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Seller.json vs Ads.txt - Comparing Rapid Fraud Prevention Tools

Posted by Huzefa Hakim | August 31, 2023

Seller.json vs Ads.txt - Comparing Rapid Fraud Prevention Tools

In the fast-paced world of digital advertising, staying a step ahead of fraudulent activities is a priority for both advertisers and publishers. Thankfully, there are powerful internal fraud prevention tools at your disposal to combat these challenges. Among these tools, two prominent players have emerged: seller.json and ads.txt. These tools are designed to provide transparency, enhance trust, and fortify the digital advertising ecosystem against malicious actors.

The digital ad fraud costs In the United States were believed to reach 81 billion U.S. dollars in 2022. In such an environment, it becomes imperative to understand the importance of leveraging the must-have tools while choosing publishers or before beginning your campaigns. In this article, we will delve into the intricacies of these two fraud prevention tools, explore how they contribute to fraud prevention, and determine which one is indispensable for your fraud-fighting arsenal.

What is seller.json? How does it assist in fraud prevention?

Seller.json is a revolutionary solution in the ongoing battle against digital ad fraud. It is an IAB-approved standard that enables publishers to publicly declare the details of their authorized sellers. This file, hosted on a publisher's domain, outlines the relationship between the publisher and the entities authorized to sell their inventory. It serves as a beacon of authenticity, offering advertisers a clear view of the legitimate resellers associated with a particular domain. Here's how seller.json assists in fraud prevention:

  • Transparency: Seller.json fosters transparency by openly displaying the entities sanctioned to sell a publisher's inventory. Advertisers can effortlessly verify whether their ad impressions are being auctioned by authorized sources.
  • Trust: By revealing authorized sellers, seller.json cultivates trust between publishers and advertisers. Advertisers can confidently invest in inventory from publishers who uphold the highest standards of legitimacy.
  • Fraud Mitigation: The granular information provided by seller.json helps identify and mitigate fraud. It becomes easier to pinpoint unauthorized sellers and take corrective action promptly.
  • Data Accuracy: Seller.json ensures that the transactional data exchanged between parties is accurate. This reduces the chances of misunderstandings and discrepancies, which often open the door to fraudulent activities.

What is ads.txt? How does it assist in fraud prevention?

Ads.txt, short for Authorized Digital Sellers, is another potent tool in the fight against ad fraud. It is a text file hosted on a publisher's domain, listing the authorized sellers of their inventory. Ads.txt prevents unauthorized reselling by allowing publishers to declare the entities with permission to sell their ad space. Here's how ads.txt contributes to fraud prevention:

  • Inventory Verification: Ads.txt enables advertisers to verify the authenticity of the inventory they are buying. By checking the list of authorized sellers, advertisers can ascertain the legitimacy of the transaction.
  • Domain Spoofing Prevention: One of the major benefits of ads.txt is its role in curbing domain spoofing. It reduces the chances of fraudsters misrepresenting their inventory by only allowing authorized sellers to participate in the supply chain.
  • Reduced Arbitrage: Ads.txt minimizes the potential for arbitrage, where unauthorized parties purchase and resell inventory. This helps advertisers connect directly with legitimate sources, enhancing transparency.
  • Quality Control: Publishers can exert more control over their ad inventory distribution through ads.txt. This control prevents their inventory from appearing on low-quality or fraudulent sites, safeguarding their reputation.
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Seller.json vs ads.txt: Which is a Must?

Both seller.json and ads.txt offer valuable tools in the fight against ad fraud, but they serve slightly different purposes within the ecosystem. Ideally, to bolster your fraud prevention strategy comprehensively, it's advisable to implement both solutions. Here is a quick comparison to help you understand which tool might be more essential for your needs:

Seller.json Strengths:

  • Focuses on disclosing authorized sellers.
  • Offers deep transparency into the supply chain.
  • Mitigates unauthorized reselling efficiently

Ads.txt Strenghts:

  • Directly addresses domain spoofing.
  • Enables publishers to control inventory distribution.
  • Minimizes the scope for arbitrage.

In the ever-evolving landscape of digital advertising, fraud prevention tools like seller.json and ads.txt stand as stalwarts against deceitful practices. These tools provide advertisers and publishers with the means to verify, validate, and safeguard their transactions. By embracing the power of seller.json and ads.txt, you are not only taking a stand against ad fraud but also contributing to a healthier and more transparent digital advertising environment.