Deprecation of Third-Party Cookies May Break Websites

It’s important to prepare for when Google depreciates third-party cookies in 2025.

Video Transcript

David: So, we’re all invited to SolidWP, where I’ll be speaking about the depreciation of third-party cookies and what we need to do about it. This could break some sites, especially from a web development perspective. So, at the very least, my goal at the end of that meeting is for everyone to have the ability to quickly audit their site to see if something’s going to break. For instance, it’ll affect reCAPTCHA. So, if you have reCAPTCHA and you aren’t prepared for this, then you have to find an alternative solution.

Janel: Okay, so I do have reCAPTCHA on most of the sites. I have switched to Turnstile on a few.

David: So that’s what the audit will catch. If it uses a third-party cookie or a cross-site cookie, it may break. And there’s an easy way to identify that. I’m not a developer, so I’m swooping in and saying, hey, it’s broken. You guys have to figure out how to fix it. I don’t have any solutions. That’s all so helpful. Yeah. But this is actually a trend, right? So, Safari has been depreciating third-party cookies for a long time. Firefox has been depreciating them. The problem is that Chrome might do it sometime early next year, and they have a 65% market share of browsers. So, that is really going to break things.

Janel: Yeah.

David: So, my fear is that developers probably have websites that they’re building now that will launch the end of this year into early next year, and then at some indeterminate date, in Google’s typical way, oh by way surprise, tomorrow we kill this. You could be really stuck with a very expensive problem where you’ve just delivered a website that doesn’t work because of some fundamental tool in there, and you’re like, oh crap. So, I want to educate developers now so that as they build sites, they can consider the right tools. Let’s look at some of the things that Google says could be affected, such as browsing and navigating. That might be important. Reading content, I don’t really know how that would affect it, but I could kind of see. Oh, so if it’s embedded social media posts, there might be a problem listening to content. So, embedded podcasts, videos, content ratings…

Janel: Whoa, whoa, hold on. I need to start writing this down.

David: Well, that’s what we’ll talk about next week.

Janel: So, like embedded playlists? I have a client that has a whole page of embedded playlists.

David: Yeah, and the list for shopping is equally horrible, like checkout and cart management, tracking orders, logging into accounts. You’ll notice that Google OAuth changed recently. Remember we got the notification that if you log in with your Google account to some things, it changed. They positioned it as a design change, but in reality, it’s changing in light of the depreciation of third-party cookies. It’s the code beneath it that they’ve changed. So, it works. You can still sign up on websites using your Google account, but it no longer uses a third-party cookie. So, I’m going to swoop in next Wednesday and tell everybody all their problems and not have any solutions.

Janel: Well, I guess it’s good news it’s delivered early. I mean, bad news delivered early, right?

David: Right. Now, Google has several solutions. But the fact is the solutions they’re providing are more for custom-built websites. And since the SolidWP people are typically from the WordPress ecosystem, what it means is we’re going to have to put pressure on all of our service providers in the next six months to account for this. So, I have a client whose site is under complete lockdown using a third-party system. The developer needs to make sure that the lockdown system works. So, the WordPress developer is going to have to put pressure on the service provider or find a service that doesn’t rely on third-party cookies. So, from a WordPress perspective, it’s a research project to make sure the tools you’re using will continue to work, even coming up in the future. So, it’s a doozy. Now, the good news is, if you’ve ever worked with Termageddon and/or iubenda, it’s basically the same thing, right? Termageddon is not allowing you to consent to third-party cookies. So, if you have to make a website work under Termageddon and people aren’t opting into cookies, then you can do this. However, with cookie policies, you can distinguish things like I’m going to allow cookies that make the site work versus tracking stuff, and the third-party cookie depreciation will affect the functionality of the website.

Janel: Yeah.

David: Now, here’s the good news. The good news is Google is so overwhelmed with the solution they were going to roll this out in quarter three of this year. And then they said, oh crap, even they can’t fix it. So, they are going to roll it out sometime in 2025 because they’re struggling with the solution. And so, Google is really having a hard time with this, but I’m going to put my conspirator hat on for a second and say, remember how we used to really struggle with, “Oh no, Google Analytics is illegal.” And I said no, no, Google’s got a lot of money in that they’re not about to let it be illegal. So, Google has invested a lot of money in making sure tracking works, analytics works, and attribution on Google Ads works. Hello? All depend on third-party cookies. Google has a crap ton of money in making sure they can figure out a solution. So, I have a lot of confidence in Google figuring it out, especially for their own products. But for the non-Google products… For example, I’m embedding a podcast using the cheapest podcast embedding solution I could find, and that’s probably not going to have the resources to develop this. So, that’s what we’ll talk about next week. I’ve negotiated an invitation for all of you.

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