What is a cookie?
A cookie is a piece of information in the form of a very small text file that is placed on an internet user’s hard drive. This cookie is generated by a web page server, which is basically the computer that operates a web site. Other web sites such as online shops, blogs, or any type of mass media or advertisers also send us cookies when we access them. The information the cookie contains is set by the server and it can be used by that server whenever the user visits the site. A cookie can be thought of as an internet user’s identification card, which tell a web site when the user has returned. Cookies allow a website to store and retrieve information about the user’s browsing habits. The cookie often includes a unique identifier, which is sent to your browser from a web site you visit, stores as a file on your computer, identifies you as a unique user and track your web usage.
Why Are Cookies Important?
Cookies are useful for several reasons. From a technical point of view, the primary purposes of cookies are to recognize the user and retain his or her personal preferences when he or she returns to a website. If you personalize web pages, or register for products or services, a cookie helps the web page server to recall your specific information.
Cookies also help websites to improve the services offered, thanks to the statistical information collected through them. Also serve to streamline advertising offered by companies to their customers, providing services for free.
Different types of cookies
Cookies that improve performance: this kind of cookies are used to letting you navigate between different pages on a website efficiently, remembering preferences you have given and helping us to identify ways to improve your overall site experience. Other types of cookies are used to measure the number of site visits and the most popular pages users visit.
Your preferences in volume setting, preferred articles or video playback speeds are examples of the information contained in these cookies. In the case of e-commerce, cookies can keep information about your shopping cart. Cookies for statistical analysis: these cookies are used to quantify the number of visitors and to analyze statistically how the customers make use of the services of the company. Using these cookies, the company can analyze how the customers browse their website and improve the products and services offered. These cookies will not be linked to any personal data that could identify the user. They will just provide information about the browsing behavior anonymously. Geolocation cookies: geographically locate the computer, smartphone, tablet or connected TV so that companies can deliver linked content and services. Traffic log cookies: when a user is registered in a website, identifying tracking cookies are generated. These cookies are used to recognize the user’s account and their associated services, making it easier for him/her to navigate. These cookies are kept unless the account is left, the browser is closed or the device is off. These cookies are useful to identify the individual’s preferences while using the website. Advertising cookies: these are cookies that allow the company or a third party to manage the advertising space in the website or online shop, adapting the content of the advertisement to the product or service requested or to the website usage. This way the companies are able to know the customer’s browsing habits and show them the advertising contents that may interest them most. Other cookies: in some of the websites it is possible to install cookies from third parties to manage and improve the services offered.
Web analytics is not just a tool for measuring web traffic but can be used as a tool for business and market research, and to assess and improve the effectiveness of a web site. Web analytics applications can also help companies measure the results of traditional print or broadcast advertising campaigns. It helps one to estimate how traffic to a website changes after the launch of a new advertising campaign. Web analytics provides information about the number of visitors to a website and the number of page views. It helps gauge traffic and popularity trends which is useful for market research. There are two categories of web analytics; off-site and on-site web analytics.
Off-site web analytics refers to web measurement and analysis regardless of whether you own or maintain a website. It includes the measurement of a website’s potential audience (opportunity), share of voice (visibility), and buzz (comments) that is happening on the Internet as a whole.
When a customer is browsing a website, it is understood that he/she has accepted the cookies policy of the company. The first time the customer enters the page, a window will appear informing them of the cookies usage. By accepting their usage, the customer is accepting that cookies will be installed in their computer or other internet mobile device. Revocation and removal of cookies You can allow, check, block or delete the cookies installed in your computer or mobile device by configuring the browser options in your computer. You can find information on how to do it in case you use: