Ad fraud is one of the biggest problems online advertising companies are facing, and it costs billions of Dollars per year. Fraud sellers pretend to present premium publishers, and the advertisers will think that their advertisements will be displayed on repubtablewebsite.com. It is bad for the publishers as they might lose the brand value and credibility and the advertisers may experience losses in advertising dollars. Everything about Ads.Txt is given here.
What is ads.txt?
Interactive Advertising Bureau Tech (Lab) IAB introduced Ads.txt to improve transparency in programmatic advertising.
It is aimed to combat ad fraud. It was released in May 2017 and helps the brands and advertisers to buy authentic digital media. It also works to make harder for a fraudster to profit by selling inventory in which they have no right.
In this Ads stands for Authorized Digital Sellers. It was introduced to fight with the common problems such as domain spoofing, in the programmatic advertising ecosystem.
The great thing about this is that the publishers will have full control as they are the only ones who have access to the domain and upload the ads.txt file.
This file is designed to support the publisher who markets the ad inventory through one particular channel. Publisher inventory selling is supported via content syndication partnerships, programmatic partners, and ad exchanges.
How Ads.txt Works?
Adx.txt proposed by IAB is a text file. It is going to reside on the ad server of a publisher. This file contains the list of companies authorized to sell publisher’s inventory.
Programmatic ad platforms also have a copy of ads.txt which contains the list of publishers authorized to represent in ad sales.
Every seller will have an ID listed in the file. In the bid request of the seller, the ID of the seller matches this ID. Multiple sellers are also authorized by Ads.txt to sell the same inventory.
Why is Ad.txt important for buyers?
With Ad.txt it would become easy for the publishers to identify authorized sellers. Buyers can verify the inventory in few ways. The ad tags can be checked if both the publisher and the buyer adopted it.
If the publisher has ads.txt, then the buyer can check the txt file to check if the exchange is listed in it or not.
If the buyer wants to verify multiple publishers, then they can make use of the Crawler launched by IAB and query the publisher websites for ads.txt files.
Buyers can set up filters and ensure that they are dealing with only authorized sellers. For maximum benefit for the buyer, all the premium publishers must adopt it.
Why is Ads.txt important for publishers?
Publishers should drop the txt file on their web server. The txt file will have the list of parties authorized to sell or resell the inventory of the publisher.
Partners name and the publisher’s account ID is mentioned in it. Buyers can check the Id of the publisher in the bid request and take decisions. A publisher can also mention whether the partner is a direct partner or a reseller in the txt. File.
There is a lot of benefits for publishers from Ads.txt. They can easily find who is selling the inventory and ensure that their brand is not damaged by unauthorized resellers.
However, publishers must take care that the Adx.txt file is deployed problem and there are not missing items as this can affect the revenue stream of the publisher.
For publishers who are wondering whether to adopt ads.txt or not, here are some benefits –
- Creating the ads.txt file is simple, and it also can be updated easily.
- Information needed to create the ads.txt file is not hard.
- Using ads.txt helps in providing transparency and finding what inventory is sold by whom.
- Increases the confidence of the advertiser.
Implementing ads.txt for Google ads
It is simple to implement ads.txt. No special technical skills are needed, and it can be updated periodically to add or remove authorized ad networks.
A text file is creating in which one line is added per authorized partner three piece information separated by a comma are added on each line.
The things added are the domain of advertising system, account ID and the type of relationship the publisher has with the partner that is if they are direct partners or resellers.
Direct partners are those with whom the publisher has direct business relationships with the exchange. Resellers mean the publisher gives the authorization to sell publishers inventory on their behalf. There is also a 4th field which is optional.
The tag of the source of partners who has Trustworthy Accountability group certificate is added here.
When publishing ads via Google AdSense and want to implement it, first locate the publisher ID.
Log in to AdSense and go to settings. Then proceed to Account and Account information. The Ads.txt entry will look like this ‘google.com, pub-0000000000000000, Direct, f09c47fec0942fa0.
Ads.txt is developed to prevent inventory counterfeiting. Ads.txt is useful to manage legitimate partnerships and to ensure that the inventory is not being misrepresented.
Unauthorized reselling is a major fraud in programmatic advertising. The buyers need to contact the publishers to know which SSPs are authorized to sell the inventory.
Using ads.txt helps the buyers to determine who has legitimate access to inventory they seek. Market adoption is the only challenge that ads.txt. For it to be truly useful, both the buyer and the seller need to adopt it.