You know those ads that seem to follow you to every website? You went to one site one time to check out a thing and bam! that site’s ads now pop up on every site you visit. Well, now Google will let you mute them.
At first, it may seem an odd move. Google makes money on its ads business, and giving advertisers free rein to stalk you on every site seems really good for companies hoping to remind you of that thing you checked out one time. But the search giant wrote in a blog post out today that it wants to give you, the consumer, more transparency and control.
It’s also good for business. Barraging you with reminder ads for the thing you are no longer interested in is not useful for you and is a waste for the business hoping to get you to come back.
Google uses the example of someone looking for snow boots, so we’ll go with that. You look up Snow Boots Co. for some research but decide to go with another type of snow boot not on that site, or just decide you’re no longer interested. That site might still be sending you ads, even though you’re not into them anymore. It’s very annoying to keep seeing everywhere the thing you don’t want. But now you can shut it all down by muting that advertiser.
You could already mute ads and adjust ad settings these past few years, but now Google is offering a way for you to mute those pesky reminder ads in a new control in Ad Settings.
It also will mute the ad across devices. So if you mute it on your smartphone, Google will mute that ad on your laptop.
It also plans to roll out the new controls on more platforms in the future, like YouTube, Search and Gmail.
On top of all that, Google is expanding controls for another unwanted ads feature it implemented in 2012 that allows you to mute ads you don’t want to see anymore.
“Millions of people use Mute this Ad on a daily basis, and in 2017, we received more than 5 billion pieces of feedback telling us that you mute ads that aren’t relevant,” Jon Krafcik wrote on the Google post explaining the updates. “We incorporated that feedback by removing 1 million ads from our ad network based on your comments.”
Of course, these updates only affect ads rolled out within Google, so you may still see reminder ads from other places. It also can’t get rid of the annoying barrage of ads from your Facebook and Instagram feeds.
The good news is all you have to do to shut down those annoying reminder ads now is go to Google’s Ad Settings to see the ads currently targeting you and hit mute.