Advertisement fraud cost brands and website owners over $80 billion in losses and damages just in 2022 alone . Thankfully, there are a couple of small things you can do to not let your site become the next victim. One of them, the ads.txt file. What is ads.txt exactly? 🤔
Ads.txt is an acronym for Authorized Digital Seller file. It’s a plain text file that contains a list of approved ad sellers. It helps prevent fraudulent advertisements by allowing brands to see if there is a genuine link between your WordPress website and the entity that aims to sell ad space on it.
📚 Read on to know more about ads.txt and how you can create one for your WordPress site.
Understanding ads.txt files
Fraudulent ad practices like domain spoofing and inventory arbitrage can negatively impact a company’s reputation, revenue growth, and overall online trustworthiness. An ads.txt file aims to make online advertising safer for both companies and website owners by weeding out scammers and only keeping bona fide ad sellers. Thus, if you run a website that sells ad spaces or a company that wants to foster positive brand awareness, you will greatly benefit from using an ads.txt file.
Beyond what is ads.txt: creating ads.txt file in WordPress
There are two ways to create and manage ads.txt files in WordPress:
Manual file creation 👨💻
To create an ads.txt file from scratch, you’ll simply need to do it via a text editor app. Each entry in the file should have three to four pieces of detail provided:
- First, supply the vendor’s domain name. Don’t include “www.” Instead, immediately insert the domain name. Here’s an example: “mywebsite.com”.
- Next, supply the publisher or vendor’s ID. You can get the publisher ID either from your ad provider or by checking the Account Information section. Meanwhile, the vendor ID should be provided by the ad seller.
- After that, input the relationship type. Put “DIRECT” if you use your account to sell your ad space or “RESELLER” if you authorized a third party to sell it for you.
- You can also type in the inventory type and certification authority ID, although both of these fields are only optional.
👉 Here’s an example definition you can commonly find in ads.txt files:
google.com, pub-YOURID, DIRECT, PLATFORM-ID
Furthermore, remember to separate each field with a comma and name the file “ads.txt”. Then, upload the file to the root directory using a File Transfer Protocol.
Once that’s all done, you can update and manage the ads.txt file anytime. Just open it, add the necessary information about the new vendors, and save the changes.
Using a dedicated plugin 🔌
One of the plugins you can use for this is simply called the Ads.txt Manager plugin. However, the plugin itself doesn’t do a lot to help you actually create the file. It only removes the step of needing to upload the file through FTP. You will still have to write the individual definitions yourself based on the information you get from the ad providers you work with.
When you’re done, click on Save Changes to have your new ads.txt file saved and enabled.
Now that you know the answer to “what is ads.txt?” and how to create one for your WordPress website, you can have peace of mind that you won’t be troubled by fraudulent advertisement pitches.