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Online Internet Advertising Terminology: Ad Terms Part 1

Advertising specifications for online ad networks, adserver, ad management and ad server software and services. Ad definitions and ad terms do not necessarily represent the common or complete meaning of the term.

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Above the Fold: In reference to ad placement in traditional media, such as newspapers, this defines the top half of a page. On the web, this portion of the page is viewed without scrolling. Up

Ad (Advertisement): Digital creative that is typically interactive. Banners, buttons, interstitials and key words are all examples of online advertisements. The digital creative can be text, static graphic, animated graphic, video, audio or other. Up

Ad Management Software: the software technology and service that places advertisements on websites and other media. Ad management technology companies provide software to web sites and advertisers to serve ads, count them, choose the ads that will make the website or advertiser most money, and monitor progress of different advertising campaigns. Ad Server Solutions sells ad management software. Up

Ad Network: Historically, an organization charged with the representation of advertising space for a group of Webster for the purpose of maximizing revenue and minimizing administrative costs through aggregation. The role of an Internet advertising network is to transact, serve, track and report the distribution of creative from advertisers to publishers using an efficient, interactive marketplace. Ad Server Solutions sells ad network software. Up

Ad Product - A specific advertising opportunity on a website. Example: banners, jump pages, pop-ups, splash pages and tickers.

Ad Rotation: Different ads and different ad sources are often rotated in the same space on a web page. Ad rotation can be static (one ad per page view) or dynamic (more than one ad per page view cycled based on elapsed display time). This is usually done automatically by software on the web site such as Ad Server Solutions. This function is related to, but different from ad serving provided by a network. Up

Ad server: Name for the organization, hardware, and software that deliver advertising creative to the userís browser. The ad server typically is responsible for selecting the appropriate ad to serve by frequency control and targeting. The ad server also performs a variety of other administrative tasks including real time reporting of impressions, clicks, uniques, and more. Up

Ad Space: The space on a web page reserved to display advertising. Up

Audit Bureau of Verification Services (ABVS): The interactive auditing unit of the Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC). Up

Ad View: See Impression. Up

Advertiser: Any individual or entity purchasing online advertising space including agency media buyers, OEM media buyers, and sole proprietors.     Up

Affinity Marketing: Marketing efforts aimed at consumers on the basis of established buying patterns. Up

Agency: An organization beholden with the responsibility to design, produce and manage the advertising for its customers. Agencies that handle digital creative and online campaigns are typical called interactive agencies. Many agencies handle both interactive and traditional media. Up

Affiliate: Typical term for a web site that drives traffic to another web site in exchange for a percent of sales from users driven to the site. Up

Affiliate Manager: The person responsible for running the merchant's affiliate program. This includes recruiting affiliates, providing incentive programs, designing banners and media for affiliates, reporting sales and paying affiliates. Up

Affiliate Marketing: is a marketing practice in which a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought about by the affiliate's own marketing efforts. Examples include rewards sites, where users are rewarded with cash or gifts, for the completion of an offer, and the referral of others to the site. The industry has four core players: the merchant (also known as 'retailer' or 'brand'), the network, the publisher (also known as 'the affiliate'), and the customer. Up

Affiliate Network: acts as an intermediary between publishers (affiliates)and merchant affiliate programs. It allows website publishers to more easily find and participate in affiliate programs which are suitable for their website (and thus generate income from those programs), and allows websites offering affiliate programs (typically online merchants) to reach a larger audience by promoting their affiliate programs to all of the publishers participating in the affiliate network. Ad Server Solutions sells affiliate network software. Up

Affiliate Program: An automated marketing program where a Web advertiser or merchant recruits webmasters to place the merchant's banner ads or text ads on their own Web site. Webmasters will receive a referral fee or commission from sales when the customer has clicked the affiliate link to get to the merchant's Web site Web site to perform the desired action, usually make a purchase or fill out a contact form. The most common types of affiliate programs include pay per click, pay per lead and pay per saleUp

Affiliate Software: Software running and managing an affiliate program. Ad Server Solutions sells Affiliate Software. This includes signing up affiliates, managing links, tracking impressions, clicks, leads, sales, etc.  And finally paying affiliates. Up

Affiliate Tracking: The process of tracking a link uniquely by an affiliate using an affiliate link. Up

Alias: A URL that points to another web site. Many web sites use aliases to differentiate traffic.  Up

