Not Updating Your Ads.txt Is Costing You New Ad Revenue

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As a refresher, let’s start with what an ads.txt[7] file is.

Already an expert? Perfect. Scroll down to learn how you’re not unlocking new revenue when you don’t update your file.

What is ads.txt?

Ads.txt (which stands for Authorized Digital Sellers) is an initiative by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) Tech Lab to improve transparency[2] in programmatic advertising[1].

It aims to stop the spread and sale of counterfeit inventory[8] and domain spoofing by increasing transparency. Placing an ads.txt in your site’s code identifies who is authorized to sell (or resell) your inventory.

Why is it important?

Showing who’s allowed to re(sell) your ad inventory[3] is public knowledge with an ads.txt. This greatly benefits advertisers, as they are able to verify that the ads they’re paying for are appearing on the intended website.

Think of it as a certification badge for publishers like yourself. You’re letting advertisers know,

  1. That you do own the website.
  2. Which demand partners are authorized to sell your ad inventory.

What do I do if I have my own demand seats?

If you are working with other partners, or you are using your own partner IDs (outside of Freestar), add/update line items as follows:

Domain, member ID, relationship with the publisher[9] and, if applicable, the certification ID (i.e. TAG ID)

If you’re already using Freestar, the lines available in the Freestar UI provide the information you need for the inventory and partners being managed by us.

Not unlocking new ad revenue?

Your ads.txt isn’t something that you can set-and-forget.

If you work with an ad network[4] that has their own demand partners or locate new ones on your own, you’ll still need to update your ads.txt to reflect these changes. Demand partners won’t bid if the lines they need aren’t available. That means you’re not unlocking new ad revenue when your ads.txt isn’t updated.

Keeping your ads.txt updated is also important from an advertiser[5] perspective. Buyers are able to verify that they are buying from Authorized Digital Sellers of your inventory. That’s why it’s important to update your ads.txt as soon as possible.

Hosted/Dynamic Ads.txt

Depending on how big your Ad Ops[6] team is, updating your file can be an obstacle. If your ad network has found a new demand partner, you may have to submit a developer ticket with their line editor in order[10] to ensure that change is reflected on your site’s ads.txt. This can get tiresome, very quickly.

To keep your file updated automatically, check if your Ad Ops solution provides a dynamic ads.txt tool. At Freestar, it’s is a cost-free way for you to control and manage your own ads.txt. You add your custom lines to the Ads.txt page and when our ads.txt page is updated, your page is automatically updated too.

This means that you don’t have to manually update your page every time we update our file. Once your custom lines are in, every time we update our file, yours is updated automatically.

Want to add custom lines? Not a problem. Copy and paste your custom lines for each of your sites directly in the Freestar dashboard. Save and done. Unlocking new revenue has never been so simple.

This is just one out of many quick ways to boost your website monetization. Interested in learning more methods? Read our top 5 Quick Wins to Boost Your Website Monetization now. Got a burning question about Hosted Ads.txt? You can reach out to us by

1. programmatic advertising. Programmatic advertising entails using machine learning and technology suites to buy and sell ad inventory with a data-driven process.
2. transparency. To be considered transparent, a solution provider must fully disclose all components of the buy including pricing, any related mark ups, delivery, placement level media location, inventory type, inventory mix, and how advanced audience data is being applied and reported. Arbitrage and black box inventory solutions are not transparent.
3. ad inventory. Ad Inventory refers to the number of ad impressions available for sale on a publisher’s website or mobile app. In other words, these are the commodities available for the advertisers to buy on the website.
4. ad network. A company that serves as a broker between a group of publishers and a group of advertisers by aggregating inventory and audiences from numerous sources in a single buy. Ad networks traditionally aggregate unsold inventory from publishers in order to offer advertisers a consolidated and generally less expensive pool of impressions, but they can have a wide variety of business models and clients. In the context of ad trafficking and ad tech, the term "network" is generally taken to mean an ad network.
5. advertiser. The company paying for the advertisement.

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