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.
I am already 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.
Please note Ezoic will automatically append information associated with our network partners.
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.
What are the risks of adding an ads.txt file to my site?
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. The file is cached so if ads stop serving and changes are made to the ads.txt file to bring it up to date, it may take up to 24 hours for ads to reappear.
The Ads.txt Validator is a good tool to use to check your file for errors:
Can Ezoic help me create a file if I don't have one?
Here at Ezoic - we have the chance to do a lot of the updates for you. 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' and setup an Ads.txt Manager account.
This 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 network partners will still be automatically appended.
What if I am Wordpress integrated?
If you are integrated with Ezoic via the Wordpress Plugin, the instructions are slightly different:
1) Install the Ads.txt Manager WP plugin:
2) Create an Ads.txt Manager Account (make sure to authorize Ezoic and add any of your own resellers such as Adsense under "Manual Entries")
3) Enter the ID from your Ads.txt Manager account into the Ads.txt Manager WP plugin to finalize and create the file
4) Make sure the file then contains your Adsense ID, as well as reseller information from Ezoic's network partners
Got a question that wasn't answered here?
Please reach out to your Ezoic Account Representative or firstname.lastname@example.org 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!