Guide to ads.txt

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Authorized Digital Sellers, or ads.txt, is an IAB Tech Lab initiative that ensures your digital ad inventory is only sold through authorized sellers (such as AdSense). Creating your own ads.txt file will give you more control over who can sell ads on your website. It also prevents advertisers from being offered counterfeit inventory.

We strongly recommend that you use an ads.txt file. This file enables buyers to identify counterfeit inventory. This allows you to generate more revenue from advertisers who would otherwise have bought counterfeit inventory.

Fix problems with ads.txt in AdSense

If your website has an issue with ads.txt, a notification will appear in your AdSense account. Since such problems can have a huge impact on your sales, you should try the steps below to resolve them.Note: It may take a few days for your changes to take effect in AdSense. If your website isn’t generating a lot of ad requests, it could take up to a month.

Create an ads.txt file for your own website

AdSense provides a personalized ads.txt file that you can download from your account. The personalized ads.txt file contains your publisher ID . Your publisher ID must be correctly inserted and formatted for your ads.txt file to be verified.

  1. Sign in to your AdSense account.
  2. If you get a notification on your home page, click Fix Now . Otherwise, click Websites .
  3. Click the down arrow  Down arrowto open the „Creating ads.txt file for … website (s)” message.
  4. Select Download . The ads.txt file will be downloaded automatically.
  5. (Optional) If you are using another advertising network, you should also include this in the ads.txt file. You can obtain the ads.txt data required for this from the respective advertising network.
  6. Upload your ads.txt file to the root directory of your website. The root directory of a website is the directory or folder behind the top-level domain ( example.com/ads.txt ).If you want to verify that you have published your file correctly, you can see that the contents of your file appear when you access the URL for ads.txt ( https://example.com/ads.txt ) in your web browser. If you see the file in your web browser, AdSense will likely find it.

Add your own publisher ID to an ads.txt file

If your publisher ID is missing from your ads.txt file, you can copy it from your account and add it to the ads.txt file.

  1. Sign in to your AdSense account.
  2. If you get a notification on your home page, click Fix Now . Otherwise, click Websites .
  3. Click the down arrow Down arrowto open the ” Include  your publisher ID in these ads.txt files” message.
  4. Choose Copy .
  5. Paste the line into each of your ads.txt files.Your ads.txt file should now look like this, where pub-0000000000000000your own publisher ID is:google.com, pub-0000000000000000, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0

Note: Your ads.txt file must be formatted according to the IAB Tech Lab specifications for it to be verified. See the ads.txt specification for more information .

Troubleshooting problems with ads.txt

The following table provides information about troubleshooting ads.txt.

problem activities
Your website does not contain an ads.txt file.Download an ads.txt file from your account and upload it to the root directory of your website. Follow the steps to create an ads.txt file for your website .
Your publisher ID is missing from the ads.txt file.Copy the publisher ID from your account and add it to the ads.txt file .
You uploaded your ads.txt file, but AdSense is still prompting you to create one.It may take a few days for your ads.txt file to be automatically crawled and verified in AdSense. Only then can the ads.txt status be updated. If your website isn’t generating a lot of ad requests, it can take up to a month.

Make sure your ads.txt files can be crawled

The Google crawler must have access to your ads.txt file. Once you 've created an ads.txt file and set it up for your root domain, Google’s crawler will:

  • try to crawl the file.
  • Analyze the contents of the file to determine the Seller IDs who are authorized to monetize your inventory.

Note : It may take a few days for changes to the ads.txt file to take effect in AdSense. If your website isn’t generating a lot of ad requests, it could take up to a month.

Fix problems with crawling ads.txt files

In order for your ads.txt file to be crawled reliably, you should check the following prerequisites.

(For advanced users) The above points require an understanding of HTTP status codes and should therefore be checked by advanced users.

The file must be permanently available

If an already known ads.txt file is no longer available during a later crawl, the existing entries are:

  • deleted if the response is an unrecoverable 404 error (a page that actually does not exist; HTTP 404 status),
  • Retained for up to five days if it’s a recoverable 404 error (an existing page submitted a URL that doesn’t exist; HTTP 200 status) or an HTTP 500 server error .

The file must be accessible from the root domain

Redirects from domain.com/ads.txtto www.domain.com/ads.txtare quite common. The crawling of ads.txt begins in the root domain and this must refer back from or forward to the ads.txt file.

