Web Advertising Glossary

Ad Flight - The duration of time for which an advertising campaign is live.

Ad Network - A advertising company that usually serves as a broker between web site publishers and advertisers. Larger ad networks aggregate sites into general categories so that they can offer advertisers targeted buys. The majority of banner advertisements on the Internet are sold and served by ad networks.

Ad Server - A computer, normally operated by a third party, that delivers and tracks advertisements independent of the web site where the ad is being displayed. Use of an ad server helps establish trust between an advertiser and publisher since the statistics are maintained by a objective third party.

Ad Space - The space on a web page reserved for the displaying of advertisements. Typically at the top or bottom of a page or if a small advertisement in the right or left column. The most desirable ad space is above the fold.

Ad Units - A way of classifying ad types. Ad units on the Internet include banners, buttons, micro buttons, pop ups, skyscrapers, text links, interstitials, superstitials, etc. Ad units are usually defined by the IAB as voluntary guidelines.

Bandwidth - The amount of data (text, video, sound, images, animations) that can be moved through an Internet connection. The amount is typically measured in bits per second (bps). A high speed Internet connection such as a cable or DSL modem provides more bandwidth than a 56K dial up modem. Also know as throughput.

Banner - A graphic that appears on a web page that is usually hyperlinked to an advertisers web site. May be in a variety of formats including GIF, JPEG, Flash, HTML, Java, JavaScript & more. See samples here.

Campaign - The process of planning, creating, buying and tracking an advertising project from start to finish.

Click Through Rate (CTR) - The percentage of impressions that resulted in a click through. Calculated by dividing the number of clicks by the number of impressions. For example if a banner was click on 13 times after being displayed 1000 times, the banner would have a click rate of ( 13 / 1000 = .013 ) 1.3%. This is also commonly know as a banners click through rate.

Click Through - The action of clicking on a banner and having ones browser automatically redirected to the web page a banner is hyperlinked to.

Conversion - Term used to describe the process of getting a web visitor to accept an offer or become a paying customer. Advertisers strive for high conversion ratios.

Cookies - A process by which a small file is sent from a web server to the local users computer to store information unique to that browser. Often used by advertisers to keep track of the number and frequency of advertisements that have been shown to a visitor or by sites to help them determine the number of unique visitors.

CPC - Cost per click (CPC) is one of the online payment models by which advertisers pays for each click through made on their advertisement. This is an ideal method of payment for advertisers who need to guarantee they only pay for those viewers of the banner that click on it and visit a page on their site.

CPM - Cost per thousand (CPM) is one of the online payment models by which advertisers pays for every 1000 impressions of their advertisement. Prices typically range from $10 to over $50 per thousand impressions. This is an ideal method of payment for advertisers who want to guarantee only the number of people who sees their banner. The "M" in CPM is from the Roman numeral for 1000. The Roman numeral M was derived from the latin word "mille" meaning "thousand".

Creative - The technology used to create a banner or other type of advertising material. Common creative types include GIF, JPEG, Java, HTML, Flash or streaming audio/video.

Flash - A software plugin that enables browsers to play multimedia animations. Some rich media advertisements require users to have this plugin.

GIF - The graphical interchange format (GIF) is a graphical file extension. Most banner advertisements are created in the GIF format. More popular than the JPEG format. GIF89a or animated GIFs are a sequences of standard GIF images combined to create animated banners. These animated banners tend to generate higher click through rates than non-animated banners.

House Ads - A type of banner advertisement that a web site publisher runs in an ad space when no paying advertisement is available to fill the space. Typically filled with an advertisement promoting one of the web sites services, products or features.

Impressions - The number of times a banner ad was requested and presumably seen by users. It is often hard to obtain an accurate impression count as they can be undercounted due to issues relating to cache or overcounted due to requests that were not completed. See monthly page impressions here.

Insertion Order - A online or printed document that specifies the details of an advertising campaign. The terms of the agreement may also be specified on the insertion order or they may be placed in a separate document but are almost always referred to the insertion order if not present.

