Google now lets you block any ad you want

Google Attribution

Google Attribution

Google, the world’s largest digital advertisement-seller, is expanding a set of controls that lets people restrict particular commercials and personal-targeting criteria. Users will be able to restrict specific brands or companies, like an apparel or camera maker, and instead be shown alternative ads.

HIGHLIGHTS

Alphabet’s Google has since 2012 built a “mute” feature to help users opt out of certain types of banner ads
Now, it is expanding that to its entire ad suite, including on YouTube and Gmail
User will be able to restrict specific brands or companies, like an apparel or camera maker, and instead be shown alternative ads

It happens all the time: search for some product online, and suddenly advertisements for that item follow you everywhere around the web. Google will now let you banish those for good. The world’s largest digital ad-seller is expanding a set of controls that let people restrict particular ads and personal targeting criteria.

Alphabet’s Google has since 2012 built a “mute” feature to help users opt out of certain types of banner ads. Now, the search giant is expanding that to its entire ad suite, including on YouTube and Gmail. User will be able to restrict specific brands or companies, like an apparel or camera maker, and instead be shown alternative ads.

Google, which netted $95.4 billion in ad sales last year, has a vested interest in keeping users satisfied with the frequency and content of online marketing. But it’s treading more cautiously given heightening scrutiny of how internet giants use personal information to target consumers. “Billions of people trust us with their data every day,” said Brad Bender, the vice president who runs Google’s display ads business. “We have a strong incentive to be clear about what we collect to make our services, including ads, better for users.”

The expanded features arrive via a new online portal called Ad Settings, where Google explains how it targets marketing and what online behaviour it tracks. Bender said he doesn’t expect this to dampen ad sales. Instead, marketers could glean a more accurate snapshot of what types of ads annoy people.

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