The average price of ad space purchased through Google’s ad-buying systems has increased over the past three weeks, the company said, which it attributes to its adoption of the “ads.txt” industry initiative earlier this month.
Ads.txt is a mechanism for online publishers to signal which partners and ad systems have permission to sell their ad space legitimately, thereby limiting the ability for nefarious actors to create and sell counterfeit inventory.
Google’s disclosure is good news for publishers, many of whom believe the price of their ad space has been devalued by counterfeit inventory available in the market. Industry executives have likened the problem to fake Rolex watches driving down the prices of the legitimate product.
For marketers, the shift means they could end up paying higher prices for online ad space. But it should also give them greater confidence they’re receiving the product they’re paying for, and potentially prevent their ads from appearing on unexpected sites with questionable content or unknown ownership. “Advertisers and agencies may need to pay a little more. But if they don’t vote with their dollars then unauthorized selling will continue”, said Pooja Kapoor, Head of Global Strategy, Programmatic and User Trust at Google.
According to Google, adoption of ads.txt has accelerated quickly in recent weeks. Over 50% of ad space available to buy through its ad-buying software, DoubleClick Bid Manager, now comes from publisher domains using ads.txt to help verify authenticity. Over 750 of the Web’s top 2,000 websites now have ads.txt installed, according to Google.
Marshall, J. (2017, Nov. 30). The Wall Street Journal.