Browser changes are here.
Here’s what is happening
Browsers, such as Safari and those powered by Apple’s Webkit, have increasingly deployed technology including Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP) to ensure users’ increased privacy while they browse the open web.
These technologies can affect most digital marketing, digital analytics, and optimization cookies in unexpected ways. For example, ITP limits cookie duration to a max of 7 days. In addition, ITP impacts all browsers in Apple’s mobile ecosystem, which makes tracking those visitors difficult. When you can’t identify visitors, it becomes difficult to optimize marketing spend, utilize personalization, or get representative A/B testing insights.
Additionally, Safari 15—via its IP Obfuscation feature—cross-references requests with a DuckDuckGo tracker list, and, upon finding a match, hides the user’s real IP address from the service. This change and others like it can limit the effectiveness of geo-targeting and any related functionality.
Historically, companies have erred on the side of tracking everything, but these changes mean that sites will need a much more strategic plan for what to track, in order to best serve customers and to keep concerned customers from opting out.
And more browser changes are forthcoming with Chrome phasing out third-party cookies in 2023.
What’s the impact?
Traditionally, cookies—small text files that a web browser sets on a user’s computer—have persisted for years and have allowed sites to remember that they have seen a particular browser/device combination before. Using cookies as a proxy for unique users, technology has been developed to facilitate concepts such as campaign tracking, return on media spend, personalized ad targeting, and remarketing.
The Webkit rendering engine has changes that dramatically lower the lifespan of these files—in some cases, reducing storage time from two years to as little as 24 hours—when they are set in ways that are common to advertising technology. Lacking identifiers, any existing user could be classified as ‘new’ upon a return visit, and any previous history might be lost.
Losing tags and cookies doesn’t just affect your data, it impacts your entire business. Search Discovery can make your cookies last longer, improve your marketing investments, and help you deliver better customer experiences.
How we can help
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