Google Ad Manager, AdMob add support for app-ads.txt, to start blocking unauthorized ad serving for publishers this month

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Google Ad Manager, AdMob add support for app-ads.txt, to start blocking unauthorized ad serving for publishers this month 1
New app-ads.txt tabs in the Google Ad Manager and AdMob interfaces will show errors and issues to address in publishers’ files.

Google Ad Manager and AdMob, Google’s mobile ad network, now support ads-app.txt, the anti-ad fraud protocol for app publishers. The company announced Tuesday that beginning August 27, Google Ad Manager and AdMob will block ad serving of unauthorized in-app ad inventory in both platforms when publishers have app-ads.txt files implemented.

An extension of IAB Tech Lab’s ads.txt standard, app-ads.txt is designed to address the specific needs of apps distributed through mobile and connected TV app stores. Publishers publish the text file listing the open exchanges that are authorized to sell their inventory to the root directory of their websites and link their app store listings to their websites. Programmatic buyers can then inspect the files to ensure they are buying from authorized sellers and not domains or apps set up to spoof publishers and steal their ad revenue.

Why we should care

Google said in April that its DSP Display & Video 360 would stop buying unauthorized in-app inventory starting in August. Given its market leadership position, Google’s support for app-ads.txt from both the buy and sell sides will help propel adoption of the standard by app publishers.

Last week, Centro announced its DSP Basis will only buy inventory from authorized sellers listed in app-ads.txt files. In April, Tappx began offering free app-ads.txt file hosting for app publishers that don’t have their own websites. At that time, Tappx said fewer than 1% of apps had the apps-ads.txt set up correctly.

“We strongly encourage you to create an app-ads.txt file and publish it to the developer domain you have listed in your App Store and/or Google Play store listing,” Google said in the announcement.”This will help prevent unauthorized and domain-spoofed app inventory from damaging your brand and revenue. Publishers who do not implement an app-ads.txt file will see no changes to their ad serving, but they will not benefit from these added spoofing protections.

More on the news

  • A new app-ads.txt tab in the Google Ad Manager interface will show publishers the percentage of queries that have app-ads.txt posted and authorized sellers listed.
  • The dashboards in AdMob and Google Ad Manager also show errors when the publisher ID or authorized sellers are missing., with links to fix the issues.
  • The app-ads.txt file includes the name of the ad network as the domain name, the publisher’s ID or property code.

About The Author

Google Ad Manager, AdMob add support for app-ads.txt, to start blocking unauthorized ad serving for publishers this month 3

Ginny Marvin is Third Door Media’s Editor-in-Chief, managing day-to-day editorial operations across all of our publications. Ginny writes about paid online marketing topics including paid search, paid social, display and retargeting for Search Engine Land, Marketing Land and MarTech Today. With more than 15 years of marketing experience, she has held both in-house and agency management positions. She can be found on Twitter as @ginnymarvin.



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