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Best Practices for Conversion Tracking on Google Chrome 80

What is Google Chrome 80?


Google Chrome 80 is a browser update launching on February 4th, 2020 intended to enhance browser speeds, and more importantly, consumer privacy. With the Google Chrome 80 release, Chrome is making changes to how cookies are stored.


By default, Chrome will suppress cookies from unsecure domains (HTTP) as well as cookies from domains that are different than the web page domain.  


In most affiliate marketing scenarios, the domain used by tracking links and conversion and event pixels is not the same as the webpage the user is browsing. And with nearly 70% of the world’s population using Chrome, this means a significant amount of cookie-based campaign measurement be lost.


CAKE’s Solution to Alleviate the Impact of the Chrome 80 Release 


CAKE’s most commonly used measurement method to determine campaign performance and attribution relies on the cookies CAKE sets and the matching HTML pixels retrieving them. With the Chrome 80 release, CAKE will force utilization of HTTPS cookies and can set them with the SameSite attribute for this to continue to work. Given the changes foreseen in the future from browser developers, relying solely on cookie-based tracking using a browser (HTML) conversion or event pixel, will hamper performance marketer’s ability to attribute and measure campaign performance. The impact will extend to all partners within the performance ecosystem including advertisers, networks and affiliates.


In order to maintain accurate campaign measurement and reduce the impact of Google Chrome 80 on your performance marketing program, we recommend implementing one of the 3 options:


1. Server-to-Server Tracking utilizes CAKE’s Request Session ID and the Postback URL for attribution.

2. Session Tracking, which is a server-to-server style upgrade of HTML pixel tracking which works by passing the Request Session ID to the landing page and the browser (HTML) conversion or event pixel sends it back to CAKE on the pixel request. 

3. Set "SameSite" in CAKE Setup: Enable CAKE’s new SameSite setting for each domain, which forces HTTPS on tracking links and pixels and flags the domain as “SameSite=None Secure;” within Chrome to allow for a cookie to be stored (Setup>Other Lists> Alternate cookie widget, double click to check "SameSite”). IMPORTANT NOTE:  Before enabling "SameSite" on your domains, you will want to have all of your partners/affiliates using https in their pixels that are placed in CAKE or else they will fail to track in their systems.



Other Considerations


Though CAKE has outlined the best practices to mitigate the impact of Google Chrome 80 for your business, there is no guarantee that your Advertiser and Affiliate partners have taken similar precautions or have the supporting technology to do so. This could result in  lost campaign attribution, discrepancies in attribution and potential loss in revenue.  We recommend ensuring that your partners are implementing similar precautions and avoiding partnerships that could result in a loss of revenue. If you have an Affiliate, Network or Advertiser partner that cannot support cookie-less tracking today, please refer them to CAKE to learn more about our solutions.



If you have questions or concerns regarding Google Chrome 80 or how it may impact your performance marketing program, please contact your Client Success Manager today.


If you have an Affiliate, Network or Advertiser partner that cannot support cookie-less tracking today, please contact to learn more about our solutions.



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