What is ads.txt?
Ads.txt is a publicly accessible file which benefits publishers in that bad actors cannot spoof their domain to secure ad dollars from advertisers, therefore ads.txt aims to increase the transparency. Overall, ads.txt allows publishers to identify who can represent and sell their inventory. Explained simply, it's a file that you can add to your site which verifies that you own it, and shows which ad sellers you approve to buy ad space on your site.
Who is ads.txt for?
It benefits both sellers and buyers. It's for the publisher (webmaster) of a site - whom is the only person who can edit the ads.txt file. It's also for the ecosystem to signal to buyers that their site is receiving authentic traffic or it's an authorized retailer for a specific inventory.
Where does Google come into this?
Google are encouraging publishers to use ads.txt to prevent bad actors from taking action in the ecosystem. Although domain spoofing currently exists mainly for larger sites - it's common for this sort of behaviour to travel downwards and could potentially affect smaller - medium sized sites in the future. Google gives more info here.
As a smaller publisher, do I really need to be doing anything in light of ads.txt right now?
If you're not participating in the ads.txt project, you can still monetize via Google as normal. The downside is that Google cannot protect you if there is a case of domain spoofing or counterfeit activity.
I am participating in ads.txt - what do I need to know?
Make sure that your ads.txt file is up-to-date with all your resellers, because Google will not monetize unauthorized resellers that are not mentioned in your ads.txt file.
What are the benefits of adding an ads.txt file to my site?
If you're facing issues with domain spoofing - this will help you solve that problem because you're entering a higher quality and secured ecosystem of programmatic buying. Also, there's no penalty for not having the ads.txt file.
What are the risks of adding an ads.txt file to my site?
The risk is - this is a fairly new project. If you're unsure about which networks are bidding/representing your inventory, then you may be in a situation where you forget a network and they're representing your inventory. This can be detrimental, you need to ensure that all your resellers are mentioned in that ads.txt file.The worst case for publishers is having an ads.txt file that is not up-to-date - so it must be updated regularly otherwise Google will mark your resellers as 'unauthorized' and inventory will not be sold to buyers, this will result in ads not showing on your site.
Is there anything specific to Ezoic that publishers using ads.txt should be aware of?
Here at Ezoic - we have the chance to do a lot of the updates for you. So if you do have the ads.txt file, Ezoic will automatically go in and add itself and associated networks in your ads.txt file. If you're an Ezoic publisher and don't yet have the ads.txt file, you can install an app from your Ezoic App Store called 'Ads.txt':
This app will allow you to put all the networks that you want to be authorized into that file. Linked networks are ad networks that you, as the publisher, have ownership of - via Ezoic's Mediation App. Don't worry - Ezoic's ad networks will be automatically appended.
Got a question that wasn't answered here?
Please reach out to your Ezoic Account Representative or email@example.com and a member of our team will be happy to help!
Why not check out our blog post on "ads.txt information that websites should know" by clicking here!