What is the ads.txt file?

It’s a relatively recent requirement for websites that are serving ads. Google Adsense will send you an email notifying you of any websites that are not compliant, or you will see an alert in your Google adsense dashboard.

The ads.txt file is a way of proving that you have authorised Google Adsense (or another seller) to serve ads on your website for you.

What do I have to do?

The notification asks you to “Create an ads.txt file for 1 site” and “To prevent severe impact on revenue, download an ads.txt file then upload the file to the root level domain of each site:” This is not as complicated as it might sound. You are provided with instructions on how to do this.

How do I get my ads.txt file?

You can get the step by step details of how to create and download an ads.txt file from your Google Adsense account here. Or you can create a file yourself following the format below. You just need to know your Google Adsense publisher id. The ads.txt file then needs to be uploaded to the main directory of your website using ftp or some other means like Ad Inserter (detailed below).

What does the content of the ads.txt file mean?

The content of the file is

google.com, pub-0000000000000000, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0

The part unique to you is the publisher id. You replace pub-0000000000000000 with your own publisher id. The rest is describing the ad seller (in this case, Google) and the type of advertising. That’s the simple answer. You can find out more details in the FAQ section of this article.

Using Ad Inserter

Alternatively you can easily add the txt file in using Ad Inserter. There is a new option on the top right for editing your ads.txt file. This will automatically place a file in the correct location for you.
Ad Inserter Ads txt button
When this button is toggled on, you can scroll down the page to reach the section where you can edit the ads.txt file without having to manually upload it to your website.
Ad Inserter View ads.txt file
If you are using any other networks (apart from google adsense) then you will have more entries. If you’re just using google adsense then you will see the same information apart from your unique publisher account id.
Use the edit icon to open up the ads.txt editor where you can make your changes and then save them to the file using the save button (where the edit icon was).
Ad Inserter Edit Screen ads.txt file
Your website will not be compliant.