Google Increases User Controls

Good news for brands, businesses and publishers alike. Google’s increased user controls allowing people to mute more ads in more places is now in play. You may be asking yourself, how is this good news? Well, we’ll tell you.

First introduced in 2012, Google’s “Mute This Ad”, gave people options to remove unwanted ads from specific advertisers on Google Search, Maps, Youtube, and Gmail, when signed in to a Google Account. This feature has now been updated in two significant ways.

Firstly, Google’s updates mean the tool will now recognise feedback on any device signed in to a Google Account, meaning if you mute an ad on your smartphone, it will also be muted on your laptop.

And secondly, “Mute This Ad” will begin appearing in more places as Google expands control to work across more apps and websites that partner with Google to show ads.

As advertising has become more intrusive in recent years, hundreds of millions of web users have installed ad-blocking software to ward of full-page pop-ups, blaring video pitches that start automatically and large ads with unstoppable countdown clocks that obscure the content you actually want to see. 

In fact, according to PageFair’s 2017 adblock report, 11% of the global internet population is blocking ads on the web and adblock usage grew 30% globally in 2016. The data also noted that adblock users prefer standard display ads and that 615 million devices now use adblock.

Google has finally done something about this problem. The company updated its browser, Google Chrome so that it bans irksome and unwanted ads by default on mobile devices and desktop computers.

It’s not a universal ad-blocker, but a filter. It will affect only those websites that allow four types of desktop ads and eight types of mobile ads that violate the standards established by a group called the Coalition For Better Ads, of which Google and Facebook are members.

So, what do we think?

Google’s updates actually seem quite advertiser-friendly, they adhere to industry standards that are currently being hashed out, and they do not discriminate if the ad was placed by Google’s ad exchanges or another competing service. By the looks of it, Google’s update will not only make Chrome better for you but will also improve the web for everyone.

However…. Google did not get where they are today by running a business that simply serves the needs of others. We suspect that with the Chrome update, Google is betting that ridding the web of especially intrusive ads will render it more hospitable to advertising in general – and more profitable for advertisers and Google itself. Sneaky, sneaky.

It could also be because Google faced billion-dollar lawsuits and ad boycotts in 2017…..

Nevertheless, don’t simply read “Google ad-blocker updates” and think your business is doomed, we think it’ll actually benefit brands and business who publish quality content. And, let us know your thoughts! What do you think about Google’s updates?