Ad tech firm Google has updated its Ad Settings and Mute this Ad functionality in an effort to give users more control over the ads they see.

Explaining the changes in a blog post, Jon Krafcik, group product manager for data privacy and transparency, said users will be able to mute “reminder ads” from websites they’ve searched for or recently visited online by logging into their Ad Settings account and removing ads from advertisers serving on the Google network.

According to Krafcik, the muting lasts for 90 days and will only apply to websites that currently use Google ad services – meaning that some ads may slip through on sites that are not on the network.

In addition, users can save their preferences across devices, for instance, muting an ad on mobile will automatically run on your desktop.

“The momentum we’ve seen with this tool is really encouraging,” said Krafcik; “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. We incorporated that feedback by removing 1 million ads from our ad network based on your comments.”

Major blow for advertisers?

Google is continuing its pursuit on delivering a cleaner user experience with the company set to launch its ad-blocking Chrome browser next month – removing least prefered ads (pop-ups, takeovers, autoplay ads) on sites not conforming to the Coalition for Better Ads.

For advertisers who employ such ads to generate revenue, these updates may prove detrimental but even more so signaling a shift of attitudes towards user experience, while following the guidelines put in place to avoid intrusiveness; in essence, it’s down to the advertiser to come up with “new ways” to convince online users to earn their trust online.