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ads.txt question

     
10:49 pm on Oct 30, 2017 (gmt 0)

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For nearly a week, when I log onto Adsense there's been this message:

Earnings at risk – One or more of your ads.txt files doesn't contain your AdSense publisher ID. Fix this now to avoid severe impact to your revenue.

I have two accounts on my sites. One is my wife's, the other is mine. Because of that, my ads.txt file looks like:
google.com, pub-0000000000000000, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0
google.com, pub-0000000000000001, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0

(My real pub-id are not listed above)

I waited days but the message remained.

Now I have received a message from Google:

Dear Publisher,
We’ve noticed that the ads.txt file on one or more of your sites that you monetise through this AdSense account (pub-0000000000000000) is missing the correct publisher code.
From mid-October, Google will stop buying ads on sites with ads.txt files which don’t include the correct publisher IDs. We recommend you update your ads.txt files immediately to prevent impact to your earnings. Make sure that the ads.txt file for each site you want to monetise through this account contains the snippet below:

google.com, pub-0000000000000000, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0

----
The way I read it, is that my wife won't be able to have her code on my site. Is that correct? I cannot see what's wrong with my txt file if I've received the above message.

Thank you.
2:19 am on Nov 1, 2017 (gmt 0)

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The way I read it, is that my wife won't be able to have her code on my site. Is that correct?
Your code looks correct to me. There are sites that use multiple Adsense accounts. What other way would you do it?

I don't know if there is any documentation for this, but you could try:

google.com, pub-0000000000000000, pub-0000000000000001, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0

Related discussion:
Authorized Digital Sellers [webmasterworld.com]

[edited by: keyplyr at 2:37 am (utc) on Nov 1, 2017]

2:35 am on Nov 1, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Thank you for getting back to me.

I have added her account (even though her account doesn't have the warning message.)
I used my pub-id first in the list, and her pub-id in the second line.

I will alter her one to reseller and wait 24 hours, but I bet it won't make a difference.

Since writing my original post, I thought there maybe a website out there that's not mine, yet has my code on it. Would that possibly cause it?

I do find it odd that we have two websites, and both our code is on both websites, yet only one of us has the "red message"

BTW, we only use Adsense, no 3rd parties, no DFP.
2:40 am on Nov 1, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I thought there maybe a website out there that's not mine, yet has my code on it. Would that possibly cause it?
That certainly could be the reason for the warnings, still when they threaten to cut you off, it sounds serious. I know for a fact there are several scraper sites that have my adsense code. I just never added them to "My Sites" and forgot about it.
2:44 am on Nov 1, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I have found sites in the past that have used my code, and I've done a Google search on both pub-ids and didn't find any this time. I know they won't be listed on "My sites" list though.

It's really frustrating not knowing what is wrong.
2:46 am on Nov 1, 2017 (gmt 0)

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As it is my account that is "affected", should I make myself the reseller, or the wife's one (who isn't affected)?
2:58 am on Nov 1, 2017 (gmt 0)

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That's a good idea. I'd tag the pub account that Google said they couldn't find as the reseller. I guess that's you.

It would be helpful to see how someone else that uses more than one pub account writes their ads.txt.
3:03 am on Nov 1, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Thank you.

I have made myself the reseller and left the wife's one as direct (she's on the 2nd line of the list)

I've uploaded the file to both sites. I'll let you know how it goes.

Thank you again for helping out. It's been stressing me out no end.
6:05 pm on Nov 2, 2017 (gmt 0)

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It's been well over 24 hours now, and still no joy.

I originally had it as:
google.com, pub-MY PUB ID, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0
google.com, pub-WIFE'S PUB ID, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0

So, I altered it to:
google.com, pub-MY PUB ID, RESELLER, f08c47fec0942fa0
google.com, pub-WIFE'S PUB ID, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0

and the warning message still exists. :(
6:13 pm on Nov 2, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Was there a way to reply to Google and alert them to the changes?

BTW Lame_Wolf - this is an important discussion. I'm sure this will be useful to many other members, Thanks for posting this.
6:30 pm on Nov 2, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Thank you for getting back to me.

At the end of the message, there is a "Learn More" button that takes you to here:
[support.google.com...] which you've probably seen already. There's no submit button or similar.

There is a Feedback on my panel, so I have just sent off a message to them, along with what I've done so far. I'll keep you informed of any news.

I wish the Google guy would still be here but I haven't seen one in a long time. I've no idea if Google reply to feedback, so it's a wait and see situation.
8:00 am on Nov 6, 2017 (gmt 0)

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If another sites are serving your code, you should go to setttings -> my sites and make sure only your sites are enabled as verified sites.
8:05 am on Nov 6, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@dollarsound - that's a different topic and not what is happening here.
8:16 am on Nov 6, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@keyplyr it's not a different topic. It's what google told me when I had the same problem. If some other sites are serving your adsense code and those sites have no ads.txt and you have no control over them, the only thing you can do is to tell google those sites don't belong to you.
8:32 am on Nov 6, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Again, you are not understanding what we are discussing in this thread. Go back to the top and read all the posts again. Lame_Wolf is using his ads and those of his wife's account on his website.
8:43 am on Nov 6, 2017 (gmt 0)

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If you think so, just delete my suggestions, you are the moderator.
When you contact your account manager or other google support, please let us know the solution.
4:27 pm on Nov 6, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Google's crawler may take slightly longer to re-crawl the changes to your file. You're safe as long as you have one publisher ID per line, and it reads like this:

google.com, pub-0000000000000000, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0

For all AdSense accounts, where the AdSense tag is placed directly on the page, or placed on the site through an ad server directly, the relationship type is always DIRECT. The RESELLER relationship type doesn't apply here.

