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What is ads.txt?
Ads.txt is a publicly accessible file which benefits publishers by protecting them from domain spoofing and securing ad revenue from advertisers. Overall, ads.txt created more transparency by identifying who can represent and sell their ad 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 advertising 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 is 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 behavior to travel downwards and could potentially affect small to 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 of your resellers, because Google will not monetize authorized resellers that are not mentioned in your ads.txt file.
Please note that Ezoic will automatically append information associated with our network partners if you are integrated via nameservers of Cloudflare.
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.
How to create an ads.txt file through Ezoic
If you already have an ads.txt file and are nameserver or Cloudflare integrated, our system will detect that file and automatically append our authorized sellers. However, if you need to create an ads.txt file or have one and you are integrated with our Wordpress Plugin, you can do so easily with Ads.txt Manager (adstxtmanager.com, an Ezoic product).
Follow these Steps:
1. Click on "Get Started" and create an account.
2. Authorize Ezoic and any other ad partners that you currently use to monetize your site (most likely Adsense).
3. Ezoic’s information will be automatically added when it is authorized. However, for all the other ad partners you use, you will need to add the information to sit alongside your existing ads.txt. For Adsense, you would click on ‘Google Adsense’ on the right hand side:
For ‘ad network domain’ it would be Google.com. For ‘ad network account ID’ it would your Adsense ID. For ‘account type’ it would be DIRECT and for ‘certification authority ID you would put . Here’s what it will look like all together:
Google.com, pub-1367541483732596, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0
*for all other ad partners, you will need to contact those ad partners and ask what the format of the entry should be
5. If you already have an existing ads.txt file, then you can import it. However, if you do not, just skip this step by clicking 'next':
6. Next, you will be given an Account ID.
If you already integrated with Ezoic via the WordPress plugin, you can skip to step 8.
7. Publishers integrated via name servers or Cloudflare will need to set up an additional redirect before proceeding to step 8:
(it's the one by Ads.txt Manager, not 10up): https://wordpress.org/plugins/ads-txt-manager/
Click on ‘Ads.txt Manager’ button:
10. Remember the Account ID from earlier? Make sure you put that number in the ads.txt app and turn it on!
11. Now going back to ads.txt manager dashboard, you will then go back to ‘Get Started’ and at the last step, validate the file. This can take about 30 minutes!
What if I am Wordpress integrated?
If you are integrated with Ezoic via the Wordpress Plugin there are additional steps you will need to take:
1. Install the Ads.txt Manager WP plugin (it's the one by Ads.txt Manager, not 10up):
2. Go to Wordpress Settings > Ads.txt Manager Settings > and enter in your 4 digit Account ID:
Why not check out our blog post on "ads.txt information that websites should know" by clicking here!