You might have heard that Google had announced they allow advertisers to purchase only from publishers that have an ads.txt file. What is ads.txt? Why is ads.txt file so important? How to fix ads.txt warning?
What is Ads.txt?
Ads.txt, which is an acronym for Authorized Digital Sellers, is an Interactive Advertising Bureau project that is designed to improve transparency in the advertising system.
Ads.txt refers to a publically accessible file that benefits publishers. Because it makes it hard for people to spoof their domain; so that they can secure their advertising dollars from advertisers. That means that a website like CNN; can ensure that a few chosen parties can sell ads space on their site. Advertisers can, therefore, be confident that they are buying authentic ad space on the CNN website.
Most recently, programmatic ads have been faced with a significant problem. Which is an increase in fraudulent activity via fake domains. This issue came to light after big industries; such as, Hyphbot and Methbot used the same tactics to steal millions out of advertisers.
Publishers that want to control parties that are authorized to resell their advert inventory are required to implement an ads.txt file.
Authorized Digital Sellers allow publishers to declare the parties that can sell and represent their ad inventory.
They usually create a list of ads.txt that can be referenced by programmatic buyers/ advertisers when buying ad inventory from sellers.
Why is an ads.txt file so important to AdSense?
Ads.txt is essential to both sellers and buyers.
Ads.txt file is important to buyers because they can quickly identify authorized ads.txt sellers for participating publishers.
That allows brands to be confident that they are getting legit publisher inventory.
On the other hand, ads.txt is beneficial to sellers because it gives publishers more control over their inventory.
Which makes it difficult for bad actors to make profits by selling counterfeit ad inventory.
Other benefits of ads.txt include the following:
Secure and safe
When you compare ads.txt to other ad prevention methods, it is very secure and safe. Because, the website owner is the only one who can upload it, there is no chance that you can edit its contents without the correct permission.
Easy to Create
It is straightforward to create an ads.txt file. Also, it only takes a few minutes to upload the file to your site. All you have to do is place the file in your HTML root code and secure your ad inventory.
Easy to Edit
Publishers can easily and quickly edit their ads.txt files by re-uploading it to the root domain. In case you are adding new websites to the list, it can be done with less effort.
Easy to Install in Your Website
It is straightforward to install ads.txt on websites. Webmasters only need to copy the file over their root domain, which makes it easy to access it over other web browsers.
Easy to Find
Website owners use ads.txt to tell advertisers which networks are authorized to sell inventory from their domain. Site owners can upload the details of the Authorized Digital Seller on their domain.
For example, you can find the authorized sellers of a particular website by merely opening https://www.websitename.com/ads.txt on your web browser.
Easy to place
Ads.txt is an excellent addition to site owners as it reduces the chances of fraudulent activity. Before you place it, first, create a .txt file called ads.txt using a text editor on your computer. From there add these on the ads.txt created
google.com, pub-0000000000000000, DIRECT, Certification ID
The ads.txt file should be placed on the root directory of your site. Then save the file. Finally, visit your website and verify that the ads.txt file is in place. It could come in the format of
How to make Ads.txt File visible to AdSense to prevent warning?
It is straightforward to implement ads.txt for Google ads like AdSense.
First, you need to create a text file then add one line for each authorized partner.
On each line, you will need to add three pieces of information which should be separated by a comma. The information you should include:
Your account ID, the domain of the ad system, and type of relationship you have with the partner either RESELLER or DIRECT.
It is easy to make ads.txt visible for AdSense. All you have to do is locate you’re your publisher ID. You can find this by logging to your AdSense account.
From your AdSense account, you can follow these simple steps:
Go to Settings > Account > Account information.
Typically your publisher ID comes in the format of pub-0000000000000000 with the zeros being replaced your 16 digit number.
If Ads.txt File Placed Well, Then The Possible Reasons for “Fix Ads.txt” warnings?
Ads.txt tells the ecosystem who are allowed to sell their ad inventory. In case the file is not correctly set up, it could block ad partners from displaying ads on their site.
If you use AdSense to display ads and you wrongly enter your Google account details, it could prevent Google AdSense from advertising on your website. If you are experiencing some issues with your ads.txt, it is likely that you will get a warning message. The universal message that you will get is that your website lacks an ads.txt file.
Google highly recommends that you use ads.txt because it helps buyers identify fake inventory. Also, help site owners get more advertiser’s revenue, which could have gone towards the fake inventory.
However, you may experience further problems even if the ads.txt is well placed. You may get a warning as a result of the manual insertion of data. Since it takes time to implement, update, and create an ads.txt fi. It increases the risk of human error.
Also, you may get a warning in case the details entered are wrong. If this happens, a demand partner cannot report the issue to the publisher.
How to Solve Adsense’s “Fix Ads.txt” Warning?
First, make sure you don’t forget to use commas while creating ads.txt. This simple mistake can happen if you have a lot of records to handle. To avoid this, you must run it via a validator after each change you make. To fix the problem of human error when creating ads.txt, you can solve it by using a free tool such as Manage Ads.txt.
Manage Ads.txt which lets you create, update, and manage the file for different domains. You must solve the problem of ads.txt on AdSense as soon as it presents itself. Doing so will help you prevent industry domain spoofing. Besides, you can avoid lost ad revenue, which comes as a result of changing default buyer settings.
Code to Write in Robots.txt file to solve “Fix Ads.txt” Warning?
Robots are usually used by sites to classify them. The robot standard, which is also classified as robots.txt, is a standard that is used to communicate with web robots and web crawlers.
Robots.txt files can be defined as a text file that tells website robots which web page to visit. It also alerts web robots the web pages that they should not crawl.
Before search engines such as Google visits your website, it will look at robot.txt for instruction.
When a website owner wants to communicate their instructions to website robots, they will insert a robot.txt in the website hierarchy e.g.,
The codes that can be used in robot.txt are asterisk(*) and slash(/).
For example, user agent: * means that robots.txt applies to all website robots that visit your sites.
While disallow: / alerts web robots not to visit your site.
When there is nothing after “Disallow,” it means that web robots are free to crawl your entire website.
Despite the use of terms like “disallow” and “allow,” the protocol is usually advisory and relies on web robot compliance. In some instances, you can have malicious web robots that will not obey robots.txt. These robots may disregard robots.txt or even use it as a guide to locate disallowed links which they can access.
Solution for WordPress user: Fixing ads.txt missing warning
To find robots.txt file for your website. Go to your website’s cPanel.
To access cPanel, you can visit this post
Now click on File Manager and then public_html folder. You will find robots.txt file.
Right Click on robots.txt and Edit.
Add three more lines in robots.txt as shown in the picture below:
Save changes and visit:
Replace www.websitename.com with your website name.
If you find all lines as you wrote in your ads.txt file, then open your AdSense account to check any further errors. Adsense may take some time, but in my case it took only two minutes. Hope you solved your warning!
After solving AdSense ads.txt warning, the question that most people ask is whether their website will make more money with an ads.txt file? The answer to this question is not straightforward. It will prevent you from losing money when it is carefully implemented.
However, if ads.txt is poorly implemented on your website, it can make you lose ad earnings. No guarantee successfully implementing ads.txt will increase your site earnings. But, one thing for sure is that when you fix ads.txt warning, it will prevent your website from making losses in the future.