TRUST TOKENS REPLACING COOKIES? With Google planning to phase out third-party tracking cookies by 2022, “trust tokens” are a proposed alternative. Google’s third-party cookies are currently used to create anti-bot and anti-fraud systems that ensure ads reach real humans. These “trust tokens” help prove to advertisers that an actual user (not a bot) clicked on an ad on Google. In all, trust tokens are designed to authenticate a user without needing to know their identity, helping Google filter out the legitimate traffic from the spam traffic in order to maintain the integrity of its ads platform.
Why you should care: The demise of the third-party tracking cookie won’t undermine your advertising efforts on Google, nor the reach of your ads on the platform. Trust tokens aim to filter out bot and fraud activity that occurs on websites so that your ads reach real prospective students and your advertising budget is spent on impressions, clicks, and conversions by potential students.
SPECULATING THE FATE OF TIKTOK: You may already know that TikTok is banned in India over concerns of its hypothesized use as a surveillance and propaganda tool for the Chinese government. Now, the US is considering imposing a similar ban within 6 weeks unless TikTok sells to a U.S. company. Microsoft formally announced that it’s in talks with ByteDance, the parent company of TikTok, about a potential acquisition. Assuming that ByteDance doesn’t want its $50 billion net worth to go down the drain due to a potential ban, many believe there’s a realistic chance a U.S. company will acquire TikTok in the near future.
Why you should care: Social Media Today’s Andrew Hutchinson reminds us that we’re “operating on rented land’ when it comes to social media, and “the rules can switch” (as we’re seeing with TikTok). Needless to say it's a reminder to diversify your digital presence. Last week, Instagram launched it’s new Reels feature (15-second multi-clip videos), which could now take off because top creators will be looking to reduce their potential exposure and maximize their revenue potential. And if Instagram can offer better ad options, along with a similar, TikTok-type experience, it seems likely that Reels could catch on.
COULD YOUR AGE IMPACT WHAT YOU SEE ON GOOGLE? If a 65-year-old and an 8-year-old both Googled the word “blue,” how might Google show different results based on the searcher’s age? A new concept called “Youth Oriented Content Scores” aims to provide a score indicating the appropriateness of content for viewing based on the searcher's age (much like a movie rating at a movie theater). Google could guesstimate a searcher’s age based on past search behaviors, or by the information on a user’s Google account, and rank certain content or websites higher than others in the search results based on appropriateness labels, like “Y” (young), “G” (general), “PG” (parental guidance), “MA” (mature audience), and “X” (adult/X-rated).
Why you should care: If both a 45-year-old and 17-year-old Googled “best colleges in New York,” how might Google rank your school’s website page? Would it rank higher for one of them? How would you optimize your school’s website page to rank higher for the 17-18 year old audience? While this concept is still in its patent stage by Google, there could be large ramifications for enrollment marketers as it relates to aligning content and program pages with the right age groups on Google.