Cleaning your ads.txt file does not have to be a daunting task. If you feel swamped in an array of ad tech-jargon, standards, and updates, and you can’t figure out how to make ads.txt files more manageable, keep reading, this blog is for you.
When you analyze your ads.txt file, all the flags and feedback may seem like a lot. The truth is, building a clean and efficient file is not so hard. With the following quick steps, anyone can improve their file’s transparency score, increase their SPO, and prevent any potential revenue from going missing. Let’s make your ads.txt management manageable!
The OwnerDomain value is fundamental for keeping your ads.txt file organized and up to date with today’s standards. Introduced as part of the ads.txt 1.1 update set by the IAB Tech Lab, the OwnerDomain value specifies the domain of the business entity that owns the domain, site, or application, so buyers can identify the publisher’s accounts that create the most direct paths to the inventory. It is important to note that there should only be one OwnerDomain per ads.txt file.
Ensure your domain is listed correctly and consistently under the same name across all the sources that buy your traffic. The OwnerDomain value in an ads.txt file should be identical to the seller domain in an opposing sellers.json file. This change is not only for good housekeeping, but it can also affect your potential revenue. Aligning these names protects your revenue and helps you gain control over your inventory.
Another quick tip is removing all ads.txt lines representing seats that are not listed in the exchanges' sellers.json files. Simply expand the “Non-Existing Seats” section of your domain analysis and review the seat IDs that are not listed. Go over them to ensure there are no "should-have-been-live" seats that someone in the exchange simply forgot to add to their sellers.json file. This is integral to maintaining a cleaner, more organized ads.txt file, which will lead to managing your inventory better and greater revenue growth. Our Wizard tool, will automate this clean up process and save you a lot of time.
Make sure your ads.txt file does not include intermediaries listed as the direct source of the traffic. Changing the lines to reflect the correct relationship type - which is usually reseller - can help you avoid the cannibalization of your direct budgets and prevent your traffic from being blocked by misleading buyers. Today, there are a few ways to verify relationship types. “OwnerDomain Listed as Reseller,” “ManagerDomain Listed as Direct,” and “Reseller Listed as Direct” are the next flags you should take a closer look at.
Scrolling down past the list of flags, you’ll find a list of all your sellers. We know this list may be pretty long, but it’s worth checking out and making sure it only includes vendors you’re currently in business with, know and trust. Keeping vendors that you don’t work with on your ads.txt file allows them to continue selling your inventory without your permission. Remember, a good rule of thumb is that a seller needs to represent a monthly paycheck to you.
Because some buyers only target direct traffic, some resellers misrepresent themselves as "direct" instead of "reseller". Sometimes resellers practice this methodology in bulk, and have thousands of ads.txt lines implemented as direct across the web. If a "direct" line appears more than 4,000 times across different domains files, this could be an indicator that you should investigate who sent the ads.txt line and why.
See? Your new and improved ads.txt file is just a few quick steps away. Feel free to reach out to the Sellers.guide team if you have any questions or need some assistance on your journey. Happy cleaning!