The average price of ad space purchased through Google’s ad-buying systems has increased over the past few weeks, following the ad tech company’s adoption of the ‘ads.txt’ initiative in November.

The ads.text initiative is available for publishers to signify which partners and ad-buying systems have permission to sell their ad space legitimately, reducing the ability for false actors to create and sell counterfeit or “spoofed” advertising.

The tool was introduced by the Internet Advertising Bureau UK (IAB UK) as part of its Gold Standard initiative aimed at improving advertising standards online. According to the institute, ads.text should provide more secure and flexible authorisation for publishers and distributors to improve transparency for programmatic buyers.

Good news

This is good news for publishers, who some believe the price of their ad space has been devalued by ad fraud and counterfeit inventory available in the programmatic space.

According to Google, the adoption of ads.txt has helped publishers using the system with over 50% of ad space available to purchase through the ad tech company’s ad-buying software. Support from other online ad companies such as The Trade Desk also continue to drive publishers to adopt the initiative.

“We would expect prices to increase once we started to cut out unauthorised inventory,” commented Pooja Kapoor, head of global strategy, programmatic and user trust at Google, as  she predicts further increases in ad space price as ads.text become more utilised across the industry.

However, Kapoor continued that some publishers are still wary of “taking the leap” for fear ads.text could negatively impact their revenue or disrupt their existing ad sales arrangements.

“There’s still some education needed, and there’s still some confusion out there,” she said. “At the end of the day you have to approach this in a principled way. It’s incumbent on the market to enforce this across the board.”