Future-proofing for the Fall of Cookies

With Google's impending elimination of third-party cookies, we're finding new tools and features to ensure there's no disruption in our partners' revenue stream.

Google has been threatening to phase out third-party cookies since 2020. Though they’ve pushed back cookie extermination to late 2024, advertisers are still antsy about what a cookie-less future will look like. Publishers are also anxious about how this could affect ad revenue.

Here at Publisher Collective, we pride ourselves on our always-advancing tech and code. In anticipation for the end of cookies, we’re introducing a new script called Identity Hub to our USA advertisers and users, to ensure our partners don’t see an interruption in revenue when cookies disappear.

What is Identity Hub?

Identity Hub operates as a bid enhancement solution, the advertiser’s answer to reaching targeted users without needing the data currently gathered by third-party cookies. It runs on the opening of the page, matching the user to available data gathered from other sites. This data is culled from all cookie-less users, which means it’s the perfect tool for Google’s upcoming transition.

Because it’s already operating without cookies, advertisers gain the potential to reach users who use cookie-less browsers. In our own usage of Identity Hub, we’ve found a 10-30% CPM uplift in US revenue for Safari traffic. This means advertisers are still able to place effective, targeted ads without the need for cookies.

What does it mean for my audience?

Your audience might already be browsing without third-party cookies, which means with Identity Hub, they’ll be able to receive a better ad experience. Advertisers will be able to reach more interested users, so there won’t be irrelevant ads appearing within ad space on our partner sites. Identity Hub creates and presents an independent user ID without the need for cookies, so users can feel their identifying data is protected while using Publisher Collective sites.

What does it mean for my revenue?

The use of cookies creates a more personalised ad experience for users, which means advertisers are willing to pay more to place an ad in front of a user that might actually click on it, as opposed to passively showing their ads to uninterested parties. With the dissolution of third-party cookies, advertisers won’t want to pay that premium for a captive audience, leading to a drop in revenue.

With Identity Hub, advertisers are still able to make informed bids based on the profile Identity Hub creates for each user, meaning advertisers can still reach their desired audience. For our publishers, it means their revenue remains stable. Publishers with a largely cookie-less audience that see traffic from Safari and Firefox would potentially see their revenue increase, as they would be able to target users that were previously unidentifiable to advertisers.

In the rapidly changing landscape of user data protections, it can be difficult for publishers and advertisers to feel confident about who their content is actually reaching. We at Publisher Collective are always forging ahead and finding new, inventive ways to minimise the impact of these changes. If you’d like to know more about becoming a partner of Publisher Collective, you can contact us and keep up with our blog for exciting partner updates and incentives.