How To Stop Domain Spoofing Using the Ads.txt File

Inplace #2

Domain spoofing has been around for a long time and there is still a large number of sites being affected by unauthorized sites pretending to be authorized and premium.

Since there is a noticeable growth in marketing revenue being accumulated online, domain spoofing has become a more than profitable activity for cybercriminals.

The digital world seems to be unable to do anything about it.

However, the IAB technology lab which does independent research has been assigned to help companies implement global industry standards. They also teamed up with other tech companies to develop a solution to domain spoofing.

What Is Domain Spoofing?

Domain Spoofing works in a way that it tricks consumers thinking they are purchasing from reputable publishers like New York Times or Guardian, for instance when they are actually making a transaction to an unauthorized publisher.

Despite all the best efforts of tech companies, this is still a big issue, more and more so as more revenue is being accumulated from online purchases and marketing efforts. Each time there is a domain spoof, the legitimate website is in the shadows while the unauthorized publisher is damaging their reputation.

“This is really a huge issue and it has been for quite a while. Domain Spoofing can deteriorate your revenue or even worse, your reputation. It robs the publishers and it robs our consumers so it definitely needed a fix,” says Ben Lewis, a content manager at OriginWritings.

What Is Ads.txt?

The solution – Ads.txt.

To stop domain spoofing, there needs to be a higher transparency in programmatic advertising. People purchasing need to know whether they are on an authorized site or not.

The Ads.txt project is something that meets the challenge by providing publishers and stores a secure tool to declare a text file containing their authorized sellers thus creating the necessary transparency.

Only the webmasters of authorized websites can post this index – it’s simple, flexible and it works. It’s also inexpensive and easy to implement.

How Can Ads.txt Help?

Publishers can add a text file to their servers with information on authorized sellers. Platforms can then integrate the file to allow them to crawl the Web and compile the list of sellers from each domain and proceed to authenticate sites on the lists as those that are authorized to sell the publishers products or services.

Ads.txt supports different types of vendor relationships and it will work for you no matter what you need.

Since domain spoofing is mainly done for the profit, the reduction in revenue is predicted to wipe it out altogether.

“Once we heard about ads.txt, we were delighted that someone has finally found a solution to a problem that’s been bothering publishers like us for years. We can implement this easily and stop wasting time on counterfeit technologies that usually don’t work as well as they should,” says Emily Brooks, a Webmaster at WriteMyX and 1Day2Write.

Who Will Benefit From Ads.txt?

Here is a list of organizations this innovation can help:

  • Third party networks – Domain owners who use sales houses and networks as their main monetizers can be secure and safe with ads.txt.
  • DSPs – They can use ads.txt to help their users buy more securely.
  • Publishers – Once they implement Ads.txt, they can stop spending money on counterfeit inventory and receive more income through various approved sales channels
  • SSPs – With buyers targeting domains across SSPs can be tempted by high performance and low price of exchange, especially because there is no link to the domain owner. This can harm honest SSPs and ads.txt can help with that.
  • Advertisers – They can be confident that they are paying for genuine media.

Ads.txt To The Rescue

There are numerous ways in which cybercriminals are tricking people and diverting their money. Domain Spoofing is just one of them but a solution like Ads.txt can solve this problem and relieve publishers of at least one threat. It’s simple and effective, ensuring that the revenue is going where it’s supposed to go and not in the hands of some criminal. With this tool you really have nothing to lose but a lot to gain in income and reputability.

About The Author

Margaret Riehle is a recruiting analyst for Academic Brits. She loves writing about the latest trends in business, marketing, and communications for digital magazines and blogs as well as meeting new people and being helpful.