Firefox Third Party Blocking: How It Affects Your Business Website

In September, Firefox announced that it would block all third-party cookies and tracking by default. This means that any third-party scripts on a website would not be able to send information back to its source. In the simplest terms, this default protection would mean advertisers could not track your web browser activity and then use this information for ad targeting. This immediately raised concern for many marketers and small businesses who rely on this type of data.

Internet Third Party Blocking

Additionally, not all third-party cookies are advertising; many website analytical tools use third party scripts you can add to your website to track things like page views and visitor demographics. However, Firefox by default blocks all of these. This also raised concerned with Google Analytics because the setup requires adding outside script code to your website. Marketers and business owners alike appreciate Google Analytics to report page visits, actions, and visitor data. How does Firefox’s new default policy impact Google Analytics and retargeting ads?

Google Analytics

Google Analytics uses both first-party cookies and third-party cookies. After the initial set up of Google Analytics, Google creates a first-party cookie for your website. Firefox’s update affects only specific metrics of Google Analytics. You can still report if someone using the Firefox browser visited your site and track website visits. However, detailed metrics like visitor age demographics won’t be available. Thus, traffic data will be affected.

It is important to note that about 9% of internet users use Firefox. The third-party blocking setting will not completely offset your website analytics or marketing ventures. To get a better feel of web browsers, your website visitors use, go into Google Analytics Reports. Navigate to audience >> technology >> Browser & OS. This section will show you the browsers used by visitors to your website or app.

Retargeting Ads

Third-party advertising solutions like Google Ads and Facebook Pixel are not like Google Analytics. All features of Facebook third-party tracking are disallowed by default. If you are using third-party scripts on your website to retarget visitors with ads on another site or platform, you will miss out on Firefox users.

As mentioned before, it is a good idea to see how many of your visitors use Firefox. If you have a high percentage of Firefox users, you may need to take a different marketing approaching than retargeting ads. Retargeting advertising has its place, but it is not the only effective marketing strategy. Search ads, algorithm interest targeting, and retargeting within social media platforms (such as users who have interacted with your posts) are excellent methods to succeed with digital advertising.

For further discussion on this of topic on Firefox, Google Analytics, and retargeting advertising, watch our latest Marketing Minute Live Session! We walked through how to use Google Analytics to see what browsers your website visitors use and look into other forms of digital ads.

Karen Leonard
November 1, 2019

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