What is a “Cookie”? And why are they disappearing?

No matter where you turn, you will see a headline on the “Death of the Cookie” affecting advertising with apocalyptic undertones and stress inducing warnings.

From AdExchanger to Ad Age, the headlines are about the “death” of third party cookies, but what does this really mean and should advertisers be worried?

Google has made the decision to phase out third party cookies in the next two years, and Chrome accounts for more than half of all global web traffic.

What is a third party cookie?

However, before we get ahead of ourselves, what even is a cookie?

Unfortunately, it is not the type of cookie that is a delicious treat. According to the New York Times, a cookie is “a small string of text that a website (or online service) stores on a user’s browser. It saves data on your browser about your visit to our site or other sites. It often includes a unique identifier (e.g., cookie #123).”

In simpler terms, when you visit a website, the website may give your browser (such as Chrome, Internet Explorer, or Firefox) a “cookie” or small string of text to keep stored for later. This cookie can store information about you and your computer. Advertisers use this to segment users and target specific groups based on the information collected.

Why does it matter?

For advertisers and businesses, this will effect your digital marketing and have a big impact on your digital marketing strategy.

Since advertisers will no longer be using third-party data from cookies to segment online audiences, new targeting strategies and technics will need to be explored.

However, this is not the end of the world. Both Firefox and Safari have already phased out third-party cookies, and everyone will be in the same boat. Plus, the entire advertising ecosystem benefits from providing more data to advertisers to use in decisioning.


At the end of the day, it is good to be informed of the changes coming our way, but there is no need to be stressed when reading the latest apocalyptic headline. Third party cookies are going away, but some new and maybe even better solution will take its place.

At Adventure Ad Agency, we look to the future for our clients are future proof our advertising to handle everything from COVID-19 to the death of the third party cookie! Contact us to learn more about Adventure Ad Agency.