Glossary of Interactive Advertising Terms v. 2.0
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V X Y Z
Introduction The IAB‘s Glossary of Interactive Advertising Terms has been written to help marketers, agency executives, and publishers understand the evolving language of interactive marketing. Because our industry‘s jargon is constantly evolving, we‘ve created the IAB wiki in order to help populate a more dynamic database of information on interactive advertising. To be part of the discussion, please visit the IAB wiki at http://www.iab.net/wiki/index.php/Main_Page.
AAAA (American Association of Advertising Agencies) – Founded in 1917, the American Association of Advertising Agencies (AAAA) is the national trade association representing the advertising agency business in the United States. . See www.aaaa.org.
Abandonment – when a user leaves a shopping cart with something in it prior to completing the transaction. Abort – when a Web server does not successfully transfer a unit of content or ad to a browser. This is usually caused by a user hitting the stop button or clicking on another link prior to the completion of a download.
Activity audit – independent verification of measured activity for a specified time period. Some of the key metrics validated are ad impressions, page impressions, clicks, total visits and unique users. An activity audit results in a report verifying the metrics. Formerly known as a count audit.
Ad/advertisement – a commercial message targeted to an advertiser‘s customer or prospect. Ad audience – the number of unique users exposed to an ad within a specified time period.
Ad banner – a graphic image or other media object used as an advertisement. See iab.net for voluntary guidelines for banner ads.
Ad blocker – software on a user‘s browser which prevents advertisements from being displayed. Ad campaign audit – an activity audit for a specific ad campaign. Ad centric measurement – audience measurement derived from a third-party ad server’s own server logs.
Ad display/Ad delivered – when an ad is successfully displayed on the user’s computer screen. Ad download – when an ad is downloaded by a server to a user‘s browser. Ads can be requested, but aborted or abandoned before actually being downloaded to the browser, and hence there would be no opportunity to see the ad by the user.
Address – a unique identifier for a computer or site online, usually a URL for a Web site or marked with an @ for an e-mail address. Literally, it is how one computer finds the location of another computer using the Internet.
Ad impression – 1) 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; 2) 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 – a) server-initiated and b) client-initiated. Server-initiated ad counting uses the publisher’s Web content server for making requests, formatting and re-directing content. 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. See iab.net for ad campaign measurement guidelines. Ad impression ratio – Click-throughs divided by ad impressions. See click rate.
Ad insertion – when an ad is inserted in a document and recorded by the ad server. Ad materials – the creative artwork, copy, active URLs and active target sites which are due to the seller prior to the initiation of the ad campaign.
Ad network – an aggregator or broker of advertising inventory for many sites. Ad networks are the sales representatives for the Web sites within the network.
Ad recall – a measure of advertising effectiveness in which a sample of respondents is exposed to an ad and then at a later point in time is asked if they remember the ad. Ad recall can be on an aided or unaided basis. Aided ad recall is when the respondent is told the name of the brand or category being advertised.
Ad request – the request for an advertisement as a direct result of a user’s action as recorded by the ad server. Ad requests can come directly from the user‘s browser or from an intermediate Internet resource, such as a Web content server.
Ad serving – the delivery of ads by a server to an end user’s computer on which the ads are then displayed by a browser and/or cached. Ad serving is normally performed either by a Web publisher or by a third-party ad server. Ads can be embedded in the page or served separately.
Ad space – the location on a page of a site in which an advertisement can be placed. Each space on a site is uniquely identified. Multiple ad spaces can exist on a single page.
Ad stream- the series of ads displayed by the user during a single visit to a site (also impression stream).
Ad transfers – the successful display of an advertiser’s Web site after the user clicked on an ad. When a user clicks on an advertisement, a click-through is recorded and re-directs or “transfers” the user’s browser to an advertiser’s Web site. If the user successfully displays the advertiser’s Web site, an ad transfer is recorded. Ad view – when the ad is actually seen by the user. Note this is not measurable today. The best approximation today is provided by ad displays. Advertiser – the company paying for the advertisement.
Affiliate marketing –an agreement between two sites in which one site (the affiliate) agrees to feature content or an ad designed to drive traffic to another site. In return, the affiliate receives a percentage of sales or some other form of compensation generated by that traffic.
Affinity marketing – selling products or services to customers on the basis of their established buying patterns. The offer can be communicated by e-mail promotions, online or offline advertising.
Alternate text – a word or phrase that is displayed when a user has image loading disabled in their browser or when a user abandons a page by hitting “stop” in their browser prior to the transfer of all images. Also appears as ?balloon text? when a user lets their mouse rest over an image.
