How ad-tech providers can approach Privacy Sandbox testing and implementation

As the online advertising ecosystem is pivoting towards improved ways to protect user privacy, Google Ads and Display & Video 360 have been experimenting with Chrome’s Privacy Sandbox APIs for the web.

Google’s ads teams are committed to sharing our process and engaging with the ecosystem to help our partners and the broader industry transition into a future without third-party cookies.

Please check this page for updates as we continue to make progress.

[December 2023] Optimally configure the Attribution Reporting API for ad measurement

Your configuration of the Attribution Reporting API (ARA) for conversion measurement determines what data you query, and how you query it. It’s crucial for ad-tech providers to effectively configure the ARA for their use cases. Google’s ads teams have found that configuring specific ARA settings can lead to notable accuracy improvements. We encourage other ad-tech providers to integrate with the ARA to retrieve the conversion data they need, and process the ARA's output to help maintain accurate measurement in a post-third-party-cookie world. 

The ARA is flexible to support various use cases. Google’s ads teams use this flexibility to configure unique ARA settings for each advertiser. This way, ARA-based measurement adapts to each advertiser’s specific needs. For example, we’ve noticed that when advertisers differ in conversion volume, it’s better to have advertiser-specific configurations related to the granularity of aggregation keys and the maximum observable conversions per ad interaction. We configure ARA settings as explicit mathematical optimizations by defining objective functions to represent data quality, then choosing settings to optimize those functions.

Ad-tech providers can choose their own approach. Google’s ads teams plan to continue sharing insights we learn from our own optimizations with the ad-tech community.

Please see our detailed technical explainer for more information about our approach to ARA configuration.

[July 2023] Effectively use the Attribution Reporting API for ad measurement

Historically, ad-tech providers have used third-party cookies (3PC) as a mechanism for conversion measurement and attribution. Chrome’s Attribution Reporting API (ARA), a part of the larger Privacy Sandbox initiative, offers an alternative for measurement after the third-party cookie deprecation in 2024. Ad-tech providers, including Google's ads platforms, should consider testing the ARA as one way to maintain high-quality conversion measurement and support the pivot toward user privacy protection.

Ad-tech providers who participate in the Privacy Sandbox receive data from the ARA in two forms: event-level reports and aggregate summary reports. We encourage ad-tech providers to configure the reporting settings in the API to optimize for better measurement accuracy without 3PC, as well as improve how these two types of reports can be post-processed and used together.

There are many possible ways to utilize the ARA reports. The methodology that works for an ad-tech provider will ultimately depend on its conversion data and measurement requirements. Google Ads has found that leveraging both report types can help produce a more complete, ad event-level log and benefit from the strengths of each report.

For more details on how we’re implementing the Attribution Reporting API, refer to our detailed technical guide.

[May 2023] Prepare to test Privacy Sandbox APIs with Google's ads platforms

Chrome recently announced the upcoming general availability of Privacy Sandbox APIs for the ads ecosystem. We welcome this opportunity to test these APIs in Google’s ads platforms, and we invite ad technology partners to get involved and be ready for Chrome’s third-party cookie deprecation in 2024.

Through the rest of 2023, we will work with our ad technology partners to test the Privacy Sandbox APIs alongside first-party data and AI-powered solutions, and prepare for Q1 2024 when Chrome plans to deprecate third-party cookies for one percent of its users. The Q1 2024 tests will help us to evaluate the effectiveness of these solutions, and share our findings with Chrome, the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority, and the industry.

We encourage technology partners to review the below guidance to prepare for testing with Google’s Ads solutions:

  • If you’re a Google Authorized Buyer or participant in Open Bidding, see integration guidance for Topics and Protected Audience.
  • If you’re a publisher platform working with Google Ads or Google Marketing Platform (Display & Video 360 or Campaign Manager 360), see integration guidance for Topics, Protected Audience and Multiple seller testing
  • If you’re a measurement provider working with Google Marketing Platform (Display & Video 360 or Campaign Manager 360), see integration guidance for the Protected Audience API.
  • If you’re a publisher or ad tech provider working with Google Marketing Platform (Display & Video 360, Campaign Manager 360 or Search Ads 360), see integration guidance for the Attribution Reporting API.

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