Fleeing FloC: What Google’s Pivot to “Topics” Means for Your Business


In preparation for Chrome’s move to deprecate the third-party cookie, Google has introduced a number of alternatives in recent years. One of their initial plans was known as FloC—Federated Learning of Cohorts—which worked by grouping users into their interests. However, based on still-existing privacy concerns, Google has scrapped that idea, and instead introduced a new possible solution, called “Topics.”

“Topics” works by enabling the browser to store information about a user for up to three weeks, assigning a user specific interests based on an initial 300 topics. Those topics can include things like “fitness,” “travel,” or “movies.” Websites can then share up to three of a user’s interests with advertisers.

Since the initiative is still in early stages, there are still a number of pros and cons industry experts are considering. Google itself remains open to feedback on the initiative as well. We put together some of the pros and cons to keep in mind as you consider how to incorporate the next possible generation of technology into your business.

Pros: What Industry Experts Like About Google Topics

Industry insiders agree that the new framework is a lot easier to understand than FloC, and so could lead to wider acceptance and adoption. Here’s what they like about the new initiative:

Cons: What Industry Experts Don’t Like About Google Topics

Experts still worry the new solution doesn’t do enough to either promote privacy or accurately enable advertisers. Here are the top concerns:

The Future of Advertising

There’s no doubt the industry will keep discussing and debating the next generation of personalized and programmatic advertising, and Google remains a major player in what that might look like. Even though the cookie isn’t set to disappear until 2023, businesses need to stay on top of these changes so they can still reach the right customers in the future. 

Still looking for a partner to help you guide you through the next generation of advertising technology? We can help. Our team of experts can give you a jargon-free walkthrough of exactly what you need to know to prepare your business for the coming changes. Send us a note at [email protected] to talk more.

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