Testing for Google FLoC is going ahead, so it’s about time that we share everything you need to know about this feature. Privacy and security have been more of a concern for business and website owners in the past year, and Google is responding to this in many ways. Our UK SEO agency knows that the last two years have seen more issues online than ever before, but it’s a great time to try and launch a new business and find success. Keep reading to discover what Google FLoC is and why these changes are taking place.
What is Google FLoC?
FLoC is an abbreviation of Federated Learning of Cohorts, which is one of Google’s new steps to try and respond to concerns about transparency and privacy with digital advertising. This is still a huge issue online today, but Google and other big companies are making moves to try and increase consumer confidence. The company recently announced that it would no longer support third-party cookies. However, they are also trying to find a way to offer more advertising solutions that don’t involve tracking. With the introduction of FLoC, they home to keep data within each individual browser, as opposed to cookies being passed from sites to platforms. FLoC then assigns individual browsers to a larger cohort or group based on the data from their browsing history.
During the first trials of Google FLoC, these groups were updated every seven days. When someone’s browsing history begins to change, they are then assisted by a new cohort. They might start in a group that’s based on a mutual love of travel but then move to one about cooking or a vegan diet. Google understands that a user’s needs and interests are constantly changing, based on the current period of time in their life.
Keep in mind that as far as privacy, the FLoC definition will help to improve this as your browsing history will no longer be shared. When learning more about what is FLoC, publishers need to know that they’ll no longer be able to follow people as they travel between websites, as not even Google can view this story anymore. This was precisely something that helped advertisers, but it also caused issues within the industry. Naturally, FLoC is getting quite a bit of pushback from other companies, who are still worried about tracking and the new issues that could appear as a result of this. People are concerned that sites will be able to target and identify individual users, which will exclude other people. This could impact someone seeing a job posting or a special offer, which everyone should have the right to see.
When Will Google FLoC Be Available?
While it’s certainly early days for Google FLoC, testing began in March and is now officially underway with advertiser tests. Developers can try and run their own simulations, and there is a useful white paper suggesting how to do this. For marketers, you need to keep in mind that a cohort won’t be able to receive adverts if it has a history of visiting sensitive sites. Advertisers need to do all they can now to prepare for Google FLoC so that you aren’t too affected when these changes come into play in the future.
Third-party cookies may be going away with Google FLoC, however, first-party cookies are still here to stay. These first-party cookies are set by the current website a visitor is using, and this data can then be stored. This would include their user login or anything they are shopping for. Therefore, this data can still be used by your business to make sure you target the right customers. You should try to do all you can to collect this first-party data so that you don’t lose potential business in the future. Using the Google Ads universal tag when writing content with a local SEO agency can be a huge help. If you do have multiple domains, keep in mind that you can only have five domains for each first-party set. Consolidating these extra vanity domains can help with tackling the current changes with FLoC-based cohorts.
As an SEO agency in Leeds, we are here to support companies during this huge period of change. We know that any UK SEO agency may see a huge shift in their work, but we are excited to support you during this time. There are some ways in which you can still work to overcome the changes with third-party cookies, such as the tips we’ve shared above. With Google constantly making changes to the way they work, it’s more important now than ever to stay on top of these adjustments. Our team will be here to support you over the next few months and ensure that we help you to remain successful with your online marketing efforts this year.
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Reference video: Arc Technologies