Glossary

The following are terms used in the advertising industry. Click through the list to learn more about online advertising terminology. Please contact us if you have a specific questions.

The dynamic process of buying and selling impressions in real-time in which the highest bidder "wins" the right to place a display ad. An ad buyer, through the platform of their choice, can differentially value each individual opportunity to buy an ad impression in real time. Real-time bidding helps advertisers more effectively uncover, understand, and unleash opportunity within each campaign effort.
Any area of a web page that is viewable without the viewer having to use the vertical scroll bar. Ad space in this area is usually more expensive since it is more likely to be viewed by the visitor.
Exchanges are like open and transparent marketplaces that aggregate buyers and sellers of online display advertising, creating a large pool of global inventory with extensive reach. Ad impressions are traded in an auction-like setting in real time, providing a yield management solution for publishers and immediate access to inventory that meets agencies' goals.
An ad impression is an ad which is served to a user's browser. Ads can be requested by the user's browser (referred to as pulled ads) or they can be pushed, such as e-mailed ads. An ad impression is a measurement of responses from an ad delivery system to an ad request from the user's browser, which is filtered from robotic activity and is recorded at a point as late as possible in the process of delivery of the creative material to the user's browser -- therefore closest to the actual opportunity to see by the user. Two methods are used to deliver ad content to the user. Server-initiated Server-initiated ad counting uses the publisher's Web content server for making requests, formatting and re-directing content. Client-initiated Client-initiated ad counting relies on the user's browser to perform these activities. For organizations that use a server-initiated ad counting method, counting should occur subsequent to the ad response at either the publisher's ad server or the Web content server. For organizations using a client-initiated ad counting method, counting should occur at the publisher's ad server or third-party ad server, subsequent to the ad request, or later, in the process.
Networks are companies that represent multiple websites and have relationships with advertisers and agencies to sell media on those websites. They are constantly looking for more relationships on both sides.
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.
This is the process of finding page impressions that are most likely to lead to consumer engagement with an advertiser. Companies develop sophisticated optimization algorithms and reporting systems, which take into account all sorts of data points in an attempt to figure out which impressions are most likely to lead to conversions, and at the cheapest price.
These groups are sell-side platforms, and they are like the counter points to DSPs, but on the publisher side. They manage the non premium inventory of publishers and networks and sell lower-value impressions through various channels. This solution makes the most of ad impressions that are otherwise ineffectively monetized. Yield optimization companies provide a solution which looks at each impression available on a web publisher site and then matches that impression with an available ad from one of the myriad of ad networks or exchanges.
Agency Trading Desks are a centralized, service-based organization that serves as a managed service layer, typically on top of a licensed demand-side platform (DSP) and other audience buying technologies; An Agency Trading Desk manages programmatic, bid-based media and audience buying. It works as an agency's internal center of excellence, supporting agency teams wishing to tap into this new buying model on behalf of agency clients.
A video ad or a video ad linked with video content that initiates play without user interaction or without a user actively starting the video (essentially automatically starting without a play button being clicked by the user).
Behavioral targeting is a technique used by online publishers and advertisers to increase the effectiveness of their campaigns. Behavioral targeting uses information collected on an individual's web-browsing behavior and preferences, to select which advertisements to display to that individual. Practitioners believe this helps them deliver their online advertisements to the users who are most likely to be interested. On the theory that properly targeted ads will fetch more consumer interest, the seller may ask for a premium for these over random advertising or ads based on the context of a site.
A video ad that has an initial static image file which is displayed encouraging users to click the view the full video. The proportion of viewers who click is known as the Play Rate.
This refers to the category that a targeting technology has placed a piece of content, based on a taxonomy. It is possible to grab only the relevant text from a web page allowing it to classify content precisely, using its granular, advertiser-focused taxonomy.
Also known as content-targeted advertising, which means that an advertisement is shown on a web site that is "in context" to a company's specific product or service.
This targeting strategy aligns advertisements with relevant context on a webpage. Semantic advertising is one approach within this strategy, classifying at the page level. Also included within the contextual bucket are keyword-based targeting and domain level targeting.
This is a popular metric for measuring campaign performance, based on the percentage of users who see an ad and complete a certain task as determined by the advertiser. A conversion can mean a few things: a user has signed up for a mailing list, purchased a product, or maybe filled out a survey. Many ad campaigns are launched with a CPA (cost per acquisition) goal. These campaigns are very focused on conversion data and raising conversion rates. A more targeted campaign is likely to result in a higher conversion rate.
