Ads.txt

Authorized Digital Seller

Ads.txt is the acronym for Authorized Digital Seller.

What is Authorized Digital Seller?

A text file used by website publishers to publicly declare which companies are authorized to sell their digital ad inventory. This technology is primarily used in the digital advertising ecosystem to combat ad fraud and ensure transparency in the programmatic advertising supply chain.

Here’s how ads.txt works and its relevance to sales and marketing:

  1. Publisher Implementation: Website or app publishers create an ads.txt file, a plain text file, and place it on their web servers. This file lists the names of companies, and their associated Publisher IDs authorized to sell their advertising inventory.
  2. Ad Buyer Verification: Advertisers and Demand-Side Platforms (DSPs) use ads.txt files to verify the legitimacy of their buying inventory. When they want to place an ad on a specific website, they check the ads.txt file for that site.
  3. Authorization Check: The ad buyer checks the Publisher ID listed in the ads.txt file against the Publisher ID in the ad placement request. If they match, it’s considered authorized. It raises a red flag and suggests potential fraud if they don’t match.
  4. Fraud Prevention: Ads.txt helps prevent ad fraud, such as domain spoofing, where fraudsters impersonate legitimate websites to sell fake ad inventory. By referencing the ads.txt file, ad buyers can confirm that they deal with authorized sellers.

Ads.txt is essential for ensuring the authenticity of the advertising supply chain. Advertisers can have confidence that they are purchasing ad space from legitimate publishers, which can improve the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns and protect their advertising investments.

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