Back in May 2011 all EU countries signed up to an EU directive which gave users on a website the right to refuse the use of cookies during their session on the site. It meant that websites had to tell the user the website used cookies and gave them the option to accept or refuse being “cookied”.

But, what are cookies?

A website cookie is a small piece of data sent from a website and stored in a user’s web browser while the user is browsing that website. They can be used to track users through a website, improve user experience and help marketing efforts. This can then determine if adverts should appear to that user or not.

There are many different types of cookie (we’re not talking about different types of chocolate chips, unfortunately), and more information about these can be found at cookiepedia.co.uk.

Straightforward approach

Some websites, such as Nike, have gone all out by using less than subtle messaging to get user consent:

nikecookies

 

Subtle approach

Other sites include less invasive options providing a better user experience for the users, like Nestle and Financial Times:

nestlecookies

 

FTcookies

Why are cookies in the industry media now?

Recently, we have found that Google are becoming hotter on the subject of cookies, especially with customers who have Google AdWords/Adsense accounts. They have been sending out emails containing the following content, with a clear deadline when your site needs to be compliant; so does this mean Google will be crawling sites again after this date and effectively punishing certain businesses who don’t meet compliance?

googleemail

So what should I do now?

We would suggest ALL websites follow the European law and implement a cookie policy and consent message just to be on the safe side. There are many tools out there to help you to provide guidance and generate the content, such as www.cookiechoices.org and cookiepolicygenerator.com. If you are an existing BritWeb client, please contact the support team to discuss how to update your site.

All that talk about cookies has made me thirsty, I’m off for a cuppa…

Posted in Digital & Tech, Web Development.

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