A cookie is a small piece of information (i.e., program code) that is stored on a browser for the purpose of identifying that browser during audience activity and between visits or sessions.
The cost an advertiser pays to acquire a customer.
Cost Per View (CPV) ads are viewable impressions that are actually viewed by a user. For this to occur, the ad must be visible on the window for at least one second. Ads that don't get viewed (but are loaded onto the page) aren't considered Cost Per View. Such ads are typically at the very top or bottom of the page.
This is the process by which an ad is served on a page following the classification of that content. Once a page of content has been classified, a series of messages are sent between the targeting platform, advertiser's ad server and publisher's ad server. When this happens seamlessly, an ad is delivered in within a few milliseconds of a web page being loaded.
A Demand Side Platform (DSP) is a computer-based technological platform which allows brands and agencies to buy or negotiate data cost directly, but flow through a common integration. A DSP allows for transparent automated media buying across multiple sources using unified targeting, data, optimization and reporting. These groups help ad buyers navigate the varying array of inventory sources to find the most ideal impressions for a campaign, and should allow buyers to have complete control through a web-based interface. Data is treated like media & it's another part of the "supply side" that is purchased by the agency and thus should be transparent in cost.
Form of online advertising where an advertiser's message is shown on a destination web page, generally set off in a box or banner at the top or bottom or to one side of the content of the page.
An exchange is an open and transparent marketplace that facilitates the buying and selling of online ads. The ideal online ad exchange provides every buyer and seller with the tools and controls needed to reduce risk and maximize return for every media buy. Exchanges allow buyers and sellers to value inventory on an impression by impression basis and in real-time.
An impression is a measurement of responses from a web server to a page request from the user browser, which is filtered from robotic activity and error codes, and is recorded at a point as close as possible as an opportunity to see the page by the user.
An insertion order is an 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.
Technique used by publishers and advertisers to increase the effectiveness and relevancy of ad placement. A contextual advertising system scans the text of a website for keywords and returns advertisements to the webpage based on ad messages that match with the sentiment of those keywords. Practitioners believe this helps them deliver their online advertisements to the users who are most likely to be interested. On the theory that properly targeted ads will fetch more consumer interest, the seller may ask for a premium for these over random advertising.
Fees advertisers pay to Internet advertising companies that refer qualified purchase inquiries (e.g., auto dealers which pay a fee in exchange for receiving a qualified purchase inquiry online) or provide consumer information (demographic, contact, and behavioral) where the consumer opts into being contacted by a marketer (email, postal, telephone, fax). These processes are priced on a performance basis (e.g., cost-per-action, -lead or -inquiry), and can include user applications (e.g., for a credit card), surveys, contests (e.g., sweepstakes) or registrations.
Local Online Ads refer to ads that are purchased based on a "local", geographic location. Local online ads can be purchased by agencies or brands on a national, regional, or local level (i.e. by zip code or neighborhood).
A scientific discipline that is concerned with the design and development of algorithms that allow computers to evolve behaviors based on data. A major focus of our machine learning research is to automatically learn to recognize complex patterns in text and make intelligent decisions to categorize it. Our machinery analyzes similarities in content and learns what words, phrases and associations to connect to a certain category.
An online video commercial that appears during an online video, it is typically :10 - :15 seconds in length. Once you click on certain online video links, you may be forced to watch a short commercial either before the video content (known as a pre-roll) during the video content (known as a mid-roll) or after the video content (known as a post-roll).
A field of computer science and linguistics concerned with the interactions between computers and human natural languages. This science lays the groundwork for how our machinery processes textual data, as we strive to teach our computers to understand language the same way humans do.
Pixel is short for picture element. 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 banner.
A pop-under is a window that is created but temporarily "hidden" behind the window of a Web site that the user has chosen to visit. Pop-under ads are concealed until the top window is closed, moved, resized or minimized. Although some users find pop-unders to be intrusive, advertisers generally report good results.
An online video commercial that appears at the end of an online video, it is typically :10 - :15 seconds in length. Once you click on certain online video links, you will be forced to watch a short commercial before the video content (known as a pre-roll) or after the video content (known as a post-roll).
An online video commercial that appears prior to an online video, it is typically :10 - :15 seconds in length. Once you click on certain online video links, you will be forced to watch a short commercial before the video content. This snippet of online advertising is known as "a pre-roll" or just "pre-roll" (as opposed to a mid-roll or post-roll). Pre-roll makes up a small percentage of the available interactive video inventory, but it is growing more popular due to the fact that online publishers can pretty much guarantee that users will see and hear the pre-roll commercial before the audio stream starts. It is also one of the simplest ways to utilize the Internet for sight, sound and motion.
