Google will let you mute those annoying ads that stalk you
Google is letting you mute those super annoying ads that stalk you around the web.
On Thursday, the tech giant introduced a tool that will block ads for items you’ve checked out on other sites but didn’t buy. For example, this may include a pair of sunglasses or snow boots sitting in your online shopping cart.
These so-called reminder ads now can be muted in apps and on websites that partner with Google. The tool is located in Google’s account settings.
“Reminder ads like these can be useful, but if you aren’t shopping for Snow Boot Co.’s boots anymore, then you don’t need a reminder about them,” Jon Krafcik, group product manager of data privacy and transparency at Google, said in a blog post.
However, even if you use the feature, ads could still follow you around. The tool applies only to Google’s network of ads, which includes more than 2 million sites and reaches over 90% of people on the web.
Google plans to expand the feature to its other services, such as YouTube, Search and Gmail, in the coming months.
The company also announced several changes to its “Mute This Ad” tool, which was announced in 2012. The feature, which Google said is used by “millions of people” every day, lets you block ads you don’t want to see.
When signed into a Google Account on any device, it will sync your feedback. If you mute an ad on your smartphone, this will also apply to your laptop.
The Mute This Ad tool will eventually roll out to more apps and websites that work with Google to show ads, too.
In 2017, Google said it received more than 5 billion comments from users saying they mute ads that aren’t relevant. Based on the feedback, the company ultimately removed 1 million ads from its network.
Earlier this week, Google search alternative DuckDuckGo launched a new browser extension and smartphone app that blocks websites from tracking you online. The tools intend to block tech giants like Google and Facebook from following your activity, and you’ll also see privacy ratings for the websites you visit, according to a blog post.