An ads.txt file at www.domain.com/ads.txtwill only be crawled when domain.com/ads.txtredirected to it.

The robots.txt file must not prohibit crawling

A domain’s ads.txt file is ignored by the crawlers if the robots.txt file says that the domain does not:

  • crawling the URL path in which the ads.txt file is located and
  • the crawler’s user agent.

For example, crawling is not allowed for the ads.txt file path

For example1.com:

  1. Under example1.com/ads.txta ads.txt file is published.
  2. The example1.com/robots.txtfollowing lines are added to it:User-Agent: *
    Disallow: /ads
  3. Crawlers that use the robots.txt standard ignore the ads.txt file.
  4. You can modify the robots.txt file to allow the file to be crawled (other approaches are possible):
    • Option 1: change the illegal path.User-Agent: *
      Disallow: /ads/
    • Option 2: explicitly allow the ads.txt file; depends on whether the crawler Allowsupports the robots.txt directive .User-Agent: *
      Allow: /ads.txt
      Disallow: /ads

Example: crawling is not permitted for the user agent

For example2.com:

  1. Under example2.com/ads.txta ads.txt file is published.
  2. The example2.com/robots.txtfollowing lines are added to it:User-Agent: Googlebot
    Disallow: /
  3. The ads.txt file is ignored by the Google crawler.

The file should have a status code of „HTTP 200 OK”

A request from the ads.txt file can return the file content in the response text. However, if the status code in the response header indicates that the file was not found (e.g. status code 404) then:

  • the answer is ignored and
  • the file is considered not to exist.

So make sure that the status code „HTTP 200 OK” is returned for the file.

The file cannot contain formatting errors or invalid characters

Formatting errors, e.g. Such as invalid spaces can be difficult to see, but can make an ads.txt file difficult to crawl and cause a file to be ignored. Do not use a rich text editor to copy and paste ads.txt entries. We recommend a simple text editor. Alternatively, you can search for invalid UTF-8 characters in your ads.txt file using a HEX editor.

The ads.txt file should be accessible via HTTP and HTTPS

The Google crawler tries to crawl all ads.txt files under both HTTP and HTTPS. However, a 404 (or 40x) response will result in previously crawled entries being deleted even though the ads.txt file is crawled over HTTP. So if you get a 404 (or 40x) error when crawling over HTTPS:

  • the previously crawled entry is deleted.

You should therefore ensure that the ads.txt file can be accessed via both HTTP and HTTPS.

Provide seller information with sellers.json

The sellers.json file is an IAB Tech Lab standard that increases transparency in advertising and helps fight fraud. Sellers.json uses a publicly available seller information file. Publishers can include their name or company name in the file , depending on their AdSense account type . This enables advertisers to reliably identify and verify the identity of publishers.

We recommend that you make your information transparent and allow your name or the name of your company to be displayed. This is how advertisers can verify your inventory. If you do not disclose your information, advertisers will not be able to see your name, which can affect your sales.

sellers.json fields

The Google file sellers.jsoncontains the following fields:

fielddescription
seller_idYour 16-digit publisher code, e.g. B. pub-1234567890123456.
is_confidentialIf this value is true, your Nameand yours will Domainnot be listed in the file sellers.json.
seller_typePUBLISHERor MITTLERor BEIDES. If you own the website you are monetizing and / or get paid directly by Google, you will be PUBLISHERclassified as. Otherwise you will be MITTLERclassified as. If you belong to both categories, you will be BOTHclassified as (BOTH).
nameYour seller name. This name will appear in your Payments Profile in either the Name and Address section (Individual Accounts) or the Company Name and Address section (Business Accounts).Note: Changing your name will result in an automatic payment delay of two weeks.
domainYour company’s domain, e.g. B. example.com . This is the domain that advertisers can use to learn more about your business. If you only own the one domain that you are monetizing with AdSense, you should specify that domain.If you MITTLERare one, this is the domain the file sellers.jsonis on.

This is how you make your seller information transparent

  1. Sign in to your AdSense account.
  2. Click on Account .
  3. In the area „Visibility of seller information”:
    1. Select Transparent .
    2. Add the name of your company domain, if any.Your name, domain (if any), and publisher ID will be listed in the Google file sellers.json.

example

A publisher made his information sellers.jsontransparent in the Google file . The advertisers see:

"sellerId": "pub-1234567890123456",
"sellerType": "PUBLISHER",
"name": "Beispielunternehmen"