CLEAR is an acronym for Control Links for Education and Advertising Responsibly. The CLEAR Ad Notice is a document that suggests technical standards to empower each member of the online advertising community to communicate their presence and behavioral advertising targeting practices (if any) to consumers in a simple and direct manner. The 7 regulatory principle buckets: Education Transparency Consumer Control Data Security Material Changes to Existing Online Behavioral Advertising Policies and Practices Sensitive Data Accountability.
Advertising space that remains unsold right before it is about to be used and thus often sold at a discount at the last minute.
Many publishers and ad networks have enormous supplies of web traffic and have difficulty monetizing a large majority of their ad impressions in that their direct sales team can't possibly sell everything. This block of inventory is known as remnant ad inventory.
Retargeting is an online advertising technique that targets users which have already visited a website. Retargeting works by placing a small amount of code on a website which will place cookies on a users web browser.
Advertisements with which users can interact (as opposed to solely animation) in a web page format. These advertisements can be used either singularly or in combination with various technologies, including but not limited to sound, video, or Flash, and with programming languages such as Java, Javascript, and DHTML. These Guidelines cover standard Web applications including e-mail, static (e.g. html) and dynamic (e.g. asp) Web pages, and may appear in ad formats such as banners and buttons as well as transitionals and various over-the-page units such as floating ads, page take-overs, and tear-backs.
Run of network (RON) means a banner will appear on any page of any site that is part of an ad network. Since this type of buy is not targeted, it tends to be the least expensive type of advertisement that can be purchased.
This approach applies semantic technologies to online advertising solutions. The function of semantic advertising technology is to analyze every web page according to its true meaning and sentiment in order to ensure that the web page contains the most appropriate advertising. Semantic advertising increases the chance that the viewer will engage with an ad because only advertising relevant to what they are viewing, and therefore their interests, should be displayed.
A Supply Side Platform, or SSP, is an advertising technology platform which represents the suppliers of online ads, and guarantees inventory availability. SSPs allow many of the larger web publishers of the world to automate and optimize the selling of their online media space.
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 address such as would happen at companies and schools. Cookies are also used sometimes, but since they can be disabled or cached, they cannot be relied upon exclusively.
Also called a "UI" or simply an "interface," a UI is the means in which a person controls a software application or hardware device. A good user interface provides a "user-friendly" experience, allowing the user to interact with the software or hardware in a natural and intuitive way. Nearly all software programs have a graphical user interface, or GUI. This means the program includes graphical controls, which the user can select using a mouse or keyboard. A typical GUI of a software program includes a menu bar, toolbar, windows, buttons, and other controls.
In tabulating statistics for Web site usage, a user session (sometime referred to as a visit) is the presence of a user with a specific IP address who has not visited the site recently (typically, anytime within the past 30 minutes). The number of user sessions per day is one measure of how much traffic a Web site has. A user who visits a site at noon and then again at 3:30 pm would count as two user visits.
Provides a common ad response format for video players enabling video ads to be served across all compliant video players. However, VAST alone does not provide support for rich interactivity. VAST alone only supports relatively simple in-stream video ad formats that are not executable. These simple ad formats do not provide an interactive user experience, and do not allow the advertiser to collect rich interaction details.
Establishes a common interface between video players and ad units, enabling a rich interactive in-stream ad experience. Layering VPAID onto VAST offers an enhanced solution. VPAID establishes a common communication protocol between video players and ad units that allows a single executable ad (one that requires software logic to be executed as part of ad playback) to be displayed in-stream with the publisher's video content, in any compliant video player. Furthermore, it enables the executable ad unit to expect and rely upon a common set of functionality from the video player. VPAID enables the video player to expect and rely upon a common set of functionality from the executable ad unit. The significance is that advertisers using VPAID ads can provide rich ad experiences for viewers and collect ad playback and interaction details that are just as rich as the ad experience. With the adoption of VPAID, advertisers have more control over the display experience in their video campaigns. Also, as VPAID compliant video players enable a more diverse and interactive set of video advertising, VPAID compliant publishers should expect to sell more instream video inventory.
View Through Rate (VTR) is an estimation of the number of impressions viewed during the advertising campaign, (as well as estimation of realized advertising contacts).