Mushy measurement got a bit mushier in September when Google rolled out a change to its attribution modeling. As its own adaptation to new privacy and data collection rules, Google ditched rules-based attribution that directly connects clicks to sales (aka last-click attribution). Instead, an attribution and optimization algorithm is the default system for scoring Google Ads campaigns.
Google’s pre-pandemic deadline to phase out third-party cookies was delayed by nearly two years to the end of 2023. Pro: The industry has more time to come up with solutions. Con: The industry has more time to procrastinate coming up with the solutions.
Around the same time Google turned up its nose at email-based identifiers for privacy reasons (see top story number three), its own privacy-based measurement alternative failed the privacy test in Europe. Google decided not to run FLoC trials in Europe over concerns that the solution – designed to offer more privacy to users – could violate GDPR. Talk about a lose-lose situation.
As marketers, ad tech companies and publishers develop their post-cookie strategies, they want to make sure they’re covering every angle. This story about which data types will pass muster without third-party cookies attracted our readers’ attention, as they sought to educate themselves on how to live in the cookieless future.
It’s a significant development when a brand as big and well-regarded as Disney boards the automation train. When Disney detailed its automation ambitions during the upfront season, our readers recognized the importance of its bold plan, which spanned both Hulu and the rest of Disney’s ad-supported inventory. Related: A rundown of ad tech’s programmatic CTV ambitions landed in the top 20 stories of the year.
When Google declared it would not support email-based IDs (our number two top story of the year), it added to the pile of concerns about Unified ID 2.0’s future. To summarize the other three biggies: UID2 also needs scale to attract advertisers and publishers, consented users won’t be easy to come by and it needs someone to take charge as administrator – which is proving a lot easier said than done.
The juicy details of an antitrust lawsuit against Google were finally revealed nearly a year after the original lawsuit. The unredacted version is replete with revelations that riled up publishers, including allegations that Google meddled with page load times to make AMP look better and more nuggets about “Jedi Blue,” Google’s secret header bidding deal with Facebook.
Apple took another bite out of the ad industry in June when it set its sights on hobbling additional tracking techniques. Apple laid out plans to use a new feature, iCloud Private Relay, to obscure IP addresses. Mail Privacy Protection removes the ability to see if someone has opened an email. Apple also built a de facto Unified ID 2.0 killer, dubbed Hide My Mail, which generates unique, random email addresses, aka, burner email addresses.
Apple, what will you dream up in 2022?