For about the last year and a half, Google has let you mute display ads they don’t like. Just click the little [x] button and it’s gone and will never be shown to you again. That’s a pretty useful solution for noisy ads you really, really hate, despite the fact that they promise to show you that one weird trick to finally lose all your belly fat.
Google’s users have already muted “millions of ads,” the company says, and it’s using this information as a signal to “make ads more relevant and useful.”
To get even more data about how users interact with its ads, you will now also be able to give Google a bit more info about why you didn’t like an ad. Over the next few weeks, Google will roll out an in-ad survey that will pop up when you hit the mute button. These surveys, Google says, will help it learn more about user preferences and why they mute ads.
Based on Google’s screenshots, it will only give users three choices per survey, but it looks like the process could be spread out over multiple steps. As far as I can see, users don’t have to actually finish these surveys to mute an ad. Most people will think they have to, however, so this will probably give Google quite a bit of new data to fine-tune its ad targeting.