Friday, November 10, 2017

Adsense and the Ads.txt File

WOW ... just ... wow is all I can think of to say.  There is so much misinformation surrounding this that people need to learn to read the guidelines.

In the AdSense forum, lots of people appear to be posting stuff they know nothing about, or at least ... that provides only half or part of the information, and not all of it. And some information that's given is not going to be applicable to every publisher either. Each publisher needs to take the time to understand how or even if the ads.txt file is necessary for them (for some it will be, for others it won't be). You can't just read what someone else posted and assume it will work for your situation.

The Ads.txt file is NOT required by AdSense. If you don't use one, then your AdSense ads will still show just fine on your website or blog. Nothing further is required. Currently, those publishers using blogger have no way to place an ads.txt file on their root domain, because the root domain is blogger.com, and we have no access to place anything on that domain.  If you are using blogger for your sites, then you don't have to worry that you don't have the file - well, there could be more to it than that of course. You don't need the file if you are using only AdSense on your site, and you use your own ad codes from your own AdSense account.
Authorized Digital Sellers, or ads.txt is an IAB initiative that helps ensure that your digital ad inventory is only sold through sellers (such as AdSense) who you've identified as authorized. Creating your own ads.txt file gives you more control over who's allowed to sell ads on your site and helps prevent counterfeit inventory from being presented to advertisers.
You don't have to use ads.txt, but we recommend that you do. An ads.txt file can help buyers identify counterfeit inventory and help you receive more advertiser spend that might have otherwise gone toward that counterfeit inventory.  https://support.google.com/adsense/answer/7532444?hl=en
If you DO use an ads.txt file, then your own publisher ID must be present. And yes, there are people who had instituted the ads.txt file and didn't put their own publisher ID in it. Go figure. What did they expect ... that a publisher ID of all zeroes would work?

This is exactly what happens when people DON'T read the guidelines provided by AdSense. They make their own problems because they don't understand what they are doing.

I don't use the ads.txt file (actually, I do on one of my self-hosted sites, but not on 3 other sites) ... and ads show up just fine on all my sites ... and I have received no warning notices about my pub-ID not being present.

On the site where I did use the ads.txt file, I have a single line for each advertising company, with the parameters for each advertiser I use, along with my publisher ID for each of those advertisers. I'd probably see the warning other people are getting as well if I had only put the single advertiser who required the file (and that was not AdSense) in it, and didn't also include my AdSense publisher ID.

Ads.txt is NOT required for ads to show up, nor for them to earn you money.  IF you have an ads.txt file, then yes, you must not only include ALL the advertisers whose ads you use, but you also must provide your correct publisher ID for each advertiser.  That means (just as an example) that if you use InfoLinks and AdSense ads in your site and you create an ads.txt file because InfoLinks wants you to, then you have to include AdSense as an advertiser in that file ... and your ADSENSE publisher ID must be included.

Many of the AdSense Certified Publishing Partners might in fact require the Ads.txt file - that's up to those publishers though, and if you are using one of those partners and they ask you to place one on your site (because they are providing you with ads) then you need to be sure that you include AdSense in the file as well (and your AdSense publisher ID).
Domains where an ads.txt file is posted, but the seller’s publisher ID is not authorized in the file are no longer monetized through Ad Exchange, and Google no longer buys ads on such sites. To prevent impact to your earnings, we recommend updating your ads.txt files to include publisher IDs for each site you want to monetize (learn how to update ads.txt in DFP). If you use Network Partner Management, we recommend working with your network partners to include your publisher ID in their ads.txt files.
But no, not having an ads.txt file will not stop your ads from showing (unless you have one and didn't include AdSense).  And if your ads don't show and you make an ads.txt file for your site that will not necessarily get the ads to show up.

There are many factors that can prevent AdSense ads from showing. And the ads troubleshooter
might help you figure that out, but don't assume that adding the ads.txt file will make them show up.

Like all things related to AdSense, with the ads.txt file, there are multiple factors involved in whether the ads on your site show up. If you use one (no matter which of your advertisers asks you to place it) then you have to make sure you use your AdSense publisher ID in it as well.

Other things to think about ... since most people are seeing this notice in their AdSense accounts, how about clicking on the learn more or action button in the notice. I will tell you what sites have the ads.txt file without your pub-ID in it. If you no longer own it, or no longer monetize it with AdSense, check your authorized sites list to make sure that it isn't authorized any longer.

If you used some sort of plugin to set up your ads.txt file, make sure you understand how to edit what you entered into it.

... really people. All it takes is a little reading. Why do you think AdSense provides the help pages?


posted by J.Gracey Stinson

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