Federated Learning of Cohorts (FLoC) is a new technology that exists in versions of Chrome 89+. Its purpose is to assign Chrome users to groups (or cohorts), depending on their browser history. These cohorts can be used for targeted advertising by Google. This technology is currently in the “origin trial” stage, where individual sites can opt-in to test this technology. This will allow Google to test the technology in the browser and also improve the underlying algorithms in the background that are assigning users to cohorts.
As per the spec, it is possible for websites to serve a
Permissions-Policy HTTP response header to opt out of the cohort computation:
Over the next few months it will be interesting to see how this header is adopted across the monthly crawl. With the help of @paulcalvano and @tunetheweb a query and initial results have been gathered and they can be seen below:
SELECT _TABLE_SUFFIX AS client, count(DISTINCT pageid) AS pages, pages_total, count(DISTINCT pageid) / pages_total AS pages_pct, FROM `httparchive.summary_requests.2021_04_01_*` JOIN (SELECT _TABLE_SUFFIX, COUNT(DISTINCT pageid) AS pages_total FROM `httparchive.summary_requests.2021_04_01_*` GROUP BY _TABLE_SUFFIX) USING (_TABLE_SUFFIX) WHERE LOWER(respOtherHeaders) LIKE '%interest-cohort=()%' AND firstHTML GROUP BY _TABLE_SUFFIX, pages_total
The latest crawl stats produce this:
Since this is a very new change , and sites started adding the opt-out header mid way through April the latest crawl won’t show a complete picture. This query will be useful in coming months.