Ad fraud has been a prevalent problem in digital marketing, which is not going to settle down anytime soon. According to eMarketer, ad fraud costs the advertising industry around $6.5 billion annually.
Businesses have looked for various ways to resolve this problem, including blockchain, but the answer has come in a much simpler version from IAB Tech Lab in the form of Ads.txt. In this blog, we will learn everything about Ads.txt and why it needs to be updated!
What is Ads.txt?
IAB Tech Lab created a project called Ads.txt, which is featured by Google in their web ad services-AdSense, to counter various ad frauds such as illegal inventory arbitrage and domain spoofing and to ensure transparency in this increasingly ambiguous market.
Launched in May 2017, the Ads.txt project was intended to revolutionise the web marketing supply chain by streamlining the entire process while protecting inventory for buyers from fraudsters.
It allowed buyers and authorised sellers in the industry to smoothly buy or sell credible digital advertising services with transparency which helped companies get direct access to the advertising exchange ecosystem.
In Google Ad Manager, buyers can see whether sellers have valid apps-ads.txt or ads.txt files. Like any other new development, ads.txt will also take time to reach its full potential but has already started leaving a positive impression. Amp google analytics 4 has no connection with this.
Why should publishers update it?
There are multiple reasons for updating ads.txt and reaping the associated benefits. The top three reasons are the following:
Equalise revenue distribution
Ads.txt eliminates dodgy supply-side platforms (SSPs) and helps equalise revenue distribution and cost throughout the digital publishing industry. Before ads.txt, ad buyers had no method to know which SSPs were authorised to sell a publisher’s inventory, leading to many unauthorised reselling. This would not only tarnish the reputation of the SSPs engaging in the shady practice, but unfortunately, it would also negatively impact the publishers whose inventories were being sold illegitimately. Now, publishers have a clear way to communicate with authorised ad inventory sellers, and any illegitimate reselling is blamed solely on the SSP.
Enhance inventory quality
It also improves inventory quality while restoring trust in the program. Unauthorised reselling has been a significant pain point for programmatic advertising, causing many advertisers to lose faith in the process. Theoretically, every programmatic ad exchange should have verified inventory legitimacy, but that hasn’t happened. Publishers with a robust verification process could easily slip up and let in illegitimate supply from unreliable ad networks. Through ads.txt, buyers get a way to verify that a programmatic exchange is authorised to sell inventory for any given publisher, which in turn not only restores trust in the process but also ensures high-quality inventory across the market.
Aspire more solutions
Ads.txt can be a harbinger of change and inspire more solutions of this nature to continue changing the industry for the better. Accountability and trust issues have polluted the digital advertising industry for many years, and it is not just about unauthorised reselling. Also, we have seen major players such as Google that have been bearing the advertisers’ frustration regarding brand safety after serving ads next to controversial content. Such issues have been resolved by ads.txt, and we see more solutions of this nature will soon come up to alleviate similar pain points.
How to create and implement Ads.txt
There are a few steps that you need to follow to create and implement ads.txt. These steps are listed below:
- First, get all the required details from your profiles with network affiliates, vendors, and groups that make inventory open to customers. This involves the Publisher ID, the domain name of the advertisement network, whether the account is direct or reseller and many others.
- Now create an ads.txt file in a word document creation software compatible with the IAB. Mark and archive the ads.txt file.
- In this step, attach the document to the root of the domain.
Since subdomains are not applicable, they will not work, so you should only use the root. This will help you connect with authorised sellers and websites that are authorised to sell their inventory.
Ads.txt has proved to be a saviour for both advertisers and publishers. It has positively impacted the industry, holding all advertising professionals—both sellers and buyers—accountable. We can expect similar solutions to come up in the near future to further improve the operations of digital advertising industry. If you want any assistance regarding ads.txt, it is recommended to connect with a reliable web and mobile app development company.