What are cookies?
Cookies are small pieces of data that a website asks your browser to store on your computer or mobile device when you visit the website or certain pages. The cookie allows the website to “remember” your actions or preferences over time. Most browsers support cookies, but users can set their browsers to decline them and can delete them whenever they like.
Cookies will usually contain the name of the website where the cookie has come from, how long the cookie will remain on your device, and a value which is usually a randomly generated unique number.
Some cookies will be deleted as soon as you leave the website (“session cookies”), other cookies will remain stored on your computer or mobile device and will help us identify you as a visitor of our website (“permanent cookies”).
Cookies on our Website are used for a variety of different purposes.
Which cookies do we use?
We use first party and third party cookies:
First party cookies are cookies created by the website itself. These cookies are used to optimise your user-experience.
Third party cookies are cookies created by parties other than the website. Third party cookies in relation to our website are Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google Analytics. Google Analytics is Google’s analytics tool which helps us understand how you engage with our website. It may use a set of cookies to collect information and report website usage statistics without personally identifying individual visitors to Google. The main cookie used by Google Analytics is the ‘___ga’ cookie, but you can find also this others cookies:
A persistent cookie – remains on a computer, unless it expires or the cookie cache is cleared. It tracks visitors. Metrics associated with the Google __utma cookie include: first visit (unique visit), last visit (returning visit). This also includes Days and Visits to purchase calculations which afford ecommerce websites with data intelligence around purchasing sales funnels.
__utmb Cookie & __utmc Cookie
These cookies work in tandem to calculate visit length. Google __utmb cookie demarks the exact arrival time, then Google __utmc registers the precise exit time of the user.
Because __utmb counts entrance visits, it is a session cookie, and expires at the end of the session, e.g. when the user leaves the page. A timestamp of 30 minutes must pass before Google cookie __utmc expires. Given__utmc cannot tell if a browser or website session ends. Therefore, if no new page view is recorded in 30 minutes the cookie is expired.
This is a standard ‘grace period’ in web analytics. Ominture and WebTrends among many others follow the same procedure.
Cookie __utmz monitors the HTTP Referrer and notes where a visitor arrived from, with the referrer siloed into type (Search engine (organic or cpc), direct, social and unaccounted). From the HTTP Referrer the __utmz Cookie also registers, what keyword generated the visit plus geolocation data.
This cookie lasts six months. In tracking terms this Cookie is perhaps the most important as it will tell you about your traffic and help with conversion information such as what source / medium / keyword to attribute for a Goal Conversion.
Google __utmv Cookie lasts “forever". It is a persistant cookie. It is used for segmentation, data experimentation and the __utmv works hand in hand with the __utmz cookie to improve cookie targeting capabilities.
A further distinction can be made between the following types of cookies:
Necessary cookies: These are required for the operation of our website. They include for example cookies that enable you to log in.
How can you manage or delete cookies?
You can manage or delete cookies at any time using the settings on your internet browser, which also enable you to refuse some or all cookies. Turning off cookies will limit the service that we are able to provide and may affect your user-experience. Deleting cookies may result in manually adjusting preferences every time you visit our website. For more details about controlling and/or deleting cookies, visit the page corresponding to your browser for more information:
For other browsers, please consult the documentation provided by the browser operator.