ANA (Association of National Advertisers) – The Association of National Advertisers leads the marketing community by providing its members insights, collaboration and advocacy. The ANA strives to promote and protect all advertisers and marketers. See ana.net for more information.
Animated GIF – an animation created by combining multiple GIF images in one file. The result is multiple images, displayed sequentially, giving the appearance of movement.
Anonymizer – an intermediary which prevents Web sites from seeing a user‘s Internet Protocol (IP) address. Applet – a small, self-contained software application that is most often used by browsers to automatically display animation and/or to perform database queries requested by the user. Applicable browser – any browser an ad will impact, regardless of whether it will play the ad.
ARF (Advertising Research Foundation) – The ARF is the premiere advertising industry association for creating, aggregating, synthesizing and sharing the knowledge required by decision makers in the field. The principal mission of The ARF is to improve the practice of advertising, marketing and media research in pursuit of more effective marketing and advertising communications. See thearf.org.
Artifacting – distortion that is introduced into audio or video by the compression algorithm (codec). Compressed images may have stray pixels that were not present in the original image. See codec. Aspect ratio – the width-to-height ratio of a picture or video frame. TV broadcasts at a 4:3 (1.33:1) aspect ratio; digital TV will be broadcast with a 16:9 (1.78:1) ratio; and most feature films are shot in at least a 1.85:1 ratio. IMUs have an aspect ratio of 6:5 (330x 250; 336 x 280; and 180 x 150).
Audit – third party validation of log activity and/or measurement process associated with Internet activity/advertising. Activity audits validate measurement counts. Process audits validate internal controls associated with measurement.
Auditor – a third party independent organization that performs audits. Avatar- A graphical representation of an individual in a game or other virtual world or environment
Backbone –High-volume, central, generally ?long-haul? portion of a data network. Bandwidth – the transmission rate of a communications line or system, expressed as kilobits per second (kbps) or megabits per second (Mbps) for digital systems; the amount of data that can be transmitted over communications lines in a given time. Bandwidth contention – a bottleneck that occurs when two or more files are simultaneously transmitted over a single data line. Unless the system is able to prioritize among the files, the effect is to slow delivery of each.
Banner – a graphic advertising image displayed on a Web page. See iab.net for voluntary guidelines defining specifications of banner ads.
Barter – the exchange of goods and services without the use of cash. The value of the barter is the dollar value of the goods and services being exchanged for advertising. This is a recognized form of revenue under GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles).
Beacon – See Web beacon
Beta – a test version of a product, such as a Web site or software, prior to final release. Bit rate – a measure of bandwidth which indicates how fast data is traveling from one place to another on a computer network. Bit rate is usually expressed in kilobits per second (kbps) or megabits per second (Mbps).
Behavioral Targeting– 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 such as the pages they have visited or the searches they have made to select which advertisements to be displayed to that individual. Practitioners believe this helps them deliver their online advertisements to the users who are most likely to be influenced by them.
Blog– Generic name for any Website featuring regular posts arranged chronologically, typically inviting public comments from readers. Blog postings are generally short and informal, and blog software is generally free and very easy for individual users, making it a popular tool for online diaries as well as more professional publications. Bonus impressions – additional ad impressions above the commitments outlined in the approved insertion order.
Bot – Software that runs automatically without human intervention. Typically, a bot is endowed with the capability to react to different situations it may encounter. Two common types of bots are agents and spiders. Bots are used by companies like search engines to discover Web sites for indexing. Short for ?robot.?
Bounce – see E-mail Bounce.
Brand Awareness– Research studies can associate ad effectiveness to measure the impact of online advertising on key branding metrics.
Broadband – an Internet connection that delivers a relatively high bit rate – any bit rate at or above 256 Kbps. Cable modems and DSL all offer broadband connections.
Broadband Video Commercials– TV-like advertisements that may appear as in-page video commercials or before, during, and/or after a variety of content in a player environment including but not limited to, streaming video, animation, gaming, and music video content. Broadband video commercials may appear in live, archived, and downloadable streaming content.
Browser – a software program that can request, download, cache and display documents available on the World Wide Web.
Browser sniffer – see sniffer.
BtoB/B2B (Business-to-Business) – businesses whose primary customers are other businesses.
BtoC/B2C (Business-to-Consumer) – businesses whose primary customers are consumers
Buffering – when a streaming media player temporarily stores portions of a streaming media (e.g., audio or video) file on a client PC until there is enough information for the stream to begin playing. Bulk E-mail Folder – see Junk E-mail Folder.
Button – 1) clickable graphic that contains certain functionality, such as taking one someplace or executing a program; 2) buttons can also be ads. See iab.net for voluntary guidelines defining specifications of button ads.
