Third-Party Cookies vs First-Party Cookies

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Third-Party Cookies vs First-Party Cookies

Executive Summary and Article Navigation

Discussion and definitions of:

Who wants a cookie?

What are cookies? Here are a few over-lapping definitions;
  1. A small data file placed on your computer by a website that you visit.
  2. A piece of code placed in your browser by a website server.
  3. A text file placed on a hard drive to store and transmit information to the server of websites (re)visited from that browser / computer.
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What is a (third-party) cookie?

A cookie is a small bit of text placed on the hard drive of  your computer by the server of a website that you visit. The cookie is placed there for the purpose of recognizing your specific browser or remembering information specific to your browser, were you to return to the same site.

All cookies have an owner which tells you who the cookie belongs to. The owner is the domain specified in the cookie.

In “third-party cookie”, the word “party” refers to the domain as specified in the cookie; the website that is placing the cookie. So, for example, if you visit widgets.com and the domain of the cookie placed on your computer is widgets.com, then this is a first-party cookie. If, however, you visit widgets.com and the cookie placed on your computer says stats-for-free.com, then this is a third-party cookie.

Opentracker provides services that allow the companies and websites to track their visitors with first-party cookies.

Growth of third party cookie rejection

Reports and research on the subject of website tracking tell us that the rejection of third-party cookies is growing. Increasing numbers of people are either manually blocking third-party cookies, or deleting them regularly.

That is why Opentracker utilizes 1st party cookie technology.

The cookies being deleted / blocked are third-party party cookies, as opposed to less problematic first-party cookies.

How many people or software tools delete third party cookies? The numbers given can be as high as 40%. If you count that many anti-spyware applications and default privacy settings also block 3rd party cookies, then it is possible that a high percentage of cookies are being blocked.

Blocking and deleting cookies

Why do far fewer people block first-party cookies? It is estimated that a very low percentage of people block first party cookies, less than 5%. The reason for this is primarily that it is very difficult to surf the internet without accepting these cookies. First party cookies are necessary in order for you to be recognised as an individual. Any site that you login to as an individual requires a way of identifying you as “you”. Hotmail, Yahoo, Gmail, online banking, ebay, Amazon, etc.

Additionally, anti-spyware software and privacy settings do not target first-party cookies.

visitors onlineWe use cookies to keep track of long-term visitors. These visitors remain anonymous, the point is to be able to see who returns, if and when, for example, for conversion analysis.

We use first party cookies as our first line of analysis, and ip number with user agent as the secondary line. AOL users are identified more specifically because their ip number changes with every click.

What actually happens when cookies are blocked / rejected?

1st party cookies: it is very hard to login anywhere

3rd party cookies: no adverse effects to surfing

Q: How does this affect tracking systems, when people block / delete cookies?

A: All visits will still be recorded, but a person who has deleted the cookies will not be recognised as the same (returning) visitor.

When cookies are in place, and not blocked or deleted, total visitor counts will remain comparatively low. If a person constantly deletes cookies, they will be counted as a new “unique” visitor with every subsequent visit.

Conclusion

In response to these trends, the first step is to find out if the statistics that you collect utilise first-party or third-party cookies. Ask your statistics or tracking company. Asking questions usually leads to more questions, always a good thing when it comes to gathering and analysing data.

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Third-Party Cookies vs First-Party Cookies

Start your free, no-risk, 4 week trial!

Third-Party Cookies vs First-Party Cookies

Executive Summary and Article Navigation

Discussion and definitions of:

Who wants a cookie?

What are cookies? Here are a few over-lapping definitions;

  1. A small data file placed on your computer by a website that you visit.
  2. A piece of code placed in your browser by a website server.
  3. A text file placed on a hard drive to store and transmit information to the server of websites (re)visited from that browser / computer.
Start your free trial!

What is a (third-party) cookie?

A cookie is a small bit of text placed on the hard drive of  your computer by the server of a website that you visit. The cookie is placed there for the purpose of recognizing your specific browser or remembering information specific to your browser, were you to return to the same site.

All cookies have an owner which tells you who the cookie belongs to. The owner is the domain specified in the cookie.

In “third-party cookie”, the word “party” refers to the domain as specified in the cookie; the website that is placing the cookie. So, for example, if you visit widgets.com and the domain of the cookie placed on your computer is widgets.com, then this is a first-party cookie. If, however, you visit widgets.com and the cookie placed on your computer says stats-for-free.com, then this is a third-party cookie.

