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Cookieless Future: On the Safe Side with Server-to-Server Tracking

Are you feeling the heat of the ever-evolving digital landscape? As online businesses strive to stay ahead of the competition, the once-reliable tool in our arsenal, cookies, is facing unprecedented challenges. With devices and browsers automatically declining cookies, tracking customer behaviour and data has become more challenging than ever. But fear not, there is a solution that will keep you on the safe side and allow you to track data without the contentious cookies (cookieless tracking). Say hello to server-to-server tracking!

Cookieless Future

Photo by Vyshnavi Bisani on Unsplash

Understanding Server-to-Server Tracking

With server-to-server tracking, we're no longer reliant on cookies or other client-side methods of tracking. Instead, the tracking occurs on the server side, where the data is processed and analysed for insights into customer behaviour and preferences. Ultimately, access to this raw data leads to greater accuracy and doesn’t hinder your strategy with data blockers. 

The benefits of server-to-server tracking

Server-to-server tracking has some interesting advantages:

  • Increased privacy and data security due to less reliance on client-side devices, typically at risk of being hacked or compromised.
  • Server-to-server tracking may help with compliance as it allows for more control and management of data within your servers, ensuring that you're in line with the latest data protection requirements.
  • Increased accuracy and reliability —as data isn’t on the client-side device (which can be easily compromised), you’re not at risk of receiving incomplete data.
  • Track data even when devices and users decline cookies.
  • By shifting from client to server side tracking, the payload (amount of data) is reduced. This results in faster loading times.

How server-to-server tracking works

In simple terms, server-to-server tracking helps you understand what your customers are doing without using pixels and cookies. Instead, it works by sending data directly between servers, bypassing the limitations of client-side tracking methods.

Let’s take a look at what server-to-server tracking looks like in action.

Step 1:

A user visits your website or interacts with your brand in some way.

Step 2:

The data from this interaction is sent to your server instead of being stored on the user's device.

Step 3:

Your server then communicates with a tracking partner's server, sending the data that was collected.

Step 4:

The tracking partner's server processes the data and provides insights and analytics back to your server.

Step 5:

You can then use this data to make informed marketing decisions and improve your customer experience.

Server-to-server tracking implementation and considerations

Let's talk about the nitty-gritty of implementation. It involves several crucial steps to ensure smooth sailing, but first, let’s take a look at the technical aspects.

Technical considerations for implementing server-to-server tracking:

  • Implementation of the tag manager on the website.
  • Hosting the solution and determining where it will be hosted.
  • Determining which tools can be installed on the server side.
  • Identifying the number of events that need to be captured and forwarded server-side.
  • Linking server-side tracking to the Consent Management Platform (CMP).
  • Ensuring the data layer is well-built, as it impacts the accuracy and reliability of tracking data.

First, you'll need to set up the right server-side infrastructure, including the necessary hardware, software, and data storage systems. You'll also need to establish data transfer protocols to ensure seamless communication between servers. Testing is key to fine-tuning the setup and making sure everything is running smoothly. 

Server-to-server considerations not to overlook

Now, let's not overlook the potential challenges and considerations. Scalability is one aspect to keep in mind, as your tracking needs may evolve over time. Latency, or delays in data transfer, could also impact the effectiveness of your tracking. And, of course, compliance with privacy laws and regulations is paramount. Naturally, there may be higher costs associated with this kind of investment, but the long-term results are worthwhile. 

Is server-side tracking GDPR compliant? 

Of course, GDPR compliance is the big question on your mind. Server-side tracking is generally considered to be GDPR compliant, as it allows businesses to collect and process customer data in a more secure and privacy-friendly manner. Server-side tracking involves communicating directly between servers, which bypasses client-side limitations and allows for better control over data collection and processing. Additionally, server-side tracking enables businesses to more easily implement privacy-focused measures, such as anonymising IP addresses and encrypting data in transit. However, it is still important for businesses to ensure they are fully compliant with all GDPR requirements. This means obtaining appropriate consent from users and providing them with clear information on how their data will be used. 


Overall, server-to-server tracking is a valuable method for marketers to consider in a cookieless future. Having a good and functional tracking setup is not easy. Ensuring that the company maximises customer data usage while paying attention to privacy and security, we offer a review of the existing concept with moving it to server to server tracking. Alternatively, we offer a new conception of the tracking setup and set up the server to server tracking here as well.