Google announced that advertisers using Display & Video 360 (formerly DoubleClick Bid Manager) can now opt to only buy inventory that has been authorized via a publisher’s ads.txt file.
Ads.txt is an initiative spearheaded by the IAB Tech Lab to help eliminate domain spoofing ad fraud. By simply placing an ads.txt file on their domains, publishers can list the IDs associated with the seller accounts of ad networks and exchanges that are authorized to sell their advertising inventory. Advertisers can then do an ID lookup to verify they are buying inventory from authorized sellers.
Ads.txt adoption has continued to rise. Google says more than 430,000 domains have added the file since February and that close to 600,000 publishers — and 90 percent of its publisher partners — are using ads.txt.
Last fall, Google began filtering unauthorized inventory from its ad systems. Now that adoption is high, Google is giving advertisers the ability to exclude publishers that don’t have ads.txt files from their ad buys. The new feature is an opt-in.
The company has quietly enabled the opt-in feature on June 27 and that they’ve already seen 15 percent of line items in Display Video 360 opted-in as buyers came across the option.
The move to allow advertisers to exclude publishers that don’t have ads.txt files should push adoption by publishers even higher.
Publishers should care about publishing their files and making sure they are correct, and buyers should also be taking similar approaches. The company is working towards a future in which authorized only is the only option on Display Video 360. Other buyers also need to follow suit and honor ads.txt files. It doesn’t work unless the company has broad adoption on the buy-side.
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