Google Drops FLoC For Topics API With 300+ Topics

Jan 26, 2022 • 7:11 am | comments (20) by | Filed Under Google Ads (AdWords)

Google Topic Layers

Surprise, surprise - Google has decided to drop FLoC (Federated Learning of Cohorts), its cookie alternative, with something called Topics API. The Topics API will use browsing topics into 300 or so categories. Yep, FLoC is a FLoP.

Here is a good summary from Ginny Marvin of Google:

Here is how Google described it "with Topics, your browser determines a handful of topics, like Fitness or Travel & Transportation, that represent your top interests for that week based on your browsing history." "Topics are kept for only three weeks and old topics are deleted," the company added. "Topics are selected entirely on your device without involving any external servers, including Google servers. When you visit a participating site, Topics picks just three topics, one topic from each of the past three weeks, to share with the site and its advertising partners. Topics enables browsers to give you meaningful transparency and control over this data, and in Chrome, we're building user controls that let you see the topics, remove any you don't like or disable the feature completely."

Here is a video that explains it:

Here is an example illustrations of what you can see about 3rd party cookies (left) vs Topics (right). In Chrome, Google plans to make Topics easier to recognize and manage for users.

click for full size

Google delayed its plans to launch FLoC and lots of companies were planning on blocking FLoC anyway. So this is Google's pivot.

You can see the technical Topics API details on Github if you want to review it. George wrote up more details on Search Engine Land and you can see the Techmeme roundup on this big news as well.

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

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