Today, Google announced new tools designed to give consumers more control over the ads that follow them around the web.
In a blog post, the company said that their Ad Settings and Mute This Ad features are being updated to give users the ability to mute ads they see on Google, websites and in apps.
The so-called “reminder ads” are a result of users searching online and then being followed or ‘reminded’ of their search to encourage further action. The new update allows users to go into Ads Settings in their account to see and mute those companies delivering advertising served on Google’s network. The muting lasts for 90 days but doesn’t apply to websites that don’t use Google ad services — so some ads may still slip through.
The new feature begins on Google-partner apps and websites in the next few days and will be rolled out to YouTube, search and Gmail in the coming months.
Mute This Ad is a product that Google launched in 2012 and the blog post’s author, Jon Krafcik, Google’s group product manager, data and transparency, noted that in 2017: “we received more than 5 billion pieces of feedback telling us that you mute ads that aren’t relevant. We incorporated that feedback by removing 1 million ads from our ad network based on your comments.”
With that in mind, the updated Mute This Ad recognizes feedback on any device — a mobile phone and computer, for example — and mutes ads across all automatically. This feature will continue to roll out on more apps and websites that are Google partners.
Earlier this year, Google announced that its Chrome browser would automatically block annoying ads with pre-installed software. According to Adobe Systems, desktop adblock plugin users worldwide climbed from 21m in January 2010 to 236m in December 2016.