If you never heard about ads.txt it would sound odd. If you somehow heard but not yet fully aware, then it is normal to ask – What is ads.txt? How to Implement ads.txt as Publisher? ads.txt is work-in-progress which is a specification for transparency in advertising. In this article, we are covering what an ordinary publisher should know without much technical things behind, how to implement it and official resources around ads.txt.
What is ads.txt?
In easiest language,
ads.txt is a text file in a specific format supposed to be on publisher’s site like
robots.txt to indicate which ad agencies are allowed by the publisher’s site. Exactly like
robots.txt, it will be on FTP root of the domain or subdomain. Also, the account ID will be present to make it more specific. The text file itself will be unable to allow or block any Ads loading on the website. The reason behind need of presence of the file is on advertising system’s software which will show up the name of the publisher’s site. In case you are not technical person, there is no reason to know about any internet protocol suite. Official sites has details with protocol but it is my guess that many of the publishers fearing to implement for too much details of protocol on official sites.
How to Implement ads.txt as Publisher?
At the time of publication, using ads.txt is not mandatory. Most of the ad agencies and third party ad management services has own guides with ready to copy directives to paste on that
ads.txt file. Let us consider our site as example at https://thecustomizewindows.com/ads.txt to get started on how to implement. Officially the format of directive is :
domain of the advertising system, account ID, The type of relationship (DIRECT or RESELLER), Tag ID (optional)
First, you need to create a text file named
ads.txt like ours. In our case, we have two companies whom we will allow. One of them is Google AdSense, another is Developer Media. As for Google AdSense, there is official guide on DoubleClick Premium :
In the above example, it is clearly written for Google AdSense the format is :
google.com, pub-0000000000000000, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0
google.com, pub-0000000000000000, RESELLER, f08c47fec0942fa0
We simply changed the
pub-0000000000000000 to our own. Second was Developer Media. Without contacting them we initially added a possible directive :
developermedia.com, our-account-ID, DIRECT
developermedia.com, our-account-ID, RESELLER
Now, we can ask Developer Media to verify whether it is correct. In very simple language, this is what is ads.txt and how to implement ads.txt as publisher.
Official Resources on ads.txt
As we deliberately avoided technical matters on this article, some of the readers may need more information and resources :