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What is Ads.txt? How Does It Work? Learn Everything

March 25, 2020 3 min read
significance of ads.txt


What is Ads.txt? How Does It Work? Learn Everything

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Gaining a significant and famous place in the digital advertising world, ads.txt has come a long way. The significance of ads.txt lies in the transparency that this initiative provides. The cases of fraud have increased immensely with time in the programmatic industry. This fraudulent traffic can cause a loss of a huge amount of money for the advertising industry. Therefore, the Interactive Advertising Bureau decided to research and come up with resources for the safety of the advertising industry. That is how the Authorized Digital Sellers project, also known as Ads.txt came into existence as a solution. 

With ads.txt, web publishers can easily make changes to the business very easily. It provides transparency to know who is selling what ad inventory and how legitimate is it. Because of this transparency, advertisers gain confidence in the ad inventory. It shows that the negotiator is authorized and selling the inventory legally. 

How Does Ads.txt Work?

The primary significance of ads.txt to the advertising industry is that it has specified who is authorized to sell a publisher’s inventory and who is not. The little text file of ads.txt includes details like the names of each selling partner that the publisher deals with. Buyers can, therefore, make sure that they are only buying from authorized sellers. 

The prevalence of ad fraud has been widespread for a long time now. The so-called ‘spoofing’ is doing the rounds, falsely listing and making cheap ad inventory successful and a means to earn money. Therefore, ads.text have been purely beneficial by increasing transparency and decreasing fraud. It is an industry requirement that was much needed. 

Significance Of Ads.txt

Without trust from the clients, no business can flourish. Ads.txt has increased the advertisers’ trust in the publishers. Advertisers can now know which inventory is authorized and which is not, making sure they only buy from authorized publishers. Therefore, more than half of the websites worldwide have adopted ads.txt.

Because of ads.txt, the number of fraudulent ad inventories has reduced considerably. This in turn has increased the prices for premium media placements. Yet, there is a long way to go until ads.txt is accepted as an industry requirement.

From Ads.txt To App-Ads.txt

With the increase in the number of frauds, it had become necessary to keep a track on who participates in the sale of a programmatic ad impression. But ads.txt does not work for apps. A great amount of internet traffic comes from mobile devices, and mobile traffic is 90% in-app. This means that ads.txt is not functional to cut back ad frauds from a major part of the available inventories. 

That is why app-ads.txt came into existence. The two are almost similar in terms of how they work. In-App-ads.txt, app publishers come forth with a list of authorized sellers of their in-app inventory. But in apps, publishers do not have a separate website URL where they can post the list of approved sellers since they do not have a domain as a web publisher does. So the app developers provide a website URL in the metadata of the apps store. Buyers can thereafter use the app stores listing pages for the list of authentic sellers. 

What Is The Ultimate Aim

The ultimate goal is to create a market where only authorized and genuine inventory is a part of the publishers’ business. The fake and fraudulent sellers need to be cut down. Only then will there be no selling and purchasing of content that is not brand-safe. And with the adoption of ads.txt as well as app-ads.txt, publishers have also experienced an increase in revenue.

Therefore, more and more publishers are inclining towards the adoption of ads.txt only transactions. In fact, the buyer-side is putting pressure on the seller-side to make ads.txt an essential part and a higher priority.