With the launch of Chrome’s native ad blocker quickly approaching, Google is now expanding its ad muting tools as well. Users can now opt out of retargeted “reminder” ads for specific websites if they choose to.
Google account owners have been able to mute individual ads since 2012, but with this latest update they will be able to silence a website’s reminder ads for 90 days. In its current state, users will only be able to avoid retargeted ads on DoubleClick ads on third-party websites and apps, but Google promises to expand the feature to YouTube, search and Gmail ads in the coming months.
Though this may seem to work against the interest of its advertisers, Google claims this new feature is part of its ever-growing efforts to deliver more relevant ads to its consumers.
“Reminder ads like these can be useful, but if you aren’t shopping for [a website’s products] anymore, then you don’t need a reminder about them,” wrote Jon Krafcik, Google’s group product manager for data privacy and transparency, in an announcement.
Though the advertiser may miss out on occasional impressions, users moved to delve into Google’s ad settings to explicitly opt out of a retargeted ad weren’t a likely conversion to begin with. And since the ads are simply not served in the future (as opposed to blocked outright), the advertiser won’t pay any extra for the increased ad muting.
In addition to letting users mute specific advertising retargeters, Google is expanding its individual ad muting tool, “Mute this Ad.” The feature is now device agnostic, meaning that any ads a user mutes on their phone will likewise stay muted on their desktop, and vice-versa. Additionally, the company plans to expand the tool to more of its ad network.
“Mute this Ad” isn’t just a consumer tool, however. Google acts on its ad muting metrics, promising to remove ads from its network when too many people declare them irrelevant.
“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,” Krafcik wrote. “We incorporated that feedback by removing 1 million ads from our ad network based on your comments.”
“The momentum we’ve seen with this tool is really encouraging,” he added.