visitors enjoy an improved experience.

Examining the cookies stored in your browser is a fantastic way to learn more about the various cookie formats used today. This article explains how to access your cookies and find out what cookies you have set up and what they perform by doing some digging online.

Distinction between first party cookies and third-party cookies.

We are familiar with websites that may store cookies in a user’s browser. First party cookies are those whose domain is the same as the one that places the cookie in the visitor’s browser. A first party cookie is one set by a website the visitor is already viewing, such as if they visited targetinternet.com and saw a cookie with the domain “targetinternet.com” already present in their browser.

Third-party cookies are those whose domain differs from the one that installs them. Accordingly, a cookie from the fictitious domain “ads4u.biz” would constitute a cookie from a third party if you acquired it after visiting the website targetinternet.com.

An issue with cookies from untrusted sources

In the past, marketers could utilize third-party cookies without worrying about backlash from consumers or service providers. This status quo permitted cookie-powered marketing like site analytics and display ads. Many internet users and technology providers are already rejecting third-party cookies, creating a headache for advertisers.

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Some internet users have routinely cleared their browser caches of cookies from unknown websites. Some people are actively preventing their installations by utilizing automated software. News reports on the Cambridge Analytica incident and GDPR have likely contributed to this movement.

Even more worrisome for marketers is that specific browsers and anti-spyware programs block 3rd cookies by default. It means that more people do not accept third-party cookies than there are who reject them on purpose. Opentracker reports that less than 5% of all online users actively disable first party cookies.

First, many programs that block 3rd cookies do not prevent third-party cookies, so even confidentiality users are much less likely to remove cookies from a recognized website like Facebook, Gmail, or any other web they use often.

For the most part, users who choose to disable third-party cookies will not notice any significant degradation in their browsing experience. Users may have issues with login, form autofill, and other features if they disable the first-party cookie from a website they often visit.

Why is this such a controversial issue?

Problems with third-party cookies shot to the top of the sales priority list in 207. Both OSes provide a Safari version with the Intelligent Tracking Prevention add-on, which deletes any cookies (third-party or first-party) that are deemed unnecessary to the user’s experience

After a day and a half of inactivity, third-party cookies are deleted, whereas first party cookies are deleted after 30 days. To learn more, check out Osano’s guide to cookie laws. This technology has affected both first party cookies and third-party cookies, although it has proven more effective against third-party cookies from websites that users are not likely to visit.

In May 2018, iOS had 49.85% of the market share of mobile web browsers in the UK, up from 40.8% in December 2011 (source: Statista). It might result in a significant percentage of mobile visitors deciding to disable third-party cookies in their browsers, even if they eventually upgrade to the most recent version of iOS.

We have severe concerns about Apple’s forthcoming Safari 11 browser upgrade since it will replace users’ established cookie choices with Apple’s own undocumented and seemingly arbitrary norms for cookie management.

If implemented, Safari’s new “Intelligent Tracking Prevention” feature will alter the standard by which browsers create and read cookies. This new feature, in addition to disabling all third-party cookies, “would impose a set of arbitrary restrictions over the usage of first party cookies (i.e., those placed by a site the user has elected to visit) that disable their functioning or erase them from users’ browsers without warning or choice.”

The Apple’s response:

In response to the advertising consortium’s concerns, an Apple spokesperson said, “Ad-tracking technology has grown so prevalent that it is easy for ad-tracking organizations to re-create the bulk of a person’s online surfing history.” Ad retargeting, in which advertising follows users throughout the web, takes advantage of the data obtained without their knowledge or consent.

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Even worse for marketers came in August when Firefox, a browser with a 5.24 percent share of the UK market, stated that it would begin blocking third-party cookies by default.

Implications for Apple’s anti-tracking technology

With the introduction of Intelligent Tracking Prevention, Apple has upset many people, not least its main competitors, Google, Microsoft, and Facebook. Each has integrated advertising cookies from third-party websites into its offerings.