Alternate text: Text that appears while a banner is loading or when a cursor moves over a banner.  Up

Animated GIF - The combination of multiple GIF images in one file to create animation. The multiple images, displayed one after another, give the appearance of movement. Studies show that animated banners are more effective than static banners. They generate higher ad awareness and recall, and click-throughs. Up

Application Service Provider (ASP): Entities that manage and distribute services and solutions to customers across a wide area network from a central data center. Internet advertising networks are sometimes referred to as ASPs. We provide a Remotely Hosted Solutions at Ad Serving Solutions. Up

Applet: A small application served along with or instead of an image file for the purpose of executing a specific animation, visual or audio sequence. Some rich media creatives are served using a Java applet. Applets are typically intended to provide an enhanced web user experience, comparable to a plug-inUp


Bandwidth: Digital throughput capacity. A measure of how much digital signal or information can be passed through a device or interconnect. Bandwidth is usually measured in bits per second. A 2400 baud modem can handle 2.4 kilobits per second. A T3 industrial interconnect can handle 45 megabits per second. A 100 base-T ethernet interconnect can handle 100 mega-bits-per-second. Bandwidth is analogous to the size of a water pipe.  Up

Banner: An interactive online advertisement in the form of a graphic image that typically runs across the top or bottom of a web page, or is positioned in a margin or other space reserved for ads. Banner ads are historically GIF images. Many ads are animated GIFs since animation has been shown to be more effective. The standard banner is 468 pixels wide by 60 pixels high. The standard banner is still the mainstay of online advertising, but is quickly giving up ground to newer, potentially more effective forms of online advertising, such as email and interstitials. See Creative.   Up

Banner Burnout: Over exposure of an advertising creative that contributes to a drop in click-through rates. Frequency control reduces burnout for a particular creative or campaign. Up

Beyond The Banner: online advertising not involving standard GIF and JPEG banner ads. Up

Booked Space: web site advertising space that is already sold or otherwise unavailable to receive new campaign commitments. Up

Branding: A traditional advertising method used to elicit a latent response from a target based on cumulative impressions and positive reinforcement.  Up

Browser: An application used to access files from the Internet. Such browsers include Internet Explorer, Netscape Navigator, Opera and more. Up

Browser Caching: See Cache. Up

Business to Business (B2B): Businesses doing business with other businesses. The term is most commonly used in connection with e-commerce and advertising, when you are targeting businesses as opposed to consumers.   Up

Business to Business (B2B) Targeting: The targeting of online advertising to web sites that cater to business users, or targeting the business users directly. Up

Button: An interactive online advertisement in the form of a small graphic image that typically resides in the margin of a web page. Buttons are typically 88 x 31 pixels. The same button is often recurring for every page view on a particular site. Affiliate programs and sponsorships often use buttons to drive traffic.  Up

Ad Network and Affiliate technology


Cache: To store pages, images, or other items, on a local server or user's computer to speed the rate at which web pages load. Ads, like other images, are cached unless some sort of cache-busting technique is used. When ads are cached, they will be served but will not be counted by an ad server. This can lead ad servers to under count the number of times a page is viewed, and this can in turn skew monitoring techniques. Up

Cache Busting: The process of blocking the caching of certain files to guarantee new delivery from the external server for each page view. Cache busting is necessary for the successful execution on online advertising.   Up

Campaign: A contracted agreement between an advertiser or advertising agency and either a publisher or a representative of a publisher. The campaign is specific to the creative to be published and the issue, or duration of the publication. Online advertising campaigns are defined by a number of variables, including the digital creative, the duration or flight dates, the pricing program, the publishers to be used and any user targeting applied.   Up

Category Targeting: The controlled delivery of creative to categorized web sites. Categories focus a campaign to those users most likely to be interested in the products or services being offered, thus increasing the effectiveness of the campaign.  Up

Click, Click-Thru or Click-Through: The activation of a hyperlink using a mouse or other input device. The click-through is essential to the interactivity of online advertising.  Up

Click-Through Rate (or Ratio) (CTR): The rate of activated ads to total ads displayed. A typical CTR is 0.5% (1 in 200). Also called Click-Through Percent (CTP). The click-through rate of an advertising creative is one measure of its effectiveness.  Up

Click-through URL: When users click on a banner or text link, the click-through URL is the new destination to which they are directed. Up

