If you use to monetize your website, then you will be familiar with ads.txt files, the latest initiative to combat online ad fraud.
In fact, if you do use online ad networks/exchanges, then you will likely already have an ads.txt file on your website to authorize who can sell advertising.
ads.txt files are fundamentally very simple text files, and they list the ad platforms and associated accounts which are authorized to sell advertising on your domain.
However, if you work with multiple ad networks, your ads.txt file is likely becoming a little bloated, and you may be receiving regular requests from your ad networks to make changes to your ad records – usually when you’re busy focused on other work.
It’s also critical your ads.txt file is formatted correctly, and you’re likely using an ads.txt validator to ensure you’ve not made any mistakes.
That’s where ads.txt Guru comes in…
ads.txt Guru is a fantastic tool to eliminate the burden of maintaining ads.txt files. The system provides a powerful ads.txt file management system which automatically validates and formats your ads.txt files, ensuring you never need to use an ads.txt validator again.
But more importantly, ads.txt Guru provides a collaboration system which allows your ad networks to manage their own ads.txt records within your ads.txt file – this means they can make updates to their records without your intervention, totally eliminating the manual update process.
First, let’s explore the ads.txt management system.
ads.txt Management System
ads.txt Guru offers full support for every type of ads.txt record, including data records, contact and subdomain variables, and of course comments. These can be entered individually, or imported in bulk in seconds.
Every record passes through comprehensive validation checks to ensure it is correct and will be automatically formatted to provide a clean and simple ads.txt file.
Making changes couldn’t be easier, simply select a record and edit it inline, and ads.txt Guru even provides version control if you need to revert back to an older version.
Uploading Your ads.txt File
It’s one of those tedious tasks we all get on with and think of as unavoidable – the routine of opening your FTP client, navigating through directories to finally upload a file.
It’s not the worst task, but ads.txt Guru totally eliminates this with the ‘Synchronize’ features.
After making changes to your ads.txt file, you simply select the ‘Synchronize’ button and your ads.txt file is automatically uploaded with a single click – either via FTP, or WordPress users can connect their website using the ads.txt Guru Connect WordPress Plugin.
And of course, you can enable ‘automatic synchronization’ to have your ads.txt file automatically uploaded – this gives you the option to postpone the upload which will be processed an hour after you begin editing your records, giving you time to finalize your changes.
If you don’t want to automate the uploads, you can download your ads.txt file or automatically receive your ads.txt file via email for manual upload.
Ad Network Collaboration
This is where the real power of ads.txt Guru comes in, and can ultimately enable your trusted ad networks to completely manage your ads.txt file for you without your intervention.
This is a revolution for ads.txt files in the industry – totally eliminating the burden for publishers, whilst simplifying the process for ad networks whom often have to manually email every publisher with their latest ads.txt records.
Collaboration is achieved by sharing a unique ID/tag with your ad network which they can then use to invite your website to collaborate, or the reverse where you request collaboration with your ad network.
Once the collaboration is approved the ad network’s records are automatically included in your ads.txt file, and any changes made by your ad network are automatically included along with a handy email notification to keep you informed.
If you enable automatic synchronization, then these changes are automatically uploaded to your website within the hour.
Since the introduction of ads.txt files which are designed to tackle ad fraud, a new type of fraud has developed – ads.txt fraud.
This occurs when you receive a request to include records in your ads.txt file, but these records are in fact nothing to do with your trusted ad networks.
They are in fact records for fraudulent advertising, allowing fraudsters to circumvent the ads.txt system and enabling them to sell fraudulent inventory on your website.
ads.txt Guru tackles this problem using a collaboration certification and trust process. Every collaborator must pass a certification process to ensure they are trust-worthy and achieve a trust seal, showing that ads.txt Guru has verified the account is managed by the genuine ad network it purports to be.
Certification information is then provided to the publisher to help them verify the network is, in fact, one of their trusted ad networks.
Similarly, websites complete an automated verification process to show ad networks that they are the genuine website owner – this process is totally automated by simply uploading the ads.txt file generated by ads.txt Guru to the respective website, or by uploading a verification HTML file.
Importing Your Existing ads.txt File
The ads.txt Guru system is very easy to get started with and does not expect you to re-create your ads.txt file.
Simply import your existing ads.txt file via URL, upload, or copy and paste, and your existing records are automatically validated and formatted. Any duplicates are ignored (with a full summary), and any invalid records are listed enabling you to correct any mistakes.
The import process takes seconds to complete and enables you to get started with ads.txt Guru with ease.
ads.txt Management For Ad Networks
For ad networks, exchanges, and SSPs, the ads.txt management is identical, except for the powerful ‘Flex Record’ feature.
Flex records allow ad networks to create data records with different publisher IDs for each of the domains they collaborate with, enabling them to create a single ads.txt file which automatically creates totally unique ads.txt files for each of their publishers.
This again is revolutionary and eliminates a huge burden for ad networks who often manually create ads.txt files for each of their publishers.
The time and therefore cost saving of this is huge, and by collaborating with publishers the manual update process of emailing publishers, their new ads.txt files is also totally eliminated, again giving huge time and cost savings.
A further benefit of this time saving is that by speeding up the update process, the potential lost revenue from missing out on new advertising is significantly reduced, increasing the revenue for both the publisher and ad network.
ads.txt Guru API
The ads.txt Guru API offers a fully featured system to programmatically manage your ads.txt Guru account, including the management of ads.txt records, the collaboration process, and the synchronization process.
This API should be ideal for ad networks which want to automate their ads.txt management, ideally by integrating the collaboration process into their publisher control panel.
ads.txt Guru also makes their ads.txt validator available via API, a service which other organizations charge a significant premium for.
ads.txt Guru has three main membership levels:
- Basic Membership is completely free and allows publishers to manage ads.txt files on 10 websites. This membership level provides the full ads.txt management system, with ads.txt updates, handled manually, or via the WordPress plugin.
- Publisher Membership is $15 per month, allowing management of ads.txt files on an unlimited number of websites, with automatic FTP uploads, and ads.txt version control.
- Ad Network Membership is $45 per month, allowing for collaboration with 1,000 publishers, along with full access to the ads.txt Guru API. Higher level membership plans are available to enable collaboration with an unlimited number of publishers.
The Publisher and Ad Network memberships include a 30-day free trial, with a 30-day money back guarantee after the free trial, and no payment details are required until the end of the free trial.
ads.txt Guru offers 2 months free when paying annually, for example giving a saving of $30 per year for the Publisher membership.
50% discount is available in July 2018 using the discount code, 50OFF, which currently reduces the Publisher plan to $7.50 per month – for the life of the membership.
Following this, 25% discount will then be available for a limited time using the discount code, 25OFF, which will reduce the Publisher plan to $11.25 per month – again for the life of the membership.
ads.txt Guru offers a great referral/affiliate program which is open to all. This currently offers a 50% commission from the first payment for all paid plans – this means if you refer an annual Ad Network membership you can earn $225 USD, within 60 days of the referral.
ads.txt Guru is a powerful tool for ads.txt management, with the automatic validation and formatting being of particular benefit.
With the ad network collaboration features ads.txt Guru has the potential to totally revolutionize ads.txt file management by shifting the control to the ad networks, whilst still giving the website owner ultimate control.
This approach should be welcomed by website owners who have more important tasks to focus on than manually managing these tedious files, and for ad networks, the time and cost saving will, of course, be welcomed.
Click here to sign-up to ads.txt Guru – if signing up to a paid plan don’t forget to use the discount codes listed above.