Opentracker provides services that allow the companies and websites to track their visitors with first-party cookies.

Growth of third party cookie rejection

Reports and research on the subject of website tracking tell us that the rejection of third-party cookies is growing. Increasing numbers of people are either manually blocking third-party cookies, or deleting them regularly.

That is why Opentracker utilizes 1st party cookie technology.

The cookies being deleted / blocked are third-party party cookies, as opposed to less problematic first-party cookies.

How many people or software tools delete third party cookies? The numbers given can be as high as 40%. If you count that many anti-spyware applications and default privacy settings also block 3rd party cookies, then it is possible that a high percentage of cookies are being blocked.

Blocking and deleting cookies

Why do far fewer people block first-party cookies? It is estimated that a very low percentage of people block first party cookies, less than 5%. The reason for this is primarily that it is very difficult to surf the internet without accepting these cookies. First party cookies are necessary in order for you to be recognised as an individual. Any site that you login to as an individual requires a way of identifying you as “you”. Hotmail, Yahoo, Gmail, online banking, ebay, Amazon, etc.

Additionally, anti-spyware software and privacy settings do not target first-party cookies.

visitors onlineWe use cookies to keep track of long-term visitors. These visitors remain anonymous, the point is to be able to see who returns, if and when, for example, for conversion analysis.

We use first party cookies as our first line of analysis, and ip number with user agent as the secondary line. AOL users are identified more specifically because their ip number changes with every click.

What actually happens when cookies are blocked / rejected?

1st party cookies: it is very hard to login anywhere

3rd party cookies: no adverse effects to surfing

Q: How does this affect tracking systems, when people block / delete cookies?

A: All visits will still be recorded, but a person who has deleted the cookies will not be recognised as the same (returning) visitor.

When cookies are in place, and not blocked or deleted, total visitor counts will remain comparatively low. If a person constantly deletes cookies, they will be counted as a new “unique” visitor with every subsequent visit.

Conclusion

In response to these trends, the first step is to find out if the statistics that you collect utilise first-party or third-party cookies. Ask your statistics or tracking company. Asking questions usually leads to more questions, always a good thing when it comes to gathering and analysing data.

Start your free, no-risk, 4 week trial!

Build Your Email List and Enjoy Its Perks

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Build Your Email List and Enjoy Its Perks

What is email marketing?

In simple terms, using emails to promote products and/or services which will contribute to the development of relationships with potential customers and clients.

Email marketing is one of the most elegant and yet a simple solution for building up your business. It may seem archaic for some business owners because, with the popularity of social media, the traditional email format feels relatively old. Yet, email marketing exists as one of the most powerful and thoroughly understood “modern” forms of communication. Thus it is mandatory for any business, be it small or big, to build and maintain their email list.

Now email marketing is, of course, one of the best ways to increase the brand awareness and to acquire, convert and retain new customers, provided you have a good email list to send to.

How to build an email list?

Well, it is quite simple. Just follow the steps which are mentioned below. While following the steps, keep in mind email list should have quality, relevance and volume. So, let’s begin:

STEP 1:

To initiate building your email list, start with the contacts you currently have on your file. For example, the emails obtained from your previous campaigns. Import all of the existing contacts of your customers that you have in your CRM system, and start building the list gradually.

With Opentracker services now you can get this done easily as it identifies and tag customer email and information. This data is invaluable for email campaigns and tracking leads as well.

STEP 2:

The best way of building an email list of subscribers is to offer unique blog content which serves as a platform for bringing the people into your site along with providing an incentive which make visitors want to subscribe. Although you will have to work a bit on the content, the result will be worth it. Now once you are done with this process, do not forget to add multiple Call to action triggers for subscribing to your blog. It is a good idea to keep the amount of information necessary to sign up to the minimal, just a name and the email address should suffice.

And by using Opentracker, you can now track your visitors and check who they are and how they have used your site. You can also identify them by the company, university or governmental body they work for.

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STEP 3:

For the people who do not like to share their personal information, you can offer them something valuable in exchange for a signup. For instance, you can offer them a free eBook download, a free sample, or a discount in exchange for their email information. And do not forget to change your offers from time to time.

STEP 4:

Last but not least, remember that social sharing is powerful. Add a “share” feature in the body of your email content, as this will increase the click-through rate. Though this is not about getting more email subscribers, it will help you to know the number of people interested in a subscription.

You can also experiment with new calls-to-action. For instance, you can add a pop up offering the possibility to sign up for an email or you can make use of other external sources to attract a new segment of your audience.

