Google is bringing in changes to allow people to ‘mute’ pop ups that are targeting them to buy products from websites they have already been to.
This type of advertising is called reminder ads and they essentially target which products a person has previously bought online and they then promote these all over the web, essentially following that person around reshowing them products they were previously interested in.
Google has said that these reminder ads ‘are useful’ (to who exactly? Their bottom line profit quite possibly!) but they wanted to give people “more control” over what they actually see online.
So now Google plans to make these individual reminder adverts muteable on sites that use Google ads. Unfortunately, adverts that are muted will be replaced by other adverts, we are unsure at this stage if they will be non personalised ones or not.
Is this enough of a change?
This causes some concern for consumers, because Google isn’t actually changing anything from the sounds of it. Merely allowing you to mute invasive tracking adverts, to be replaced by potentially different invasive tracking adverts. There will be no way to opt out of seeing all reminder adverts by default, apart from using a good ad popup blocker.
The change will be initiated as part of an update to Googles advert settings which are available to anyone with a Google account.
Once the change is implemented the user account dashboard will show people which companies are currently targeting them with these invasive reminder ads, that are based on products they may have innocently viewed previously.
Not the first time Google has introduced ad muting
Google first rolled out a “muted this advert” feature back in 2012, which again, does nothing very good apart from hide the advert that you do not want to see, this feature is used in millions of browser experiences every day.
Reminder ads from huge companies like Facebook or Amazon will not be affected with this change, which is a shame as it would be good to have an industry wide blocking feature on these very invasive tracking ad campaigns.
I am a Digital Marketing and Organic SEO professional with over 20 years experience building and ranking websites. From small to large sites (including founding what is now one of the largest car forums in the world almost 15 years ago), I've been there and got the t-shirt and share my daily musings from working in search marketing full time!