Run Only “Valid” Ads.txt Lines To Prevent Revenue Loss

Run Only “Valid” Ads.txt Lines To Prevent Revenue Loss

Authorized Digital Sellers initiative which is most commonly known as ads.txt, was established in order to prevent counterfeit inventory in the digital advertising ecosystem. It allows publishers to declare which entities or exchanges are authorized to sell their traffic.

In order for ads.txt to work as expected, you need to ensure that you have the correct format. Each line should contain between 3 to 4 fields of information. The first three fields are required, and the fourth one is optional.

<FIELD #1>, <FIELD #2>, <FIELD #3>, <FIELD #4>

Here’s an excerpt from the IAB Tech Lab ads.txt specification document that explains what each field means and its purpose:

ads txt 1


ads txt optional field

Example ads.txt line:, 57013, RESELLER, abc123

Common mistakes in ads.txt:

The ads.txt initiative only works if implemented correctly. Here are some of the most common mistakes we see publishers make with ads.txt.

#1 – Incorrectly formatted account ID or publisher ID (field #2)

This is possibly a typo. Reach out to your Ad Network representative for them to re-check and send with the correct format.

#2 – Invalid exchange domain

If the exchange domain is not recognized, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s invalid. It sometimes means it’s not yet recognized widely but still pays to re-check with your provider.

#3 – Missing any of the first three required fields

The first three fields are non-negotiable. Make sure all three are complete in every line.

#4 – Incorrect relationship value

The only acceptable value is either RESELLER or DIRECT. Nothing else.

#5 – Invalid lines that are not meant as ads.txt records

Lines that are obviously not for the purpose of ads.txt.

#6 – Unusual characters or symbols

Check if this was a typo and reach out to your provider to confirm.


Ads.txt might seem straightforward to some but can make a huge difference to your bottom line if not implemented correctly. Busy publishers might not always recognize subtle errors like the ones mentioned above. That’s why you need to partner with a Google Certified Publisher Partner like MonetizeMore! Our ad ops teams will take care of every ad optimization task for you, making sure that you maximize your ad revenue and that errors like incorrect ads.txt lines don’t result in ad revenue loss. Sign up with MonetizeMore today!

Kean Graham

CEO and Founder at MonetizeMore

Kean has been a pioneer in the AdTech world since 2010 who believes in the supremacy of direct publisher deals, programmatic advertising, and building ad technology as keys to scaling ad revenue. Here, he provides publisher resources and guides covering areas like website monetization, AdSense optimization, Google Ad Manager, Ad Exchanges, and much more.

Get our latest ad optimization tips delivered to your inbox

Fill out my online form.

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.