Thursday, February 1, 2018

Blogger Institutes the Ads.txt File for Bloggers

EDIT!!!! As of the afternoon late afternoon on February 1st, Blogger has updated the maximum allowed characters for the custom ads.txt file to 10,000.  I have tested it with my InfoLinks added and it takes all the required information.

Well ... has anybody recently noticed that Blogger has provided an ads.txt file for it's users?  I noticed this only 2 days ago, so it's pretty recent, and I don't know about anyone else, but I haven't received any information about it from Blogger.

The problem I've discovered (and I'm sure that I'm not the only one) is that the their basic "default" ads.txt file only provides the publisher information for AdSense. And that's fine if the only thing you use on your blog is AdSense, although AdSense doesn't require it if you only use AdSense, so I'm not sure why Blogger instituted it in this way.

But if you use other advertisers (like Amazon, InfoLinks or any other advertisers), then those advertisers may require you to have your publisher ID included in your ads.txt file because bloggers, now you have one (an ads.txt file that is).

They have provided an option to edit or add to your ads.txt file. You can find this in your settings, under the search preferences. If you have other advertisers, you can add their required information when you edit the ads.txt file.

A screenshot of the location of blogger's ads.txt file.

The problem I've run into with this is InfoLinks. The information InfoLinks provides you with for your ads.txt file is many lines long, and Blogger currently limits you to only 1000 characters in an ads.txt file. I don't know why they have chosen to do that, but I do know that Blogger terms of use don't really allow users to have piles of advertising in your blog, and any blogs overloaded with ads often get reported for spam, so it may or may not be related to a spam control issue (just guessing that might be the reason).

I think (but don't really know for sure) that they may have assumed every advertiser is like AdSense, where they only require one line of text, but that isn't true. InfoLinks has a long list that they ask you to put in your file.  So even if those are the only 2 advertisers you use, you still can't put them both in that ads.txt file.

A simple thing would have been for Blogger to include an "on/off" button for the ads.txt file. For anyone who can't place all of their advertisers in the file, they could turn it off entirely but the way it is now, none of my blogs with infoLinks can use the infoLinks information.  And since there is now an ads.txt file I can't remove from blogger ... I assume that means none of my InfoLinks earnings will be counted.

That would be the same for any publisher whose ads.txt file needs more than 1000 characters. It's a problem created by the default ads.txt file and the fact that we can't (at the moment) just turn it off.

Blogger is already aware of this issue, but I can't say one way or the other if or when they would do anything about it.

Edit to the above: Blogger addressed this issue very quickly and issued a fix as of yesterday (later in the afternoon of Feb. 1st after this article was posted). If you need more space for your ads.txt custom file to cover your other advertisers, you should now be able to add them.

posted by J.Gracey Stinson

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