Click Tracking: The process of counting and auditing the clicks for a campaign. Click tracking can be done by a different entity than that which serves the creative. Up

Commission: The percentage of the advertising fee paid to the Publisher for hosting the creative on their web site Typical commissions range from 50 to 75 percent. Up

Common Gateway Interface (CGI): Interface creation scripting programs that create web pages in real-time based on dynamic end user interactive data. Up

Cookie: A cookie is a file used to record and store a variety of information on a user's computer. Cookies are placed by an external source during a certain event, such as the display of an ad. A cookie can be read only by the server in the domain that stored it. Cookies placed on user's computers as part of the ad serving process by ad server solutions do not collect, store or transmit personally identifiable information. Users can accept or deny cookies, by changing a setting in their browser preferences. The denial of cookies severely limits the customization and interactivity of a user's online experience. Up

Cost per 1,000 Impressions (CPM): An advertising campaign pricing model based on an estimate of the number of impressions of a particular creative in a particular media at a particular time (TV) or issue (printed media). The vast majority of online banner advertising is priced using the CPM model. The "M" is the Roman numeral for 1,000. The cost is aggregated per thousand for convenience; the cost for individual impressions would be very small. CPM is strongly associated with the "branding" school of marketing. Up

Cost per Action or Acquisition (CPA): An advertising campaign pricing model based on paying for direct results. The direct correlation between the action taken and the payment for the advertising that led to the action is desirable to advertisers. This model takes many forms (leads, sales, etc.) and is increasing in popularity online due to the ease of implementation and accounting compared to traditional media. CPA is strongly associated with the "direct response" school of marketing. Also called Cost per Transaction Up

Cost per Click-through (CPC): An advertising campaign pricing model base on paying only for those ads that experience a click-through CPC can be considered a measure of direct response, but is not a measure of true action taken by a user. Up

Cost per Lead (CPL): A CPA pricing method that typically pays a fixed fee for the acquisition of a customer lead, such as a filled out form or an opt-in email address.  Up

Cost per Sale (CPS): A CPA pricing method that typically pays a transaction percentage for the acquisition of a customer that makes a purchase.  Up

Creative: The materials used in advertising to convey a message. Digital creative can be text, static graphic, animated graphic, video, audio or other. See Banner. Up

Customer Acquisition Cost: The cost associated with acquiring a new customer.  Up

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Data Reporting: The presentation and delivery of publisher web site and advertiser campaign data. Data reporting is typically a combination of tabular and graphic presentation. Up

Demographics: Statistical data that describes the makeup of a given user base, and includes information such as age range, gender, education levels, and average household income. Demographic data is one of the tools used to match ad space with an advertising campaign. Up

Digital Creative: Advertising creative that is in digital format. Digital creative is easily stored, retrieved and delivered online. Common forms of digital creative include hypertext, HTML files, GIF image files, MPEG video files and AVI audio files. Up

Direct Response: A traditional advertising method used to elicit a direct response from a target by providing immediate access to the means to make a purchase. The interactivity of the Internet is ideal for the implementation of direct response advertising campaigns. Up


Even Delivery: The uniform distribution of advertising creative across designated web sites and over the flight of the campaign given targeting parameters, if any. Reputable ad serving systems like Ad Server Solutions have a variety of methods to maximize even delivery. Up

Exclusive: A contract that forces a Publisher to sell all specified inventory through a certain channel for a specified period of time. Advertisers can also be bound to purchase media only through a certain channel for a specified period of time. Up

Exit Transfer: The automatic launch of a browser window containing the advertiser's content triggered by the visitor exiting a particular web page or web site. Up

Exposures: Similar to Impressions, except it refers directly to the accessing of the Ad Banner. Up


Flight Dates: The time period, and associated start and end dates, over which an advertising campaign runs. Up

Frequency: The rate a particular user is exposed to a particular creative or a particular campaign during a single session or period of time. Frequency capping is essential to the success of online advertising campaigns to maximize creative effectiveness. Up


Graphic Interchange Format (GIF): A common graphics format that can be displayed on almost all web browsers. GIFs typically display in 256 colors and have built-in compression. Static or animated GIF images are the most common form of banner creative. Up

Geo Targeting: Serving of ads to a particular geographical area or population segment. Geo-Targetiing. Up


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