Policy and Compliance

Ads.txt Guide

Ads.txt Guide

Ads.txt overview

What is ads.txt?

Ads.txt is a simple, flexible, and secure method for publishers and distributors to declare who is authorized to sell their inventory, improving transparency for programmatic buyers.

Please find IAB description and specification.

How does it work?

Publishers drop a text file on their web servers that contains a list of companies that are authorized to sell their inventory. Similarly, programmatic platforms also integrate ads.txt files to confirm which publishers’ inventory they are authorized to sell. This allows buyers to check the validity of the inventory they purchase.

If ad exchanges and the publishers they represent adopt ads.txt, bidders can check the presence of an ads.txt file in their tags to verify that the exchange and the publisher have a legitimate connection between them.

Why is it important for your site?

By making public the names of your authorized sellers, ads.txt certifies your inventory as authentic and gives it the value it deserves.

Many DSPs restrict their ad purchases to websites that provide ads.txt files. Therefore, if your website does not provide one, it could be excluded by a growing number of potential buyers, with possible negative consequences on ad revenue.

 

Ads.txt Guide

Ads.txt validation with Clickio

Clickio has an ads.txt validator available on the platform, that allows publishers to create and update their ads.txt file in a few minutes. Moreover, different ads.txt statuses were introduced on the Clickio platform to help publishers to keep an eye on the situation and intervene when needed.

To check the ads.txt status of your site, log in to your Clickio account and go to the Ads.txt tab. Then click on the site link to open the Ads.txt Site dashboard.

Find below the description of Clickio statuses regarding ads.txt that you may find in your account.

Status

Required actions

Ads.txt is correct

Your ads.txt file is correctly compiled. No actions required. 

Ads.txt was found but it doesn’t contain all required data

Your ads.txt file is incomplete. Please update your ads.txt file in accordance with this instruction.

No ads.txt found

Your ads.txt file is not found. Please create your ads.txt file following this instruction.

Ads.txt was found but it failed validation

Your ads.txt file has failed the validation. Please ensure the correct compilation and placement of your ads.txt file. Consult this article to avoid common ads.txt errors.

Ads.txt not processed yet

The status of your ads.txt has not been updated. Please check the status later, or contact Clickio Support in case of continuous delays. 

 

Ads.txt Guide

How to create an ads.txt file for your site?

Clickio has an ads.txt validator available on the platform. It allows publishers to create and set up their ads.txt file in a few minutes. If you don't have an ads.txt file on your site, please follow the steps below to create one:

1. Sign in to your Clickio account and go to the Ads.txt tab.

2. Check sites with the status Need to fix.

3. Click on the site link to open the Ads.txt Site dashboard.

4. If the status of the site is No ads.txt found, continue to follow the instruction.

If the status of the site is Ads.txt was found but it doesn’t contain all required data, follow this instruction to update your ads.txt file.

5. Copy all the lines to your ads.txt file. Alternatively, you can download your full ads.txt file with all required lines directly on our platform.

Note: If you’re using another ad network (for example, Google AdSense), remember to add that network to your ads.txt file. Contact your ad network for their ads.txt information.

6. Upload the ads.txt file to your root domain (for example, https://domain.com/ads.txt).

7. Click on the Update button in the Ads.txt Site dashboard.

8. If the status is changed to Ads.txt is correct, your ads.txt is successfully created.

Ads.txt Guide

How to update your ads.txt file?

Clickio has an ads.txt validator available on the platform. It allows publishers to check the current status of their ads.txt file and sends warnings in case of problem detection. 

If there is an issue with ads.txt on your site, you will see an alert in the notification center. Please follow the steps below to update your ads.txt:

1. Sign in to your Clickio account and go to the Ads.txt tab.

2. Check sites with the status Need to fix.

3. Click on the site link to open the Ads.txt Site dashboard.

4. If the status of the site is Ads.txt was found but it doesn’t contain all required data, continue to follow the instruction.

If the status of the site is No ads.txt found, follow this instruction to create your ads.txt file.

5. Copy and paste missing lines to your current ads.txt file. Do not replace or delete previously added lines to avoid revenue disruptions. Alternatively, you can download your full ads.txt file with all required lines.

6. Upload a new copy of the ads.txt file to your root domain (for example, https://domain.com/ads.txt).

7. Click on the Update button in the Ads.txt Site dashboard.

8. If the status is changed to Ads.txt is correct, your ads.txt is successfully updated.

 

Ads.txt Guide

Troubleshooting ads.txt issues

Ads.txt is a text file stored in the root domain of a website that contains the list of companies authorized to sell the site’s inventory. The standard was introduced by IAB Tech Lab in May 2017 to avoid the spreading of fraudulent activities, hence increasing the general trust in programmatic buying practices. 

The incomplete or incorrect compilation of ads.txt file may have a possible negative impact on publishers’ ad revenues.

How to check whether your ads.txt file is correctly compiled?

To verify whether your ads.txt file is correctly compiled, we recommend consulting specific tools named “validators” that are able to check for errors or missing data. By just entering an ads.txt URL, validators can verify the correctness of ads.txt compilation. 

