Cookie-less marketing and keywordless PPC, There is a new challenge on the horizon.

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With further enforcement of strict GDPR in the EU and the introduction of Google Analytics 4, the future of PPC is looking a bit rocky. Google and Meta are striving towards creating a privacy first web. With our reliance on cookies being taken away from us by 2022, and the platform being encouraged towards machine learning and automation, our well worn tracks are being eliminated and a new challenge is presenting itself. 

What does this mean for Digital Marketers?

As we get weaned off of our reliance on third party cookies to track conversion and enable remarketing, what does the future of the web look like to us digital marketers?

Well, we have a relatively good idea…

Google’s AI

Google is moving away from its more granular keyword targeting that we know and love. And instead is focusing more on the audiences and data signals. 

To make it nice and basic, Google is going to become more like Meta Ads in its targeting model. It will understand its audience segments far better than before, and will rely less on cookies to understand an individual. Much like how Meta has lots of juicy information on individuals, and can use that information to present super targeted ads, Google is moving its model towards that, to emulate its success. 

The implications of using a model that relies more heavily on automation can be slightly worrying for us. As Google gathers more data and continues to improve its machine learning, we are expected to see a reduction in tools for troubleshooting issues and shaping strategies. When it came to using a more granular, keyword, cookie based model, we could pick apart every aspect of a campaign and understand the metrics clearly. With Google’s AI, learning more about the individual and presenting marketing information will become a different ballgame. 

With GA4 has come Performance Max, the new way to advertise through google that will be relying on its new model. 

How will the audience feel?

Well, Core audiences aren’t going anywhere. So you can still target an individual based on location, age, gender, demographics, interests, behaviours, and languages. 

But with the idea of privacy in mind, hyper targeting will not make Barry, 56, from Nottingham, feel like every word he is saying is being monitored by his phone. He will no longer go into a motorbike dealership, then come home and see Facebook Carousel Ads for Motorbikes and helmets. 

The shift towards better privacy will hopefully give people more trust back into the companies they like. No longer will they feel they are being spied on. They will receive ads based on their demographic, but not to the extent that they currently are. 

Brands will still have data about their customers, but they can’t use them to target them from other sites (Facebook/Instagram/Google).

Keywordless PPC

Search Ads have become more dependent on Artificial Intelligence, so we should have seen this coming really.  We are still left in the dark slightly to what this all means. Keywords will not have centre stage any longer, this much we know. 

So will advertisers still be able to bid on keywords?

Think about AI in a broader sense. Google has made it easier and faster for us to get the information we want. With voice search, and artificial intelligence data, Google loves predicting what we are going to type. Google is now looking to serve the user better, they are #1. Brands are #2. 

We are left to speculate here, which has a great deal of people anxiously chewing their fingernails… Us included. 

What next?

Get preparing. As we move away from our more traditional marketing means, one thing will still stand true… Site Health and On-site SEO. 

Get your website looking HEALTHY, get your social media platforms pumping out the good stuff too. At this point you need to ensure that your site is a content driven archive of industry leading information, that’ll get your organic searches out the wazoo. 

Then start learning. Move over to GA4, get your Performance Max set up.

We are in this together. A new frontier, for us plucky digital adventurers. 

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Jacob Vint

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