Food, Home & Garden, and Travel are the categories less likely to have fraud, malware and unsafe traffic on publisher sites, according to the Sellers.guide analysis of publishers.
Sellers.guide was created in May 2021 by Primis, a global video discovery platform owned by Universal McCann and Interpublic.
Researchers at Sellers.guide, using publicly available ads.txt data, also found that publisher websites in the News & Media, Games, and Sports, as well as larger sites, are more likely to have these issues.
The IAB’s Authorized Digital Sellers initiative -- known as ads.txt -- helps ensure that digital ad inventory is only sold through authorized sellers. It was created to view complete lists of ad sellers, resellers, and ad exchanges working with a publisher to ensure transparency in the digital programmatic supply chain.
Publishers do not always update their ads.txt files. Other publishers have up-to-date files, but work with low-quality or too many sellers and resellers. This can negatively impact the experience that users receive, even when engaging with high-quality content.
The Sellers.guide enables understanding a publisher’s seller transparency including the list of all sellers, resellers, and exchanges selling that publisher’s inventory. To provide value for publishers, all problems are flagged with the insights needed to fix them.
Sellers.guide publisher scores are calculated by comparing ads.txt files with sellers.json, an IAB-developed tool for enabling buyers to verify direct sellers and intermediaries for a publisher. Publishers are ranked between 0 and 10 based on 12 categories, with categories that provide a greater threat being weighted higher.
These higher-threat categories include:
Viewing a ranking of a publisher’s sellers, resellers, and ad-exchange partners can help advertisers and agencies determine which publishers to work with.
The current Sellers.guide has a ranking of leading publisher verticals, with the first set of scores from the left for all publishers, and the second set is for larger publishers, ranked among the top 50,000 publishers globally.
Some categories ranked are those higher ranked in the Sellers.guide with a score of 4.5 or greater. Other categories achieved a score of 3.9 or lower in the Sellers.guide.
Publisher site by vertical
Avg. Sellers.guide score
# of domains
Sellers.guide score for largest sites (1-50k global rank cap)
# of domains
Arts and Entertainment
News & Media
Computers, Electronics & Technology
Home & Garden
Travel & Tourism