What is Google FLoC and how will it affect advertising?


¿Qué es Google FLoC y cómo afectará a la publicidad?

What is Google FLoC and how will it affect advertising

FLoC stands for "Federated Learning of Cohorts" and it is a new system that Google will implement to remove third party cookies.

Although, in principle, the FLoC was supposed to be implemented in March 2021, the COVID-19 pandemic and other integration issues prompted Google to set the new implementation date for this new "cookie" system for January 2022, which is the moment Where third-party cookies are supported, third-party cookies will be deleted completely.

Cookies have been a problem for a long time, as they mean that the web always keeps track of each user's activity. For example, when accessing an online store, they take information from purchased items, but also from items visited. Subsequently, they use this information to display personalized ads, which for many users is a privacy violation.

In this sense, some time ago, websites have had to always ask whether or not users allow their own cookies. However, this is not enough for many, including Google.

How does FLoC work?

Instead of adding a small HTML file to the browser to track activity, such as cookies, FLoC will add the user to one or another group, called groups, based on their browsing preferences and tastes. In this sense, the FLoC does not follow the user individually, but as part of a group. Hence its name, a pun on the word "flock", which is translated as "flock" or "flock".

FLoC categorizes and assigns each user to a group where there are thousands or millions of users. To create groups, Google uses data about browsing, activity, and user preferences. Once a group is created, it is assigned an ID, which will be like an ID card, and this ID will be the one that will be logged and tracked when you access a page or website.

In this way, Google avoids personal monitoring and does not have information about a specific person, which is a huge advantage for them in terms of privacy. However, the user will not be able to choose or change the groups, since the SimHash algorithm will be responsible for creating them using our browsing data. In this sense, the cohorts are also not final, as they will change every 7 days, depending on your searches and online activity.

Aren't they the same as cookies? How will it affect advertising?

Many users believe that "cookies" and FLoC are two sides of the same coin. Instead of doing a personal follow up, people are grouped and group tracked. The result remains the same: our activity is tracked online.

This may be the case, however, and Google needs a way to provide Google Ads advertisers with the ability to track their users' activity to create effective ad campaigns that do not rely on personal tracking and tracking (either through "cookies", IP tracking, location, etc.) .

At the same time, once the FLoC is permanently activated, some conversion metrics will disappear, as it will be impossible to track them without a personal analysis of the activity. At the same time, FLoC is a Google tool, so it will be native to Chrome and other browsers may decide not to use it.

In this sense, the majority of browsers and search engines on the market have come out against FLoC. This means that online advertising platforms may still obtain information from third party "cookies" in other browsers.

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