Overview: What is ads.txt and how does it work?
Ads.txt is an International Advertising Bureau (IAB) industry standard launched to eliminate counterfeit inventory and ad fraud in digital publishing via transparency in the programmatic advertising ecosystem. IAB states, “First, participating publishers must post their list of authorized sellers to their domain. Programmatic buyers can then crawl the web for publisher ads.txt files to create a list of authorized sellers for each participating publisher. Then programmatic buyers can create a filter to match their ads.txt list against the data provided in the OpenRTB bid request.”
Ads.txt within the programmatic advertising ecosystem:
Why should I care about ads.txt?
Ads.txt gives publishers control over their inventory in the market, making it more difficult for bad actors to earn revenue selling the counterfeit inventory. Revenue sites are earning by misrepresenting themselves as premier publishers, should have been paid to premier publishers.
What if I implemented ads.txt incorrectly?
Google (AdSense or DoubleClick AdExchange) has already announced it will no longer purchase ad inventory with sites using incorrect ads.txt attributes. Many leading SSPs and ad exchanges have followed suit, meaning noncompliant sites will suffer declining ad revenue. Leading DSPs have also stopped purchasing from sites noncompliant with IABs ads.txt.
To guarantee your ability to continue earning programmatic ad revenue you must implement ads.txt and ensure it has been implemented correctly as soon as possible.
The ads.txt file format:
The data is encoded as a formatted plain text object, the format logically consists of a non-empty set of records, separated by line breaks. The records consist of a set of lines of the form:
<FIELD #1>, <FIELD #2>, <FIELD #3>, <FIELD #4>
The fields represent the following ad source characteristics: (1) Domain Name of Advertising System, (2) Publisher's Account ID, (3) Type of Account/Relationship, (4) Certification Authority ID.
Here is further explanation from IAB:
How does an ads.txt file look when published?
Here is an example of ads.txt from IAB. Please note this URL string is just an example; visiting the URL will not yield results. Ads.txt link example: http://example.com/ads.txt
Adding an ads.txt file to your root domain:
Ads.txt should be added at the top level of the domain’s file structure and should be placed by your webmaster or development team. Example: (https://website.com/ads.txt).
For full detailed instructions on how to create and add an ads.txt file to your root domain check IAB Tech Lab Ads.txt Specification Version 1.0.1 (also attached as a PDF).
Please test your ads.txt file once you’ve completed implementation.
Contact Inform for help if you need it!
Inform’s Full Ads.txt File (Please see attached):
***PLEASE DOWNLOAD OUR ADS.TXT FILE BELOW, AND ADD TO YOUR SITE AS SOON AS POSSIBLE***