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Google Analytics Without Cookies: Just The Facts

May 21, 2021 Sarah Cavill

On May 13, Google announced on its Ads & Commerce blog, new privacy features that will make it easier for brands to gain insights into Google Analytics, despite limited third-party cookies and identifiers. “Now’s the time to adopt new privacy-safe techniques to ensure your measurement remains accurate and actionable. And, while this can seem daunting, we’re here to help you succeed in a world with fewer cookies and other identifiers, with new ways to respect user consent, measure conversions and unlock granular insights from your sites and apps.” explained Vidhya Srinivasan, VP/GM buying, analytics and measurement at Google Ads.

How Will Google Analytics Reporting Work Without Cookies?

Google’s announcement indicated that it will be extending “Google’s advanced machine learning models to behavioral reporting in [Google] Analytics.” This means that, in the absence of cookies, the models derived via machine learning can “fill in the gaps” not available with traditional tracking information. For example, Google machine learning can estimate how many users a new campaign has acquired and deliver an “enhanced” understanding of consumers throughout their browsing and buying journeys on apps and websites. 

Google also announced updates to “consent mode.” (Consent mode allows advertisers to adjust how their Google tags respond based on the consent status of users.) The Google consent mode update will “soon enable implementation directly from [an advertisers’] Google Tag Manager account, where [advertisers will] be able to modify and customize tag behavior in response to users' consent preferences.” In the event that users don't consent to cookies, “Consent mode will use conversion modeling to recover, on average, more than 70% of ad-click-to-conversion journeys.” In addition, Google introduced “enhanced conversions” that “allow tags to use consented, first-party data to give [advertisers] a more accurate view of how users convert after engaging with [an] ad.”

How Will The New Google Analytics Reporting Help Advertisers?

Changes to IDFA from Apple, the sunsetting of third-party cookies, digital privacy laws across the country and increased awareness from consumers is changing how advertisers gather data on user actions and consumer behavior up and down the funnel. As advertisers consider all the ways to create meaningful engagement with consumers, and drive conversions, Google Analytics machine learning can provide essential data points for analyzing and optimizing campaigns.

Are You Looking For New Ways To Reach Targeted Audiences?

Digital Media Solutions® (DMS) is a leading technology-enabled, data-driven digital performance advertising solutions provider connecting consumers and advertisers. Contact DMS today to learn how our first-party data asset, proprietary technology and expansive media reach can help you connect with high-intent consumers.

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About the Author

Sarah Cavill

With more than 20 years of writing, editing and reporting experience, Sarah Cavill brings to Digital Media Solutions (DMS) a fine-tuned and diverse set of skills. Her work has been featured in notable publications including The Daily Muse, CBS Local, Techlicious and Glamour magazine. Sarah has a passion for current events and the deep-dive research that goes into the content development and brand identity of DMS Insights. In her role as Senior Marketing Communications Writer, Sarah contributes to the pitching, researching and writing of multiple stories published each week surrounding digital and performance marketing innovations in pop culture, news, social media, branding and advertising.

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