A Few Tips :

Now that we have discussed the steps on how to create an email list, here are a few points to keep in mind:

  • Always build your own email list rather than wasting your money and buying the list as it will result in labeling you as a spammer.
  • Make use of emails to build a rapport with customers by sharing your expertise, giving them tips and insights which they will value.
  • Treat your email list well and respect the users privacy.
  • Fix a schedule for sending out your newsletters as it will help your subscribers to know what and when to expect from you.

They say if you are not building an email list, you are making a huge mistake. Well, this is true. According to a survey done in 2014 which consisted of 1,000 web-based businesses, email marketing has the highest ROI of any marketing channel. So having an email list is nothing but beneficial to your business’s progression and promotion.

perks of having an email list:

  • Having an email list creates a reliable and a consistent way to connect with your customers and also the ones who are interested in your business.
  • It helps you go paperless which is your go-to for correspondence, thus making this method efficient and convenient.
  • Your email list gives you an opportunity to offer your subscribers with your latest little treats that might benefit your subscribers thus building trust with your company.
  • It is the perfect blend of price and ease when it comes to the upliftment of your business.
  • With the uses of services from the programs like Opentracker, you can track & trace the visitor’s information and also identify them just by typing in the email in the interface.

Having an email list is not only beneficial to your customers, but is also beneficial to all the business holders. It is a way by which you can add values to their lives and stay at the forefront of their minds. Also, it is the best way for growing your business without breaking the budget. So, go ahead and build an email list which is cost-efficient and is also an environmental-friendly mode of promotion.

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Creating website traffic growth

Creating website traffic growth

 

Given a constant environment, website traffic will remain unchanged unless you take action. Looking at stats for thousands of sites over the years has taught us a lot about visitor traffic. The key point to remember with respect to website traffic is: Change creates growth.

The opentracker law of website traffic:

Given a constant environment, website traffic will remain unchanged unless you take action. “Unchanged” refers to: the number of new visitors, visitors entering by search term, referred traffic, etc, will not increase.

executive summary: in a nutshell

The point of this article is to make you aware of the need to change things on your website in order to increase website traffic and make your site more effective.

In 10 words or less: measure and evaluate, in order to make effective changes.

We see many sites “stuck” at the same level of traffic. Many sites generate the same number of new visitors consistently, year after year, the number changing only 1-2%.

In order to increase your website traffic, you can rely on changes in your search engine ranking or free publicity, OR you can work to make change yourself.

General introduction: change creates growth

Summary:

  • Change creates growth
  • Action is required for change

“Actionable metrics” are data or information that you can apply.

By looking at thousands of web traffic datasets we have learned that change does not happen by itself, you need to make change happen.

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Steps To Take In Order To Succeed:

In order to take action you need:

  1. information or data
  2. the ability to implement your ideas effectively
  3. a way monitor this; indicator of success or failure
  4. ability to identify and implement the most effective solution

Example: you have a website and want visitors to find your products. You can use a search bar, a drop-down, roll-over or click selection. Place alternatives on your site and use measurement to think with your clients, to understand how they like to navigate.
Find out and make it happen. The best option will mean increased user satisfaction and products viewed.

A lot of increase in website traffic depends on your site strategy. Google, for example, is designed to get visitors off their site; fast results drive high visitor click-throughs, and keep visitors coming back.

Your goal may be to keep visitors on your site. Therefore you should identify the solution that results in the most pages served (clicks) & time spent on your site. We think the goal is to give your visitors a good experience.

your website: understanding the internet environment

Pay attention to what is happening on the internet, and how it affects your success:

Your website does not exist in a vacuum. Your website exists in the internet environment, this means your (potential) success is dependent on this context and how you “fit in”. In evolutionary terms, this is called adapting, survival of the fittest.

What can you learn from the wider internet and apply to your website in order to improve? Specifically, what observable trends will influence your content management strategies?

how to stimulate change: seeing your website in context

  • The question is “what should you do in order to stimulate change?”
  • Users are becoming increasingly savvy
  • The internet is more interactive in the Web 2.0 environment.
  • Can you generate content related to any changes you observe?

In the next article in this series, we will provide examples of how to learn from and adjust content to fit-in with current Web 2.0 environment.

Read more in part 2 of this series: Understanding your website marketing environment

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How one company lost 42 million Pounds and what this means to be GDPR compliant.

How one company lost 42 million Pounds and what this means to be GDPR compliant.

