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January 25, 2018

You can now mute more annoying ads with Google’s new ad controls

by John_A

There’s not much worse than a specific ad following you around the internet. We’ve all been there; you search “left handed weed wackers” once, for your great uncle at Thanksgiving, and suddenly you’re seeing them on every website you visit. Thankfully, your weed-whacking hell may be over, as Google is rolling out even more ways for users to control the ads they see, and to mute annoying ads from specific advertisers.

Announced via a post on Google’s safety & security blog, the Mute This Ad feature launched way back in 2012 has been buffed up, giving users the option to mute specific “reminder” ads — the ones that remind you to go back to a store you’d previously visited. While those ads may function well when someone does genuinely need reminding of a purchase, it can also be rather annoying to be constantly reminded of something you have no intention of buying. From today, users will be able to mute specific ads from specific advertisers to ensure unnecessary ads won’t inflict themselves on you again. And thanks to another small change, your preferences will be carried over to any other devices, so any ads you mute on your laptop also won’t show on your tablet, smartphone, or desktop PC.

It’s the latest in Google’s ongoing drive to ensure that users are only seeing the ads that they want to see. While an ad-free existence might be tempting to some (and attainable), Google would obviously prefer it if we choose to live with them. For that reason, the search giant has been quite liberal with ad preferences, launching Google Dashboard back in 2009, and consistently improving it so everyone has access to the same data that Google holds on them. From the dashboard, users can view and turn off access to Google searches, viewed YouTube videos, and more — it all comes down to how happy you are to let Google have your data.

It’s a win-win for Google — more relevant ads means that Google’s ad algorithms can really zero in what each user really wants, which means a better return on investment for anyone looking to invest in Google’ ad services. Because the only thing worse than an unwanted ad, is an unneeded ad.

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