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What’s the Difference Between First and Third-Party Cookies?

First and Third-Party Cookies

Cookies can have a range of functions but are primarily used to track user behavior. Although first and third-party cookies have very similar purposes, they are collected and used in different ways. What are the key differences between the two? That’s what we’ll be exploring in this blog post. Read on to learn more about the differences between first cookies and third-party cookies.

What Are First-Party Cookies?

First-party cookies focus on improving the user experience. They are stored directly by the website, allowing the website owners to collect relevant data.

You may be wondering how first-party cookies work. When you log onto an e-commerce site, the web browser sends a request and then will begin saving a data file into your computer.

If you blocked first-party cookies, you’d need to sign in every time you visited the site. Likewise, you won’t be able to add more than one item to the basket.

This is because the site won’t be able to hold the relevant information, and therefore, the basket will reset every time you add a new item.

First-party cookies can store data such as language settings and analytics data and have various other functions that can provide a positive user experience.

Some cookies may contain sensitive information but first-party cookies are considered non-controversial cookies. This is because they only contain information that you enter into the website as well as your IP address in some cases.

The data collected from first-party cookies only goes to the website owners. Essentially, they’re an agreement between the site owner and the user to ensure things run smoothly.

What Are Third-Party Cookies?

Although third-party cookies have a similar function to first-party cookies, they are not created by the website you’re visiting.

Third-party cookies have several functions. They track your data across various sites to see your shopping behavior, and are also used for ad-serving purposes, delivering personalized ads that match your browsing behavior. They also send you to sites that sell products that you are likely to be interested in.

Primarily, they are used for advertising and marketing purposes. They are placed on websites through script and can be found on any website that loads any server code from this third party.

They are found on many e-commerce websites for advertising purposes. For example, you may browse many items but only purchase one or two.

You may then go on to receive adverts for the items that you looked at but didn’t buy. You may also receive marketing emails about these items. The data doesn’t disappear when you close the browser; it will remain on your computer.

The Key Differences Between First and Third-Party Cookies

Now you understand what first-party cookies and third-party cookies are, let’s explore some of their differences.

First of all, the cookie availability is different between the two. Third-party cookies are accessible on all websites that use the server code of the third party, but first-party cookies are only available to the domain that created them.

Much like first-party cookies, third-party cookies are supposed by all browsers. However, first-party cookies can be blocked by the user – and many browsers are beginning to block third-party cookies automatically. Additionally, many users are beginning to delete third-party cookies by themselves.

Likewise, the party setting the cookies differs between first and third-party cookies. First-party cookies are set by the website or on script loaded on the site.

Third-party cookies, however, are set by third-party servers (for example, AdTech vendors). They can also be set through code on the website.

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Mashum Mollah

Mashum Mollah is the feature writer of Search Engine Magazine and an SEO Analyst at Real Wealth Business. Over the last 3 years, He has successfully developed and implemented online marketing, SEO, and conversion campaigns for 50+ businesses of all sizes. He is the co-founder of Social Media Magazine.

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