A reference implementation in python of a simple crawler for Ads.txt
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Neal Richter
Latest commit 1d0f07d Aug 21, 2017



An example crawler for ads.txt files given a list of URLs or domains etc and saves them to a SQLite DB table.

Usage Example

Usage: adstxt_crawler.py [options]

  -h, --help            show this help message and exit
  -t FILE, --targets=FILE
                        list of domains to crawler ads.txt from
  -d FILE, --database=FILE
                        Database to dump crawlered data into
  -v, --verbose         Increase verbosity (specify multiple times for more)

Targets File

The targets file can be a list of domains, URLs etc. For each line the crawler with extract the full hostname, validate it and cause a request to http://HOSTNAME/ads.txt

$ cat target_domains.txt 


The project depends on these libraries and programs installed

  • Python 2 or better
  • Python HTTP Requests libary (pip install requests)
  • sqlite3

Execute this command to install the DB table

$sqlite3 adstxt.db < adstxt_crawler.sql 


The usual usage would be to pass a filename of target URLs and a filename of the SQLite DB.

$ ./adstxt_crawler.py -t target_domains.txt -d adstxt.db
Wrote 3 records from 1 URLs to adstxt.db

Upon each run a sequence of entries in adstxt_crawler.log is created.

You can examine the DB records created as follows:

$echo "select * from adstxt;" | sqlite3 adstxt.db

You can clear the DB records as follows:

$echo "delete from adstxt;" | sqlite3 adstxt.db


This is an example prototype crawler and would be suitable only for a very modest production usage. It doesn't contain a lot of niceties of a production crawler, such as parallel HTTP download and parsing of the data files, stateful recovery of target servers being down, usage of a real production DB server etc.


Initial author is Neal Richter (neal@hebbian.io)


The open source license used is the 2-clause BSD license