Google last week announced that starting in November 2023, its Search Ads publisher products will undergo a transition from using "google.com" as their "serving domain" to new domains aimed at enhancing user privacy and adapting to evolving web platform standards.
The products affected by this change include AdSense for Search (AFS), AdSense for Shopping (AFSh), and Programmable Search Engine (ProSE).
The "serving domain" is the domain responsible for delivering ads and other content within iframes on publisher websites and applications. With this transition, publishers can anticipate a shift from the familiar "google.com" domain to the following serving domains: adsensecustomsearchads.com and syndicatedsearch.goog
The primary motivation behind this shift is to bolster end-user privacy, align with forthcoming adjustments to cookie behavior on popular web platforms, including Google Chrome. By decoupling these products from "google.com" as their serving domain, they will no longer share cookies with Google's properties during ad delivery. However, it's worth noting that users may still encounter Google or advertiser cookies after clicking on an ad.
Google's plan extends beyond serving domains to measurement, with an aim to eventually cease using cookies shared with Google properties for this purpose. This move aligns with Google's broader efforts to adapt to changing privacy regulations and expectations.
One significant consequence of this transition is the deprecation of ad personalization for these products. As a result, publisher controls that enable or disable personalization ("personalizedAds") will no longer impact the personalization of ads. Additionally, users will lose the ability to customize their ad settings via their Google Ad Settings, such as blocking ads or configuring preferences for ads displayed on their websites through AFS, AFSh, or ProSE.
Given that these Search Ads publisher products primarily rely on user queries for ad targeting, the impact of this change on ad performance is anticipated to be minor. Publishers do not need to make any adjustments due to this transition, as Google will be overseeing the migration process and ensuring a seamless experience for both publishers and end-users.