Google Adds Ads.txt Only Inventory Control For Display, Video

Google on Thursday introduced a new ads.txt-only inventory control in Display & Video 360 -- formerly DoubleClick Bid Manager -- that allows advertisers to choose only to run campaigns on sites that support ads.txt authorized inventory and exclude inventory from sites without the file.

Ads.txt is an IAB standard created to increase transparency by allowing website owners to post electronically who is allowed to sell their ad space. The code aims to prevent unauthorized and domain-spoofed inventory from being sold.

More than 430,000 domains have added the file since February -- about 600,000 publishers, and 90% of publisher partners use ads.txt, Tobias Maurer, Google senior product manager, wrote in a blog post.

Earlier this week one of those publishers, The Guardian US, released a case study stating that counterfeit inventory diverted 1% of ad spend for display inventory, and 72% of video spend went to counterfeit inventory sources.

In a series of tests done by the Guardian US, Google and MightyHive, Brendan Cleary, VP of programmatic sales and ad operations at the Guardian US, told MediaPost he was “pretty surprised at the high impact shown in the study.”

About 90% of Google’s publisher partners have adopted ads.txt, and 80% of the available inventory across exchanges accessed by Display & Video 360 is now authorized.

As more websites continue to adopt the standard, Google plans to make the ads.txt-only inventory control the default setting for Display & Video 360 by the end of 2018, per Maurer.

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