There was no delay in Google’s response to ITP. To retain Google Ads advertisers’ ability to monitor conversions, Google shifted from a third-party cookie placed on googleadservices.com to a first-party cookie put on the advertiser’s domain. This method guaranteed that visitors using the most up-to-date versions of Safari could be tracked without interruption, even when ITP implements.

In January of this year, Bing unveiled its solution to ITP, which was the auto-tagging of Microsoft Click IDs using Universal Tracking Cookies. It’s fair to say that you’d be correct in thinking that it sounds somewhat involved. Now, here’s how it operates:

When a user clicks along through an ad, Bing Advertising automatically adds a particular Click ID here to the landing page URL. UET then places the first cookie on the advertiser’s website, which takes a unique Microsoft Click ID from the URL. Bing Ads can then utilize the Click ID to link conversion events to the ads that contributed to them.

Even though Bing’s solution differs from Google’s, the result for advertisers is the same: analyzing business as usual. A primary mechanism in both circumstances is the replacement of a third-party cookie with a first-party cookie.

On October 24th, 2018, Facebook released its solution, tailored to the needs of marketers that use the Facebook Pixel monitoring system. Previously, the Facebook Pixel allowed businesses to employ first-party or 3rd cookies to monitor user activity. After the switch, only cookies set by the site will be utilized.

Facebook representative Joe Osborne emailed digiday.com with an explanation:

To continue assisting companies in understanding site traffic and ad credit across browsers, we provide a first-party cookie alternative for the Facebook pixel. With the rise in preference for using first party cookies for advertising and analytics, this shift aligns with those made through other online platforms. People’s ad-blocking tools won’t be changing any time soon.

The fact that Google, Microsoft, and Facebook are taking these steps raises severe concerns about whether or not they are just smoke and mirrors to trick people into accepting cookies they don’t want. Somehow, this overlooks the reality that many individuals would benefit from knowing more about and being able to restrict the internet monitoring they are subjected to.

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There are opposing viewpoints in this discussion. Marketers unquestionably need the use of tracking cookies. A counter argument might be made from a legal and ethical perspective, stating that internet users should be free to decide which businesses can follow them.

Using a 1st cookie that connects to a third party like Facebook or Google makes it tougher to utilize browser settings to explicitly “opt-out” of getting information processed by particular parties, giving consumers less genuine control over their data. It may be a critical consideration for marketing in the medical, insurance, or personal finance industries, where clients may be warrier about sharing personal information.

Which steps in marketing would be impossible without using a third-party cookie?

As we’ve shown, ad networks can still effectively monitor user behavior without using third-party cookies, if not more so. However, this is not true of one of the essential uses of cookies: ad retargeting.

Retargeting uses (mainly third-party) cookies to offer relevant display advertising to people whose online behavior signals they’re likely to buy. An example of remarketing in action would be seeing advertising for the same pair of shoes again after admiring them at an online store.

Because retargeting may boost CTR and conversion rate, it is a crucial lead generation tool for digital marketing. ReTargeter reports that the click-through rate (CTR) for conventional advertisements is 0.07%, whereas the CTR for retargeted ads may reach as high as 0.7%.

While we may still conduct remarketing ads using tools like Google Ads, doing so may be less successful if consumers block third-party cookies.

Checking for Third-Party Cookies: How to Tell

Third-party cookies continue to be contentious, although most marketers acknowledge their value. The idea is to ensure your website uses cookies properly and provide consumers with clear, accurate information about their data.

Your site’s visitors may receive third-party cookies from services such as analytics programs, advertising networks, and content plugins. The vast majority likely provide support for essential features, but it’s also possible that a few will exist just to further the business goals of the third party.

In any case, being aware of the cookies your site generates is crucial. Every website employing cookies should warn visitors what you’ll do with the data for GDPR compliance. To accomplish this effectively, you’ll need to understand which domains control your website’s cookies.Simply insert your website’s URL into a cookie-checking tool to see what kinds of cookies it’s issuing. Take advantage of this no-cost tool that will provide a comprehensive overview of the cookies set when your website is visited. First party cookies refer to results on your domain, whereas third-party cookies refer to effects on other sites. The information provided to users on your website should explain everything these cookies are used for.