Share the insight:

Google has given users the ability to mute reminder ads (also known as remarketing ads) in the Ad Settings area of ‘My Account‘. Google continues to give it’s users more control and transparency over the data it collects and what it does with it. Power to the people!

The latest update is partly a consequence of year’s of bad practice by lazy advertisers deploying lazy remarketing strategies which annoys the hell out of Google’s users. Nothing annoys me for than lazy advertising and remarketing.


What are reminder ads?

Google has started calling remarketing ads ‘reminder ads’, possibly in a move to move them away from the negative connotations associated with remarketing. 

A ‘reminder ad’ sounds more helpful than a ‘remarketing ad’ which some users might associate with being stalked on the internet.

Advertisers can remarket users across Google & it’s partner’s products from Search, YouTube, Gmail, GDN etc. to ensure that users get reminded about the products and services the advertiser offers whilst browsing the internet.

Google gives the following example…

You visit Snow Boot Co.’s website, add a pair of boots to your shopping cart, but you don’t buy them because you want to keep looking around. The next time that you’re shopping online, Snow Boot Co. might show you ads that encourage you to come back to their site and buy those boots.

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

Google, 2018


How do you mute reminder ads?

Google now allows you to see more information about reminder ads and now you can control which advertisers can show you these ads. Credit: Google, 2018

To control your reminder ads, you can follow these steps:

  1. Sign in to your Google account.
  2. Go to Ads Settings.
  3. Scroll down to ‘Your reminder ads’.
  4. Click or tap the X next to an advertiser whose reminder ads you’d like to remove.

Remember, muting applies to reminder ads on non-Google websites that use Google ad services. Google does plan to expand this though to YouTube, Search, and Gmail in the coming months.

Muting reminder ads only lasts for 90 days, but advertisers hardly use remarketing audiences beyond this period anyway.


Why has Google given users the control to mute reminder ads?

It’s a smart move. By giving users more control it helps rebuild trust in it’s advertising, and it makes advertiser strategies smarter.

Some remarketing can be annoying for users

Let’s face it, we’ve all had a bad experience from remarketing ads at some point whilst browsing the net. What makes it annoying? The fact that we either feel as though we are being stalked, or that it’s just not relevant for us anymore.

Google has faced intense pressure from governing bodies about data and what it does with our data

By giving users further control over the ads they see, it allows for further transparency between Google and it’s users. In a world becoming more savvy to how ad targeting works, it helps build trust.

Push to make advertisers deliver ‘helpful’ marketing rather than ‘creepy’

The ability to mute ads isn’t new, but successful trials over the years has seen higher engagement and more meaningful interactions between users, Google and it’s advertisers.


What does this mean for you?

Need to be more ‘helpful’ through reminder ads, rather than annoying and intrusive through bad remarketing practice

Be smarter with your targeting and messaging. Make it relevant and helpful through IF Audiences. You can only do this if you understand your audience and give them the personalised experience that they are after.

PPC hubbub - Lightbulb

Top Tip

Exclude audiences. Generally speaking, if someone has purchased from your within the last few days it’s unlikely they will be coming back to any time soon. Try excluding different audiences to reduce remarketing annoyance.

Need to have a more consistent experience with your brand across different marketing channels

If you have a user has a bad experience from a remarketing ad via GDN then they could mute ads across YouTube, Search and Gmail as a result. An inadequate experience from one could have a bigger impact on your other marketing channels and wider strategy.

Make sure that you understand where each of your marketing channels fit in the customer journey and don’t let one lazy bit of advertising impact your overall performance and brand experience.


Overall, this is a good thing for everyone. Users get a better experience across Google’s products, as a result it’s more likely to get people more engaged with Google’s advertising and build trust again. Advertisers will also win from this if their strategies are smart enough. The dumb one’s will get left behind.

Dan Roberts
Follow Me

Dan Roberts

Founder & Author at PPC hubbub
Dan has worked in agencies for over 5 years and was awarded Rising Star at The Drum Search Awards for the work delivered for his clients and wider industry. Dan founded PPC hubbub after becoming frustrated with the lack of actionable insight from blogs.

LinkedIn - https://uk.linkedin.com/in/siondanielroberts
Dan Roberts
Follow Me