Inventory - The number of ad spaces available for sale on a web site during a certain time frame. Determined buy taking into consideration the number of advertisements on a page, the number of pages with advertisements and the number of page views during a specific time frame.

Media Kit - Information offered to potential advertisers by publishers to help advertisers understand the publishers rates, visitor demographics, terms, etc.

Non Remnant - Used in research, but applied to online advertising specifically it refers to ad space sold directly by the primary owner of the ad space versus remnant display which is sold through third party.

PageRank (PR) - PageRank is a numeric value that represents how important a page is on the web. Google figures that when one page links to another page, it is effectively casting a vote for the other page. The more votes that are cast for a page, the more important the page must be. Also, the importance of the page that is casting the vote determines how important the vote itself is. Google calculates a page's importance from the votes cast for it. How important each vote is is taken into account when a page's PageRank is calculated. PageRank is Google's way of deciding a page's importance. It matters because it is one of the factors that determines a page's ranking in the search results. It isn't the only factor that Google uses to rank pages, but it is an important one.

Page View (or Page Impression) - Occurs when a users browser requests a web page. A single page view may create multiple hits to the server if the page contains multiple elements such as banners. Since page views do not take into consideration users who may have their browsers set to disable images, they are of little value to advertisers.

Pixel - Short for picture element (Pixel), a pixel is a measurement representing a single point in a graphic. Most ad units are measured in pixels such as the common 468 pixel x 60 pixel sized baner.

Pop Behind (or Pop Under) - A type of advertisement that is automatically displayed in a second smaller browser window behind the current window apon loading or unloading a normal web page. Pop behind advertisements tend to cost advertisers more since their visibility is higher but are considered less annoying than pop ups by web site visitors.

Psychographics - Identification of personality characteristics and attitudes that affect a person's lifestyle and purchasing behaviors. Psychographic data points include opinions, attitudes, and beliefs about various aspects relating to lifestyle and purchasing behavior.

Rank - A web site or advertisement's standing in comparison to other web sites or advertisements. Rank provides advertisers with information on performance comparisons. See All About Jazz's Alexa, MarketLeap, and Quantcast ranks.

Reach - The number of unique visitors that visited a site over the course of the reporting period, expressed as a percent of the universe for the demographic category. Also called unduplicated audience.

Regional (Geo Target) - Often used to describe web page requests that originated from a similar geographical area. This is measured by analyzing a server's log files for requests from ISPs and then aggregating those requests by region according to the ISPs geographical location.

Remnant Space - Advertising space that remains unsold right before it is about to be used and thus often sold at a discount at the last minute.

RFP - A request for proposal (RFP) is a term that may be used by an advertiser that is requesting some type of advertising arrangement with a web site.

ROS - Run of site (ROS) means a banner will appear anywhere on a web site as opposed to run of category (ROC) which would appear only on pages within a specific category.

Rich Media - A type of advertisement technology that often includes richer graphics, audio or video within the advertisement. Unlike static or animated GIF banner advertisements, rich media advertisements often enable users to interact with the banner without leaving the page on which it appears. Some popular types of rich media banners are created with HTML, Shockwave & Flash.

Rotation - A banner that is in rotation on a page or group of pages, will not be the only banner shown when any of the pages are reloaded. Sometimes an advertiser will request a banner not be shown in rotation in which case it would appear every time the page is loadedalso know as exclusivity.

SEO - Search engine optimization (SEO) is the practice of promoting a web site through a search engine's organic listings.

Targeted - Refers to advertisements that are aimed, on the basis of demographic analysis, at one specific subsection of the market.

Unique Visitors - A term used to describe the total number of visitors to a site over a certain time period. The only way to accurately track this is to require each visitor to login with a unique user name to gain access to a site. Relying exclusively on IP addresses in a log file is not recommended as it would not take into consideration multiple users accessing ones site through the same IP addresssuch as would happen at companies and schools. Cookies are also used sometimes, but since they can be disabled or cached, they cannot be relied apon exclusively. See monthly visitors and unique vistors here.

Webcasting - A process where by sound and/or video is broadcast online. The process can deliver live or prerecorded information. Often advertisements are inserted at the beginning of the broadcast.

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