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What the FLoC!

November 12, 2021
May 1, 2023

What the FLoC!

Red Shark Digital

As privacy concerns continue to grow in the digital advertising space, we have seen big brands such as Apple limit what data advertising platforms can leverage to target you with social media advertising. To help combat changes, Google is working on launching its new data collection proposal that could help advertisers and consumers reach a middle ground in the digital advertising space. As a leading digital advertising agency in Raleigh NC, the team at RSD has been closely following the news of privacy concerns and advertising, and all I can say is what the FLoC!

What is FLoC?

FLoC is Google’s attempt to bridge the gap between data collection and browsers so that we can still enable interest-based advertising. FLoC works by gathering data about a user’s browsing habits and then combining select groups of users with similar interests into what Google is calling “Cohorts”. Based on Google’s FLoC proposal, FLoC would be able to look at the URLs of sites that the user visited and the content of those pages, as well as some other factors to then group users into clusters for targeting purposes. The cool thing with FLoC is that your individual user data is kept in the browser and the browser only shares your cohort ID. Cohorts would consist of enough people to make it difficult to identify any particular individual within the group, but also be specific enough to enable effective ad targeting. You are also assigned into new cohorts on a weekly basis, based on their previous week’s browsing data which could allow advertisers to have even more in-the-moment user behavior to target more effectively. Currently, FLoC is slated for testing in Q2 of 2021.

What’s Different for Advertisers?

Well as expected this new data collection method is definitely going to be a curveball for advertisers who are looking to effectively target individuals on Google’s advertising platforms. Currently, advertisers are targeting via third-party cookies, which enable them to reach specific individuals. With FLoC, individuals are put into a cohort group based on their interests, adding a layer of anonymity that may help increase user privacy.Another difference is that users are grouped within their browsers, meaning their identity is kept locally. With third-party cookies, a third party may be storing user data on one of their own servers.

How will FLoC Affect Your Targeting?

One of the biggest concerns in the digital advertising agency Raleigh NC industry regarding FLoC is if this change will be detrimental to their targeting efforts for their Google campaigns. According to a Google spokesperson, “It is best to think of FLoC as advertisers will have the same ability to reach relevant audiences, only instead of being able to do this on an individual basis, it would be based on cohorts (i.e., thousands of users).”What that means is that your targeting options won’t change, but you will be targeting a group instead of the individual based on their personal browsing habits.

Moving Forward

At this time, FLoC is still in its infancy in regards to a rollout and should only affect Google Display and video campaigns that are utilizing third-party cookies. So don’t stress Google search ads since these are relative to what the user searches on the platform and not their behavior online. Make sure you are following our blog for all the digital advertising agency Raleigh NC news!

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