Google this month announced it will start testing Topics globally on ad requests, for a small percentage of traffic. According to Google, tests are scheduled to start in July, in AdSense and in Google Ad Manager.
Topics will be one of the audience targetings available to advertisers once the cookies disappear from Chrome. Chrome will phase out support for third-party cookies over a three-month period, finishing in late 2023.
In January this year, Google replaced FLoC with Topics, recognising growing criticism. With FLoC, Google was able to achieve 95% of the conversions per dollar spent. Now the test starts for Topics.
Google says the initial test for Topics is to validate that Google systems are operating as designed, and no revenue or performance impact is expected.
Publishers that want to opt out of the Topics testing, can do so using Chrome’s Permissions-policy header.
What are Topics?
With Topics the browser determines a handful of topics, like “Fitness” or “Travel & Transportation,” that represent the top interests for that week based on the browsing history. The list of topics is available here.
Topics are selected entirely on each device without involving any external servers, including Google servers. When a user visits a participating site, Topics picks three topics, one topic from each of the past three weeks, to share with the site and its advertising partners.