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:

  • The crawling of the URL path on which an ads.txt file is posted.
  • The User Agent of the crawler.
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 to receive help and assistance in solving this issue.