In terms of investigating which sites may be causing the alert, best thing to do is to check the ads.txt contents of each site listed in the My Sites tab (under settings). If you find that you have sites in that list that are not yours, or that you no longer own or monetize, I recommend that you enable site authorization (click on the three dots above the sites table, right hand side). This will discount "unverified" sites from generating the ads.txt alert.

Hope that helps!
5:03 pm on Nov 6, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I originally had it as:
google.com, pub-MY PUB ID, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0
google.com, pub-WIFE'S PUB ID, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0

Warning message persisted.

So, days laterI altered it to:
google.com, pub-MY PUB ID, RESELLER, f08c47fec0942fa0
google.com, pub-WIFE'S PUB ID, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0

Warning message persisted.

Days later I altered again to:
google.com, pub-MY PUB ID, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0
google.com, pub-WIFE'S PUB ID, RESELLER, f08c47fec0942fa0

Warning message persisted.

So I renamed my ads.txt to ==ads.txt and within a hour or so I received an email from Google "[Reminder] Action required: Fix your ads.txt file by mid-October to protect your AdSense" with the same text as before.

I have reverted back to ads.txt with
google.com, pub-MY PUB ID, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0
google.com, pub-WIFE'S PUB ID, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0
6:07 pm on Nov 6, 2017 (gmt 0)

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...you are not required to use ads.txt, and there will be no impact to your earnings if you don't implement it.
[support.google.com...]

There is the possibility Google still has some bugs with this, so in some cases it may be best to not use the ads.txt file.

Lame_Wolf - you may fall into this category :)
6:18 pm on Nov 6, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I don't use DoubleClick or any 3rd parties, I deal directly with Adsense.

I hope it is a bug though. They are still showing adverts on the site, so it's not as if they've disabled them. Earnings are dire though, but that's another story.
6:31 pm on Nov 6, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Hi amirhr and welcome to WebmasterWorld [webmasterworld.com]
8:45 pm on Nov 6, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Do you have more than 1 site? How about checking cache? Without knowing details, I personally would double check for any unexpected rogue files / cache / redirects. I personally make these mistakes myself.

Other posters may be onto something. If your code is served on other people's sites (stolen / copied content), and their sites have unmatched ads.txt (well they stole your code after all, they probably not going to include your pub id on their ads.txt). And if the notification bypasses site filter, then it's outside of our control.

I would personally ignore the error after triple checking spelling / implementation, but keep close eye on earning for both accounts. While still using "DIRECT" for both the accounts which is what you did at the end.

I think networks (adsense / other third parties) in general are still waiting for wider implementation before any negative action, probably after Q4 is over and they have more data. The penetration of ads.txt is I think 40% the last time I read into it, still not high enough to completely turn on the system. I think it's here to stay though, many other big networks have jumped in as well, especially the programmatic side. For others that have not added the files. I would advise adding it, it's not that hard. You never know if certain advertisers start requiring it midst of Q4.
9:39 pm on Nov 6, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I do have more than one site, and that has the identical ads.txt.
I've googled the pub-id's and found nothing (I have in the past)

Sites are hand coded and adsense code is copy and pasted, so no mistakes there either.

I did suggest the idea that it may be on other sites outside my control. It's either that or a bug.

Thank you for your help on the matter. I wish Google would come back to me about it. So much for leaving feedback.
5:57 pm on Nov 15, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Just a little update.

Today, my wife's account started showing this red warning message. Later today, Google has now listed the site in question that needs to be verified. It is not my site, and it is also the same site listed in my account too.

I've looked in the "My sites" list, and the site in question is not mentioned there. It looks like this warning message will be forever there because of it.
8:26 pm on Nov 16, 2017 (gmt 0)

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In my case the warning was triggered by onlinetranslator [dot] com. Many services translating my webs via user request show my site + ads, so I used to receive warnings about "other sites are showing your code blah blah", so, being translators I added them to the ok list, but the ads.txt is not something in my control regarding them. Just sharing this in case someone is having similar warnings.
9:34 pm on Nov 16, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Mine turned out to be answers dot com - and this was on both accounts.

The other odd thing, the warning that started to appear on my wife's account vanished a few hours later, and it's not been seen since. However, mine has been there for so long it's starting to screen burn the monitor. :)
1:47 am on Nov 17, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@Lame_Wolf, I hope you get an answer. I added an ads.txt file to all of my sites. The warning for all but one went away. I don't understand why the last one doesn't clear their review. I just copied the same ads.txt information and changed the name of the site in the comment line at the top. I just zapped support a request for help. I think this is still glitchy on their end.
2:34 pm on Nov 18, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Same issue here, we have 3 websites, all websites were not showing adsense ads anymore, but after 24 hours or more 2 ads started showing adsense again, 1 isn't. We don't understand why...
4:37 pm on Nov 18, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@nubchai - Thank you. Although I never heard back from Google, their latest message now states which site that doesn't have my ads.txt file. As that site has nothing to do with me, the warning message will forever be there as there's no way to dismiss said site.

@Blaugrana - are you sure this is the same problem with ads.txt? It sounds like you have a different problem all together.
12:35 am on Nov 19, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Google just updated their help center on ads.txt:
[support.google.com...]

Check out the first FAQ titled "I see an alert about my ads.txt file in AdSense. How do I check which of my sites has an incorrect ads.txt file?", it explains how you can find out which sites you have ads.txt issues with (which you all seem to know), and what to do if any of those sites don't belong to you (switch on authorized sites, unverify the sites, refresh AdSense).

You may for example see aol.com in the list of sites that have ads.txt issues in your account, however that's most likely only because your site is appearing in AOL's search cache on search.aol.com/..., and they happen to have an ads.txt file:
[aol.com...]

Anyway, if you don't own the sites, you've got nothing to worry about in terms of revenue loss.
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