As a refresher, let’s start with what an ads.txt file (or just ads.txt) is.
Already an expert? Perfect. Scroll down to learn how you’re not unlocking new revenue when you don’t update your ads.txt.
What is ads.txt?
Ads.txt (which stands for Authorized Digital Sellers) is an initiative by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) Tech Lab to improve transparency in programmatic advertising.
It aims to stop the spread and sale of counterfeit inventory and domain spoofing by increasing transparency. Placing an ads.txt in your site’s code identifies who is authorized to sell (or resell) your inventory.
Why is having an ads.txt important?
Showing who’s allowed to re(sell) your ad inventory is public knowledge with an ads.txt. This greatly benefits advertisers, as they are able to verify that the ads they’re paying for are appearing on the intended website.
Think of it as a certification badge for publishers like yourself. You’re letting advertisers know,
- That you do own the website.
- Which demand partners are authorized to sell your ad inventory.
What do I do if I have my own demand seats?
If you are working with other partners, or you are using your own partner IDs (outside of Sortable), add/update line items to the ads.txt as follows:
Domain, member ID, relationship with the publisher and, if applicable, the certification ID (i.e. TAG ID)
If you’re already using Sortable, the lines available in the Sortable UI provide the information you need for the inventory and partners being managed by us.
Not unlocking new ad revenue?
Your ads.txt isn’t something that you can set-and-forget.
If you work with an ad network that has their own demand partners or locate new ones on your own, you’ll still need to update your ads.txt to reflect these changes. Demand partners won’t bid if the lines they need aren’t available. That means you’re not unlocking new ad revenue when your ads.txt isn’t updated.
Keeping your ads.txt updated is also important from an advertiser perspective. Buyers are able to verify that they are buying from Authorized Digital Sellers of your inventory.
That’s why it’s important to update your ads.txt as soon as possible. If you’re currently working with Sortable, you can easily retrieve your ads.txt lines for each of your sites managed with us from your Sortable dashboard. Simply save this file and host it at the root level of your domain (for example, yoursite.com/ads.txt).
Depending on how big your Ad Ops team is, updating your ads.txt can be an obstacle. If your ad network has found a new demand partner, you may have to submit a developer ticket with their line editor in order to ensure that change is reflected on your site’s ads.txt. This can get tiresome, very quickly.
To keep ads.txt updated automatically, check out Hosted Ads.txt. Hosted ads.txt is a way for you to control and manage your own ads.txt while we host it for you in our Sortable Analytics dashboard. You add your custom ads.txt lines to the Ads.txt page and when our ads.txt page is updated, your ads.txt page is automatically updated too.
This means that you don’t have to manually update your page every time we update our ads.txt file. Once your custom lines are in, every time we update our ads.txt file, yours is updated automatically.
Want to add custom lines? Not a problem. Copy and paste your custom lines for each of your sites directly in the Sortable dashboard. Save and done. Unlocking new revenue has never been so simple.
This is just one out of many quick ways to boost your website monetization. Interested in learning more methods? Read our top 5 Quick Wins to Boost Your Website Monetization now. Got a burning question about Hosted Ads.txt? You can reach out to us by firstname.lastname@example.org.