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Google Eases Third-Party Cookie Restrictions: What You Need to Know

As Google starts restricting third-party cookies in Chrome, it's offering a limited deprecation trial for sites proving functionality issues.

  • Google is phasing out third-party cookie access in Chrome by 2024.
  • Some third-party services can get temporary cookie access through a deprecation trial.
  • Businesses should audit their site's cookie usage before more users are impacted.
Chocolate cake cookie on keyboard symbol of internet cookies

Google Chrome is restricting third-party cookie access for 1% of users as of January 4.

Google expects to gradually ramp up the percentage of affected Chrome browsers, reaching 100% of users globally by Q3 2024.

Recognizing the need for a smooth transition, Google is allowing websites and businesses to request additional time to migrate away from third-party cookie dependencies for non-advertising use cases.

Deprecation Trials Offer Temporary Cookie Access

Google’s newly introduced deprecation trials will temporarily re-enable third-party cookie access for eligible third-party services until December 27, 2024.

Strict Eligibility Criteria

Google has strict criteria in place to qualify for the trials:

  • Services categorized as advertising-related will not be approved.
  • Origins matching known ad-related domains will be rejected, including subdomains in most cases.
  • Proof of direct end-user impact is required, with issues that only affect later data analysis not qualifying.
  • Steps to reproduce broken functionality must be provided and logged to Google in bug reports.
  • Google will only accept requests where apparent breakage is validated. There will be an appeals process to clarify details.
  • Sites using domains for ads and non-ads will still be denied due to the ad-related content.

The intent behind the deprecation trial is to allow only services with functional breakage to use third-party cookies. It’s not intended to relieve data collection inconveniences.

Grace Period Through April 1st

Approved services can enable trials by adding unique access tokens in Chrome.

To address the short window between registration opening and cookies being blocked for 1% of traffic, Google is granting a grace period for approved sites to deploy their tokens through April 1, 2024.

In a help page, Google provides detailed instructions and guidelines for adding the trial token to web pages.

In Summary

Some third-party services can apply for temporary cookie access through deprecation trials, but eligibility is extremely limited. This extension is intended for services with proven functional breakage, not data collection issues.

Business owners relying on third-party services or cookies should audit their site’s usage and prepare contingency plans. With the rollout underway, time is running out to address potential impacts before a larger percentage of visitors are affected.

See also: Google Analytics 4 Features To Prepare For Third-Party Cookie Depreciation

Category News Web Dev SEO
SEJ STAFF Matt G. Southern Senior News Writer at Search Engine Journal

Matt G. Southern, Senior News Writer, has been with Search Engine Journal since 2013. With a bachelor’s degree in communications, ...

Google Eases Third-Party Cookie Restrictions: What You Need to Know

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