The ads.txt file may be familiar to publishers who use advertisements to monetise their websites. How does it work and why do you need it, though?
I’ll cover all about the ads.txt file in this post, especially how to add it quickly to a WordPress website.
What is Ads.txt File?
Ads.txt stands for Authorized Digital Sellers. It is a simple text file that publishers can use to declare who are the authorized sellers of their ad inventory.
For example, if you are using Google AdSense to display ads on your website, you can add Google’s publisher ID to your ads.txt file to indicate that Google is an authorized seller of your ad space.
Why is this important?
Because it helps prevent ad fraud and increase transparency in the online advertising ecosystem. Ad fraud is a serious problem that costs publishers and advertisers billions of dollars every year. It occurs when malicious actors use various techniques to trick advertisers into paying for fake or invalid impressions or clicks.
One of the common types of ad fraud is domain spoofing. This is when a fraudster pretends to be a legitimate publisher and sells their ad inventory to advertisers using the publisher’s domain name.
For example, a fraudster might create a fake website that looks like cnn.com and sell their ad space to advertisers who think they are buying from CNN.
By using ads.txt file, publishers can protect themselves from domain spoofing and other forms of ad fraud. When an advertiser or an ad exchange wants to buy ad space from a publisher, they can check the publisher’s ads.txt file to verify that the seller is authorized by the publisher. If the seller is not listed in the ads.txt file, the advertiser or the ad exchange can reject the bid and avoid paying for fraudulent impressions or clicks.
Another benefit of it is that it can potentially boost your ad revenue. By declaring your authorized sellers, you can increase your trustworthiness and reputation among advertisers and ad networks. This can lead to more demand and higher bids for your ad inventory. Moreover, some ad networks, such as Google AdSense, require publishers to use ads.txt file in order to access certain features or benefits.
How to Create add ads.txt file?
An ads.txt file is a simple text file that allows publishers to declare who can sell their online ad inventory. It helps prevent ad fraud and protect your ad revenue by making your authorized sellers public.
If you want to create an ads.txt file for Google, Bing and more, you need to follow these steps:
- Find out your publisher ID for each ad platform that you use, such as Google Adsense, Microsoft Advertising, etc. You can usually find it in your account settings or dashboard.
- Create a plain text file and name it ads.txt. You can use any text editor or online tool to do this.
- In your ads.txt file, add one line for each authorized seller, following this format: , , ,
- The DOMAIN is the domain name of the ad platform, such as google.com or bing.com.
- The PUBLISHER_ID is your unique identifier for that platform, such as pub-0000000000000000 for Google Adsense.
- The RELATIONSHIP is either DIRECT or RESELLER, depending on whether you have a direct contract with the seller or not.
- The CERTIFICATION_ID is an optional field that indicates the certification authority that verified the seller. For Google platforms, you can use f08c47fec0942fa0 as the certification ID.
- Save your ads.txt file and upload it to the root directory of your website, such as example.com/ads.txt. Make sure it is publicly accessible and readable by anyone.
- Verify that your ads.txt file is working correctly by visiting https://example.com/ads.txt in your browser. You should see the content of your file displayed on the screen.
- Repeat steps 2 to 5 for each website that you own and monetize with online ads.
Here is an example of an ads.txt file for a website that uses Google Adsense and Microsoft Advertising:
google.com, pub-1234567890123456, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0 bing.com, pub-9876543210987654, DIRECT
How to add ads.txt file in WordPress?
Adding an ads.txt file to your WordPress website is easy and does not require any coding skills. There are two main methods to do this: using a plugin or manually uploading the file via FTP.
Method 1: Using a plugin
One of the easiest ways to add an ads.txt file to your WordPress website is to use a plugin. There are several plugins that can help you create and manage your ads.txt file, such as Ads.txt Manager, Advanced Ads, or WP QUADS.
To use a plugin, follow these steps:
- Install and activate the plugin of your choice from the WordPress plugin directory.
- Go to the plugin settings page and look for the ads.txt section.
- Enter the details of your authorized sellers in the format specified by the plugin. For example, if you use Google Adsense, you need to enter google.com, pub-xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0 (where pub-xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx is your publisher ID).
- Save your changes and check your ads.txt file by visiting https://yourdomain.com/ads.txt.
Method 2: Manually upload the file via FTP
Another way to add an ads.txt file to your WordPress website is to manually upload it via FTP. To do this, follow these steps:
- Create a plain text file using a text editor such as Notepad or TextEdit.
- Enter the details of your authorized sellers in the format specified by the IAB. For example, if you use Google Adsense, you need to enter google.com, pub-xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0 (where pub-xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx is your publisher ID).
- Save the file as ads.txt and upload it to the root directory of your website using an FTP client such as FileZilla or Cyberduck.
- Check your ads.txt file by visiting https://yourdomain.com/ads.txt.
F.A.Q Related to Ads.txt
Here are some common questions and issues that may arise when implementing ads.txt on your WordPress website:
How do I find out who are my authorized sellers
You can find out who are your authorized sellers by contacting your ad partners and asking them for their details. You can also check their websites or documentation for instructions on how to implement ads.txt.
How often do I need to update my ads.txt file?
You must update your ads.txt file whenever you add or remove an authorized seller from your website. You should also check your file regularly for errors or changes in the format.
What if I don’t have an ads.txt file?
If you don’t have an ads.txt file on your website, you may lose some ad revenue or face compliance issues. Some ad platforms may stop serving ads on your website or reduce their bids if they cannot verify your inventory. Some buyers may also avoid buying from websites without an ads.txt file due to fraud concerns.
What if I have multiple domains or subdomains?
If you have multiple domains or subdomains that share the same inventory, you can use one ads.txt file for all of them. You just need to upload the same
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