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Do not set cookies? Google Campaign Manager


Wojtek Andrzejczak
Do not set cookies? Google Campaign Manager

Google Campaign Manager has multiple options and settings. But there is one fascinating one. With this option, you will stop using Cookies for your campaigns.

Google Campaign Manager Site Settings

Inside of the Site settings section, you can find a Cookie setting, where you can enable “Do not set new cookies” option.

Google Campaign Manager Site Settings / Do Not Set Cookies
Google Campaign Manager Site Settings / Do Not Set Cookies

Google Manager Help page

Ok, so maybe we check first how Google describes this option, it could perhaps clarify something.

Google Manager Help page / Do Not Set Cookies
Google Manager Help page / Do Not Set Cookies

Yeah, right.

Apple ITP non-cookies solution?

No, it is not a non-cookie solution for Apple ITP. What it does, it disables setting any new cookie in the user browser.

When we should disable cookies

If a user doesn’t have a Google cookie and we don’t want a new cookie to be created, which would let us identify a user who has interacted with the ads.

What effect will it have for us?

Google Campaign Manager will not be able to attribute post-view and post-click conversions. No cookies, no conversions, no user audience, no retargeting. Just ads, impressions, and clicks. Fantastic.

So, what sense does it have to use this?

Thank you that you ask. It is an excellent question. I’ve been trying for some time to get an answer from Google Support. 

But everything I got was that I should use this option when I don’t want to set the cookies to track user activity. Unfortunately, Google documentation is also missing the answer.

Skip setting cookies does not have any sense for me. It is merely in direct conflict with the advertising concepts for targeting and reporting.

But why this option exists?

After some thinking, I’ve two ideas when this option would make sense, so I’ve tried to verify these scenarios.

So, maybe GDPR compliance?

When GDPR was introduced, it was general confusion, who is responsible for what and when to keep user data private. And it was not clear how to make sure that the user is opt-in or opt-out on the website.  

But there is one problem, the advertiser delivers the ad to the website. It is not in his control to determine if the user is opt-in our out. 

That’s why Google has introduced in the Google Publisher Tag (GPT) option to turn off personalized ads if the user is opt-out. In that case, user cookies set in his browser do not affect the retargeting campaigns, which relies on his cookies. The user will receive random ads, not related to his profile.

But how does it have in common with our non-cookie option? Does not. GPT opt-out setting does the whole job for us.

So, maybe restricted country areas?

In the beginning, it had the sense to me. But when I’ve tried to find any specific restrictions, for example, China, Japan, India. I did not find anything saying directly that personalized cookies are not allowed to be set. In many countries, the government requires like in the EU to set cookie consent on the website.

Google has some restriction regarding reach reports, targeting in-app devices, but I was not able to find any evidence which would force us to skip setting cookies by default.

But since I’m not a lawyer, I’d be very interested if someone would clarify this case for me : – )

Summary

In my opinion, a long time ago, some placed this option for some specific reasons, but now no one knows why this option is here in the first place.

As far as I can see, there is no possibility to use it. And no one can provide any use case when this option should use.

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