Blog pic 5.5.21 - What the FLoC?

What the FLoC?

By Jarrod Adams


With online privacy concerns and legislation on the rise in the United States, Google is stepping up to the plate.  Starting in Q1 of 2022, Google plans to remove third-party cookies from the Chrome browser.  We, as advertisers, benefit from this technology to track and display more relevant ads to users as they navigate between websites.  This is where Google’s new targeting technology, FLoC takes flight.


Bird’s-Eye View: What’s the current situation?


  • Google has proposed a few different targeting alternatives, but leading the flock is….FLoC (Federated Learning of Cohorts).
  • FLoC is a way for browsers to enable interest-based advertising. It works by gathering data about a user’s browsing habits and then clustering groups of users (thousands) with similar interests into cohorts.
  • Based on Google’s initial tests, advertisers can expect to see at least 95% of the conversions per dollar spent when compared to cookie-based advertising.
  • This approach also effectively hides individuals “in the crowd” to keep a person’s web history private on the browser.


A Sitting Duck: What does this mean for your campaigns?


  • It is still undetermined if this new targeting technology is privacy compliant.
  • Google has proposed a “Privacy Budget” to deal with issues like browser “fingerprinting”
    • Browser fingerprinting compiles pieces of information from a user’s browser to create a unique ID. The more ways your browser stands out, the easier it is to fingerprint.
  • We also see those that oppose this new targeting technology chirping about how it could lead to demographic discrimination.
  • Chrome is the only browser set to adopt FLoC, so how will advertisers on Google’s platform reach users on Safari, for example, which accounts for over a third of the U.S. browser market, according to statcounter.



Get One’s Ducks in a Row: How can you plan ahead?


  • Begin or elevate your collection of first-party data from your current client or customer base and use that within your advertising efforts.
  • Do not put all your eggs in one basket! As an agency, we plan to continue to align ourselves with vendors that can provide the best results for our clients.
  • Stay up to date on the news. This is a developing situation, and more details are certain to unfold.