Friday, December 4 is “National Cookie Day” here in the United States.
While this fun holiday is 100% about edible sweet treats and has nothing to do with digital marketing and browser technology (as far as I know), we couldn’t miss this opportunity to talk about both. And throw in some half-baked puns, naturally.
Content creators feed America’s sweet tooth
When I want to bake something sweet, I know exactly where to go: the internet.
I want photography that makes my mouth water. I want tried and tested recipes. I want tips and tricks. I want reviews and ideas for dairy substitutions.
I even want the backstory about how your grandma made these cookies every year, and they became a treasured secret recipe until you decided to share it out with the world.
I trust the content put out by independent creators — and so does the rest of the internet:
When America wants to bake, content creators have their back:
Especially this year. With various lockdowns and quarantines since the onset of COVID, people have been baking up a storm, seeking comfort and diversion:
And publishers rose to the challenge, putting out new recipes to meet these needs:
And when Google searches for “cookie” hit the highest point of the year in the week leading up to Christmas, we know where those people are going to land. This holiday season, America is baking cookie recipes developed by AdThrive publishers.
It’s bigger than just cookies
It’s beauty tips.
DIY decorating ideas.
Video game walk-throughs.
News about your favorite sports team.
Car maintenance how-tos.
Tips for taking care of exotic pets.
Personal finance lessons.
Games to play with toddlers.
Reviews for local restaurants, attractions, events.
And much more.
Independent content creators are the taste-makers of the internet.
64% of Americans say that online content creators help them discover more things and that what they read on those sites impacts their actions.
79% of regular blog readers report a high likelihood of acting on the ideas they get from independent content creators online.
73% of Americans also prefer to support independent businesses over large corporations — they find content creators more relatable because they want advice and inspiration “from people like me.” (Source: CafeMedia Content in the Digital Age Study, July 2020)
AdThrive publishers reach over 60% of all US internet users. Each minute, readers visit tens of thousands of pages on AdThrive publishers’ websites and, over the course of a year, they collectively spend over 613 MILLION hours enjoying high-quality original content… for free.
Advertising fuels this content creation
How do content creators put out this incredible, trusted content day after day, at no charge to the rest of us?
Many content creators primarily support their websites by displaying ads. Similar to renting a billboard on the highway, advertisers pay to show ads on websites.
And today, third-party cookies fuel online advertising
Today, advertisers rely on one primary technology to ensure that they reach the right audience with their ads: the third-party cookie.
Cookies (of the non-edible variety) are small files dropped through the browser that allow advertising technology firms to identify information about users and use that information to show customized advertising and measure ad performance. “Third-party” means that while the cookie is dropped when you’re visiting a specific website, it’s coming from another source — advertising technology.
The future of digital advertising is currently in flux. Google Chrome is the last major browser that still supports third-party cookie technology and has said it will cease support in early 2022. Without this level of information about website visitors, advertisers have a much harder time proving that their spending is effective. Without alternatives, advertisers will spend even more money with giant platforms like Facebook and Google.
Lower advertiser spending means less ad revenue for publishers — the ad revenue that makes the entire business model of free content on the internet possible.
We’re baking up a privacy-centric future of our own
We want to make sure content creators can CONTINUE to build their dream businesses online, supported by income from advertising.
Right now, the online advertising system is largely based on information about website visitors, but that leaves a lot to be desired for user privacy. For advertising-fueled content to be viable long into the future, the industry needs to make some big improvements to prioritize user privacy, and we’re committed to being a leader in making those changes.
Right now that looks like a few different things:
- Working on a technical alternative to third-party cookies with more built-in privacy, through our involvement with the W3C, the organization that creates browser standards.
- Testing other alternatives to third-party cookies, like hashed email identity, that are more privacy-conscious while still helping content creators earn well from ads.
- Continuing to lead in contextual advertising advancements, allowing advertisers to make more informed decisions based on the content surrounding the ad — for example, showing an ad for a blender next to a smoothie recipe.
- Growing and building new relationships with advertisers directly thanks to our ad sales team, so our partners understand the quality of the audience they can reach through the AdThrive community — the 11th largest property on the internet.
- Telling the story of independent content creators and the ad-supported open web so everyone understands how the world gets its high-quality content for free and why it’s so crucial to protect this diversity of voices!
There’s nothing sweeter than watching our community of content creators build their dream businesses and make a living doing what they love!
So for National Cookie Day this year, whether you’re enjoying the statistically likely chocolate chip cookie or any one of the hundreds of thousands of recipe variations out there lovingly developed and tested in real kitchens, photographed, written, and available 24/7 at your fingertips…
Be thankful for the content creators who fill our stomachs, hearts, and minds with FREE content.
Our world is a whole lot more delicious, rich, and informed thanks to them!