FAQs about AAM’s Participation in Trust.txt

February 28, 2022



AAM is proud to participate in Trust.txt, an industry initiative developed by non-profit organization JournalList to help publishers stand out as members of trusted industry associations and organizations. These FAQs give an overview of the program, how it works and the benefits for publishers.


What is Trust.txt?

Trust.txt is a framework that establishes relationships between publishers and the trusted industry organizations and associations they belong to. Belonging to an industry organization is one signal of trust that sets quality publishers apart from other websites. Trust.txt, a simple text file that publishers add to their websites, provides an easy way for advertisers, tech platforms and search engines like Google to make connections between legitimate publishers and trusted industry organizations, which helps those publishers stand out from others in the market.


How does it work?

All AAM publisher clients are listed on AAM’s Trust.txt file. Publishers also are encouraged to create their own Trust.txt files to list their industry memberships, owned domains and social media accounts. When both organizations have a Trust.txt file, search engines can recognize that there is a legitimate connection between the two.

Once the text file is created, it should be uploaded to the publisher’s root directory, the same place where the robots.txt or ads.txt files reside. Here’s an example of Editor & Publisher’s Trust.txt file. Publishers can join JournalList for a nominal fee, and the organization will create a Trust.txt file for publishers to upload to their site.


Why is AAM participating?

AAM is offering this benefit to publisher clients as another way to help them stand out for their commitment to quality and transparency. We recently became a member of JournalList because we are committed to partnering with organizations that develop new solutions to elevate transparency in the industry.


How is Trust.txt used in the industry?

Industry associations and individual publishers participate in Trust.txt to create another signal of trust for the good work publishers do. AAM recently became a member of JournalList and launched its Trust.txt file listing all AAM publishers. Publishers can create Trust.txt files on their own or join JournalList and the organization will create one for them. The goal of the program is to make it easy for advertisers, ad tech platforms and search engines to easily identify quality publishers and make connections between trusted media and industry organizations.


Why should publishers participate?

By participating in Trust.txt, publishers are signaling to advertisers and tech platforms that they are legitimate media providers committed to quality, journalistic integrity and adherence to industry standards. It’s an easy way for publishers to stand up for their quality and stand out in a crowded digital market.


What are the benefits for publishers?

Trust.txt is a simple way for publishers to signal their legitimacy and stand out from others in the digital ecosystem. Since publishers’ websites and social media accounts can be a target for fraud, Trust.txt helps publishers fight back by claiming their digital properties and industry memberships to establish legitimacy. Txt files, like Trust.txt, are common ways for websites to provide information to search engines in a format that is machine-readable and easy to process. As the number of organizations and publishers that participate in Trust.txt grows, ad tech platforms and search engines can add Trust.txt files to their algorithms to identify quality media from the millions of other websites on the internet. The more organizations and publishers that participate, the greater the impact of the program on the industry.


To learn more about becoming a member of JournalList, visit journallist.net.


Topics: Digital

Return to News & Views