With the constant stream of sound bites surrounding GDPR, one could be forgiven to assume that most companies would have taken care to update their privacy policies and inform their customers about this transition.

Shockingly, according to a ISACA survey, not only are most companies unprepared, but only around half of the companies surveyed (52 percent) expect to be compliant by end-of-year 2018, and 31 percent do not know when they will be fully compliant!

Let that sink in…52% of companies, as of this very moment, do not comply with the (GDPR) General Data Protection Regulation.

Some of the biggest Tech and social media giants like Google, Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp have already been slapped with lawsuits for violating the GDPR law that went into effect on May 25, 2018.

If found guilty, EU regulators can impose fines upto 4% of global annual revenues; numbers that could easily run into the billions.

In 2015, TalkTalk, a British telecom company failed to securely store customer data and in the aftermath of the loss of data due to a cyber attack, not only was the company fined around £400,000 by British regulators, but it also lost more than 1,00,000 customers and 42 million pounds.

Such instances of data breach or data mishandling tell us the devastating impact of under -preparedness – lost revenues, dwindled customer base, negative publicity and heavy regulatory fines – enough to bring any company down to its knees.

India with an active customer base of 240 million was the largest audience country for Facebook. In the wake of the scandalous Facebook-Cambridge Analytica affair, Facebook revealed that personal data of 5,62,455 Indian users was improperly shared.

What was the effect of this revelation?

Velocity MR, a market research company, released a survey that

that found that after the Facebook security breach, 24% of users started sharing ‘’lot less’’ data, while 7% stopped sharing data altogether.

Let’s take a moment here and do some quick back-of-the-envelope-math and what this might have cost Facebook.

7% of 240 million works out to 16.8 million people avoiding Facebook. Losing

17 million customers roughly translates to Facebook shutting down operations in both Sweden and Austria!

That’s a lot of advertisement money to go down the drain.

Not only this, CEO Mark Zuckerberg had to endure negative publicity and a televised Q&A grilling session with legislators on both sides of the Atlantic.

With the latest lawsuit over GDPR non-compliance, Facebook with its deep pockets could survive another round of missed opportunities in advertising revenues and regulatory fines.

But honestly, how many businesses can afford incidents like this?

A study by Ensighten revealed that one of the reasons firms seem unprepared for GDPR, could be the lack of consensus over who is responsible for data protection within a business and how to go about it. What should be the first step?

Ryan Wain, chief marketing officer at Unlimited Group, advised decision makers to undertake a full audit on data held by a business.

He added: “Possibly the most important consideration is to avoid viewing GDPR compliance as a process with a hard and fast endpoint. Rather, it will be an on-going journey as you gather and process new data moving forward.”

It’s time to be GDPR compliant

For more than 15 years, we have been helping companies take smart decisions using data analytics. Now, we are also helping small & medium sized businesses stay compliant with the GDPR law.

The GDPR law runs to 11 chapters and 173 recitals and let’s face it, who has the time to sit down and pour through the contents with a magnifying glass?

But the good news is that we have you covered. Here are 3 things that you should absolutely know.

  • Geographical location: Businesses in the EU are subject to GDPR—even if the data they’re accessing is processed outside of the EU. The reverse is also true. If you’re a company processing the data of EU citizens (either to offer goods and services, or to monitor behavior taking place in the EU)—it doesn’t matter where you’re based, or where you’re processing the data. You still have to comply with GDPR.
  • Greater Penalties for noncompliance: The maximum fine for noncompliance with GDPR is up to 4% of annual global turnover, or 20 million euros—depending on which is greater.
  • Explicit Consent required: Consent has to be given in an easy, accessible way before processing a person’s data. You also have to disclose the purpose for that data processing and make it as easy to withdraw consent as to give it.

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Here’s a quick 3-min guide of how GDPR affects your business.

At a one time fee of just €395, OpenTracker’s Quick-scan Analysis can do a thorough Data audit and help you identify non-compliant features and help you keep avoid the dangers of expensive regulatory fines.

With an expert team at your disposal, we can help you identify the loopholes and shortcomings in the present data handling regime in your company, the state of preparedness of your business to deal with the GDPR provisions and also chart out a custom plan to help your business become and stay GDPR compliant.

We have already helped hundreds of companies with GDPR-compliance. Have any questions? Why not ask? We would love to hear from you.

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Other titles for your consideration:

-83% of companies are in trouble due to GDPR non-compliance. Where do you stand?

-Facebook and Google are facing GDPR lawsuits. Is your company GDPR compliant?

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