For the birds?
There’s been some skepticism in the advertising community, however, about the viability of FLoCs as a replacement for third-party cookies.
In October, Google released early results from its FLoC tests indicating that interest-based cohorts generate big improvement in recall and precision over random clustering.
But, as James Rosewell, CEO and founder of 51Degrees and a vocal member of the W3C’s Improving Web Advertising Business Group, pointed out in an AdExchanger column shortly thereafter: “Who spends money randomly?! It appears that Google, which is known for its algorithmic prowess, somehow does not think marketers and publishers will see through this.”
According to Bindra, the goal of Google’s previous test was primarily to analyze different types of clustering algorithms. More recent testing has focused on seeing how interest-based cohorts stack up against cookies.
The results reinforce Google’s conviction that FLoC and other proposals within the Privacy Sandbox “represent the future of how our ads and measurement products will work on the web,” Bindra said.
Google declined to share, though, whether it plans to deploy any of these same or equivalent cookie-replacement technologies across its own services, such as YouTube or search.
Getting ready to fly
But putting aside Google’s O&O, the first widescale test of how the FLoC API will function on the open web is getting ready to kick off through a new proposal called FLEDGE from Chrome that was recently added to the Privacy Sandbox.
FLEDGE – like fledging, get it? – outlines an early prototype for ad serving based on Chrome’s original TURTLEDOVE framework and encompasses a bunch of different components from other sandbox proposals, including…