To check your site on errors associated with ads.txt, you may use this free ads.txt validation

Most common ads.txt errors 

1. Ads.txt file is placed outside the root domain of a website

According to the specification of IAB, an ads.txt file should be added to the root domain of a website to ensure the correct implementation. If the ads.txt file was initially added on the second-level domain of your site, ensure the correct redirects.

2. Robots.txt crawling is disallowed

Ensure access to your ads.txt file for the crawler of Google and other demand partners.

Sometimes crawlers may not recognize ads.txt file if the robots.txt file on a domain disallows one of the following:

3. Formatting errors

Avoid additional text formatting, as it impedes proper file detection by a crawler. We recommend to use a plain text editor and ensure that no fields contain an embedded field separator like tabs, %, whitespace, etc. 

Less common ads.txt errors 

1. Ads.txt file is not accessible by both HTTP and HTTPS

As the Google crawler attempts to crawl all ads.txt files on both HTTP and HTTPS, ensure that your ads.txt file is accessible by both protocols.

2. Ads.txt file does not return HTTP 200 OK status code

The HTTP 200 OK success status response code indicates that the request has succeeded. If the ads.txt file doesn’t return The HTTP 200 OK status, it means that the response will be ignored or the file will be considered non-existent.

To learn more about the ads.txt errors, visit Google AdSense Help.

If you’ve faced any issues regarding ads.txt, contact your Clickio account manager or get in touch with us via email support@clickio.com to receive help and assistance in solving this issue. 

 

Malvertising Issues

Malvertising Issues

Malvertising Issues Overview

The term malware, derived from malicious software, refers to any software specifically designed to disrupt operation, gather information that leads to loss of privacy or exploitation, gain unauthorized access to system resources, and other abusive behavior.

The term malvertising formed by the merging of two words malware + advertising.

Cyber-criminals use both display advertising as well as ad landing pages to distribute malware. Attack goals include malicious code hidden within an ad creative, auto-redirecting ads leading to phishing/malware pages that load exploits, click baiting that sends users to needed content.

Clickio makes proactive efforts to prevent malware from being served in Clickio network. Clickio retains discretion to take any reasonable action to solve malvertising issues.

First and foremost, we’d like to emphasize, that Clickio works only with reliable and high-quality demand sources. Nevertheless, sometimes failures occur in the implementation of their security policies. Moreover, the cause of malvertising can be sourced to creatives from other advertising networks and third-party scripts on a site, including JavaScript statistics counters and plug-ins.

Malvertising Issues

When Malvertising is Detected

In order to prevent malvertising or investigate the incident, Clickio may deactivate any additional demand sources for your site.

Clickio may also ask publisher for assistance in investigating the issue.

What should a publisher do after detecting the malvertising?

Make a request to support@clickio.com or to your manager. Provide accurate information on country, exact day of the incident, URLs where users are redirected, device, OS, including screenshots.

We will get in touch with you regarding the issue. If the information provided is not enough to find the problem, Clickio can ask to:

After the issue has been solved, Clickio will reactivate all demand sources.

Malvertising Issues

Instructions for Saving HAR-file in Chrome

The issue: If you are faced with the problem of showing unwanted creatives, please send us saved the HAR file to determine the source of the bad impressions so we could fix the problem.

If you and/or your users can reproduce the problem in the Chrome browser, use the Chrome toolbar to save the HAR file.

  1. Press F12 (Windows), or CMD + OPTION + I (Mac), to display the Developer toolbar. You can also open the Developer toolbar from the menu: (View > Developer > Developer Tools).

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  1. You will see a panel like this:

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  1. To debug mobile redirects, switch to the mobile debugging mode. When the mobile mode is on, the icon with the phone will be highlighted blue.

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  1. Click on Network, to see request history.

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  1. Check the box “Preserve log”. Refresh the page or navigate through the website until the issue reproduces itself.

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The enabled Preserve log function will save all requests made when updating the page, including when redirecting to other pages. It’s helpful to clear the log every 3-4 updates since each page update can significantly increase the size of the HAR file.

  1. When the problem is reproduced, right-click on the lowest log entry in the Network tab and select the "Save as HAR with Content".

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  1. Take a screenshot of the undesired creative.

  2. Transfer the saved file and the screenshot to Clickio.

Malvertising Issues

Instructions for Saving HAR-file in Firefox

The issue: If you are faced with the problem of showing unwanted creatives, please send us saved the HAR file to determine the source of the bad impressions so we could fix the problem.

If you and/or your users can reproduce the problem in the Firefox browser, you can use the Firefox Developer Toolbar to save the HAR file, which has been available since November 2017 in Firefox Quantum (version 57).

If you have an older version of Firefox, you can download Firefox Quantum here: https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/developer/

  1. Press F12 (Windows), CMD + OPTION + I (Mac) to display the Developer toolbar. You also can open the Developer Toolbar from the menu: Tools> Web Development> Developer Toolbar.

f1.png

  1. You will see a panel like this: