What are the ways to track the age of third-party cookies?


To survive the search for third-party cookies led by browsers, affiliate platforms are working on two main alternatives that allow them to pass this course.

Affiliate platforms are reassured about the sustainability of their model in the era of third-party cookies. Be careful though, because the stakes are high, and a cookie is at the heart of this sector’s model: thanks to this tracking, we know which publisher is behind every Internet user who converts on an advertiser’s site. Thus we can attribute to this publisher the origin of the buyer’s traffic, and pay him a commission.

Among the main alternative methods for third-party cookies, that of allowing the affiliate platform to use cookies from the advertiser’s site (first-party cookies) is used by 49% of customers of the Effinity platform, which includes 600 advertisers (Boulanger, Carrefour and Nocibé) and 45,000 affiliates among content publishers, influencers, bloggers, price comparison sites, cashback sites, etc. This method is made possible in “alias” mode with a simple declaration called “Cname”. A type of authorization given to a third party so that they can use the domain name.

Thus, allowing the platform to track using advertiser cookies is the simplest solution, which explains why it is so popular in the retargeting and analytics industry. “The canonical name (Cname) record allows you to specify that the domain name is an alias of another domain, for example, to redirect traffic from Partner.sitename.com to the Effinity servers,” the edited document identifies. by Effinity to present this method.

Technically, the Internet user’s browser considers a cookie deposited by the affiliate platform for tracking purposes for measurement and attribution purposes as part of the advertiser’s website. As a result, since you are now a first-party cookie, and no longer a third-party, the latter will not be blocked by your browser. “It all takes place in a closed circuit: we are there to measure and attribute within the data that belongs to the advertiser,” defines Christophe Bousquet, co-founder and CEO of Effinity.

“We depend on the decisions that platforms and advertisers make.”

This alternative is easy to set up. “This does not require any change at the publisher; for advertisers, it requires simple technical configuration,” he explains reassuringly. This also explains the very low participation of publishers in this transition. “Faced with the possibility of third-party cookies expiring, changes to prepare for this transition are primarily on the part of advertisers, and we are not concerned about these tests and have very little insight into these topics,” said Clément Grandgin, Partnership Director at Humanoid, publisher of Frandroid. , a site dedicated to new technologies whose economic model is specifically based on affiliation.

Generating 1 million clicks per month, Frandroid is connected to 20 affiliate platforms. None of them offered to discuss alternative cookie solutions. “We depend on the decisions that platforms and advertisers make. It’s the problem of not being able to anticipate that deadline, especially since the market doesn’t offer a standard solution,” he adds.

Clement Grandjean’s concern is not justified by the importance of this leverage in the Frandroid economic model or by the absence of a market standard. It is also the fruit of recent bitter experiences. “After implementing approval management platforms, we found ourselves amputating close to 40% of our revenue and experiencing huge drops in our conversion rates without anyone knowing why and without really feeling responsible for the situation. Merchants offer us compensation for untracked sales from users The internet refused to deposit cookies, but these amounts are insufficient.”

Indeed, publishers do not seem to be a priority for platforms. If we take the example of Effinity, while the agency has conducted nearly 45 webinars to educate advertisers about new tracking methods offered as an alternative to third-party cookies, only four of them are dedicated to publishers. There is no doubt that the technical changes do not concern them directly or only slightly. Thus, 49% of advertisers have already switched to first-party cookies by Cname and 8% are now server-to-server.

Because if the first cookie appears to be the most prevalent alternative to third-party cookies for tracking conversions, it is not the only one. The platforms also test server-to-server connections: “This method allows it to be independent of changes at the browser level; one drawback is that it makes the model more dependent on the information that advertisers will want to report,” analyzes Paul Mazur, Rakuten’s director of sales. Advertising. It’s also a heavier solution to set up, more expensive and won’t appeal to the youngest players. “The server side requires the creation of a technical infrastructure to receive and forward calls between servers. There is a cost to set up at least 500 euros per month,” notes Christophe Bousquet.

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