What is Ads.txt
Last updated on the 1st of November 2022
Ads.txt (Authorized Digital Sellers) is a simple, flexible, and secure method for publishers and distributors to declare who is authorized to sell their inventory, improving transparency for programmatic buyers. An initiative by the IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau) to fight certain types of ad fraud, mainly domain spoofing and illegitimate inventory arbitrage, this new standard is primordial for the transparency of online advertising. Ads.txt is a simple text document and as such is easy to update and this makes it flexible.
What are the benefits of having one?
The reason ad fraudulent practice has existed for so long is because it’s hard for advertisers to confirm that the information passed in the bids is correct, meaning they can’t verify if their ads appeared on the sites they say the ads did.
Ads.txt aims to tackle domain spoofing (a type of ad fraud) and arbitrage, which isn’t exactly ad fraud but is still a shady practice.
Arbitrage is a process in which impressions are bought and then repackaged and resold at a higher price by a third party. Ads.txt helps to solve this problem by indicating who the authorized resellers of a publisher’s inventory are.
Domain spoofing or hijacking works in two ways—either by using malware that’s been installed on a user’s computer or by changing the URL in an ad tag.
Both methods produce the same result in that they trick ad exchanges and other programmatic platforms into thinking that the user is visiting a legitimate site, when in fact the ad will appear on a different, illegitimate site or displayed on a page in a hidden web browser.
And simply we can say that adding transparency leads to unlocking additional demand and an increase of CPMs which reflects in higher revenue numbers to the publisher.
How to implement the file?
Well – it is simple – you have to upload your ads.txt into the root folder.
Non-word press site
You can do this by using a free FTP client (good recommendation is Filezilla FTP client):
- Connect to your site:
- Click on “File“”, then “Websites Managers“.
- At the bottom, locate and click on “New Website” and give a name to your website.
- Fill the following fields with the FTP codes given by your web hosting company.
- In the “Authentication type” drop-down menu, select “Normal”.
- Host: the IP of the server (FTP Server).
- Username: your hosting login.
- Password: your hosting password
- Once completed, click on “Quick connect“.
After launching the software you will see the left and right sides: the left will represent the content of your computer on the right you will locate the content of your server (your web page files).
You can either locate the ads.txt from the left side of the software or use the drag-drop method from your computer directly.
Things are super easy. Customizations in WordPress start with plugins so ads.txt makes no difference. There are many free solutions here and you can choose the one that fits you most. Here are the basic steps:
- Browse and install ads.txt plugin on your WordPress managed site.
- On the left panel navigate to Settings > Ads.txt to customize the settings.
- Now you should place your ads.txt data and Save the settings.
Now the question – Did I upload the file in the right place?
To check if the operation was successful append “/ads.txt” at the end of the URL of your site – http(s)://www.yourownsite.com/ads.txt
If all went well you will see the content of ads.txt.
What is next?
Well, that’s it – you have ads.txt in place. Just be sure to update it regularly whenever there is a new version, in case someone manages your inventory, or you have a new demand partner, otherwise, there will be missed opportunities.