Implementing ads.txt on your website or app can feel relatively complicated if you’re a publisher with little to no development experience. But as it has for most things in ad tech, Google has created a method that makes the process a little easier.

Google allows publishers to generate ads.txt AdSense code directly in their AdSense dashboards. This handy feature lets you skip the first couple of parts of the ads.txt file creation process — the ones that have you creating a blank text document and manually adding the bits of code to authorize AdSense to sell your inventory.

If you’re working with Google AdSense, you already have access to this feature. Here’s how it’s done.

If the ads.txt AdSense code is an easier form of the ads.txt process, that makes Playwire the absolute easiest. Why? Because we handle every part of ads.txt for you, as well as dozens of other revenue-amplification strategies. Contact us to learn more.

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How to Create an Ads.txt File in Google AdSense

From the early days of ads.txt, Google has bought in big. Adding transparency to programmatic advertising and preventing ad fraud are attractive prospects to the advertising giant that Google has become. To that end, if you’re among the more than 2 million publishers who use AdSense, Google has made it really easy to generate a personalized ads.txt AdSense code.

Here’s the step-by-step process:

  1. Sign in. Sign in to your AdSense account. If you haven’t been using ads.txt, you might have triggered an error in your account that will prompt you to create an ads.txt file. Look for an alert on your homepage and, if you see one, click “Fix now.” That will take you to step two. If you don’t see an alert, find the Sites tab and click the arrow pointing down.
  2. Create the file. You should see an option that says "Create an ads.txt file for [your site]."
  3. Download it. Click the Download button, and your ads.txt AdSense code should download to your device.
  4. Upload it. After verifying that the file is complete and error-free, upload it to your site. It needs to be at the root directory level, meaning it should be in a folder directly under your top-level domain. The URL should look like this: https://yourwebsite.com/ads.txt/. 

Troubleshooting: Missing Publisher ID

Sometimes, when you download your Google AdSense ads.txt file, you’ll notice that the publisher ID is missing from the line that authorizes AdSense to sell your inventory. This is an essential element of the code — without it, you may encounter errors that prevent AdSense from selling your inventory, meaning your revenue drops significantly or stops altogether.

Fortunately, there’s an easy fix. To get your publisher ID in AdSense, navigate to Sites from your dashboard. Click the down arrow next to the message that says "Add your publisher ID to these ads.txt files." There, click Copy. 

Go to your ads.txt file and paste your publisher ID immediately after the comma following “google.com.” Add a comma after your newly pasted publisher ID.

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Ads.txt with Google AdSense: Limitations

Google has made the process of downloading and implementing your ads.txt AdSense code relatively straightforward, but you should know that this feature has some limitations. The most important one to note is the fact that the ready-for-download ads.txt file in AdSense only authorizes one seller: AdSense.

That means that, if you’re working with any other supply-side platforms (SSPs) or ad networks, you will have to add them to the ads.txt file in order to authorize them. In other words, AdSense provides a done-for-you ads.txt file up to a point, but to get access to demand outside of Google’s sphere, you’ll still have to add the other sellers to your ads.txt file.

Do You Have to Use Ads.txt for Google AdSense?

Ads.txt is by no means required when you use Google AdSense. However, the platform says it “strongly” recommends using ads.txt. The reason for that strong recommendation follows the basic logic behind ads.txt: all publishers and advertisers have a vested interest in reducing ad fraud, and ads.txt helps with that.

Although you don’t have to use ads.txt with AdSense, here’s something else to keep in mind: lacking an ads.txt file will sometimes trigger an error in AdSense, and you resolve it by creating and uploading your ads.txt AdSense code. So, you may not end up having a choice in the matter if you want to continue using AdSense.

Playwire: All the Benefits of Ads.txt and AdSense, Plus Much More

AdSense is an important source of demand for millions of publishers, but it isn’t the only one. Having more sources of demand generally means you bring in more revenue. But adding all of those sellers to your ads.txt file is both time-intensive and difficult to do without making mistakes that harm your revenue. Playwire can solve this problem for you.

Playwire handles everything from ads.txt to header bidding for publishers, always with the singular goal of maximizing their revenue. It’s a win-win for you — you don’t have to deal with ads.txt, and you get more revenue. Want the win-win? Simply contact Playwire online.

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