Cable modem – a device that permits high speed connectivity to the Internet over a cable television system.
Cache – memory used to temporarily store the most frequently requested content/files/pages in order to speed its delivery to the user. Caches can be local (i.e. on a browser) or on a network. In the case of local cache, most computers have both memory (RAM), and disk (hard drive) cache.
Cache busting – the process by which sites or servers serve content or HTML in such a manner as to minimize or prevent browsers or proxies from serving content from their cache. This forces the user or proxy to fetch a fresh copy for each request. Among other reasons, cache busting is used to provide a more accurate count of the number of requests from users.
Cached ad impressions – the delivery of an advertisement to a browser from local cache or a proxy server‘s cache. When a user requests a page that contains a cached ad, the ad is obtained from the cache and displayed. Caching – the process of copying a Web element (page or ad) for later reuse. On the Web, this copying is normally done in two places: in the user’s browser and on proxy servers. When a user makes a request for a Web element, the browser looks into its own cache for the element; then a proxy, if any; followed by the intended server. Caching is done to reduce redundant network traffic, resulting in increased overall efficiency of the Internet.
CARU (The Children’s Advertising Review Unit) – division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus that reviews advertising and promotional material directed at children in all media. See caru.org for more information.
CGI script (Common Gateway Interface) – CGI‘s are used to allow a user to pass data to a Web server, most commonly in a Web-based form. Specifically, CGI scripts are used with forms such as pull-down menus or text-entry areas with an accompanying submit button. The input from the form is processed by a program (the CGI script itself) on a remote Web server.
Channel – 1) a band of similar content; 2) a type of sales outlet (also known as channel of distribution), for example retail, catalogue, or e-commerce.
Chat – online interactive communication between two or more people on the Web. One can ?talk? in real time with other people in a chat room, typically by typing, though voice chat is available. Chat room – an area online where people can communicate with others in real-time.
Click rate – ratio of ad clicks to ad impressions.
Clicks – 1) metric which measures the reaction of a user to an Internet ad. There are three types of clicks: click-throughs; in-unit clicks; and mouseovers; 2) the opportunity for a user to download another file by clicking on an advertisement, as recorded by the server; 3) the result of a measurable interaction with an advertisement or key word that links to the advertiser‘s intended Web site or another page or frame within the Web site; 4) metric which measures the reaction of a user to linked editorial content. See iab.net for ad campaign measurement guidelines. See also, click-through, in-unit clicks and mouseover.
Click Fraud– Click fraud is a type of internet crime that occurs in pay per click online advertising when a person, automated script, or computer program imitates a legitimate user of a web browser clicking on an ad, for the purpose of generating a charge per click without having actual interest in the target of the ad’s link.
Click-stream – 1) the electronic path a user takes while navigating from site to site, and from page to page within a site; 2) a comprehensive body of data describing the sequence of activity between a user‘s browser and any other Internet resource, such as a Web site or third party ad server.
Click-through – the action of following a link within an advertisement or editorial content to another Web site or another page or frame within the Web site. Ad click-throughs should be tracked and reported as a 302 redirect at the ad server and should filter out robotic activity.
Click-within – similar to click down or click. But more commonly, click-withins are ads that allow the user to ?drill down? and click, while remaining in the advertisement, not leaving the site on which they are residing.
Client – A computer or software program that contacts a server to obtain data via the Internet or another network. Internet explorer, Outlook, and other browsers and e-mail programs are examples of software clients.
Client-initiated ad impression – one of the two methods used for ad counting. Ad content is delivered to the user via two methods – server-initiated and client-initiated. Client-initiated ad counting relies on the user‘s browser for making requests, formatting and re-directing content. 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. See server-initiated ad impression.
Close– Indicates that the user clicks or otherwise activates a close control which fully dispatches the ad from the player environment. May not apply to non-overlay ads.
Codec – short for compressor/decompressor. Codecs are computer algorithms that are used to compress the size of audio, video, and image files for streaming over a data network or storage on a computer. Apple‘s QuickTime, Microsoft‘s Windows Media Video, and MP3 are examples of common codecs. Communication error – the failure of a Web browser/Web server to successfully request/transfer a document.
Content integration – advertising woven into editorial content or placed in a contextual envelope. Also known as “Web advertorial”.
Contextual Ads– Existing contextual ad engines deliver text and image ads to non-search content pages. Ads are matched to keywords extracted from content. Advertisers can leverage existing keyboard-based paid search campaigns and gain access to a larger audience.
Cookie – 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.
Cookie buster – software that blocks the placement of cookies on a user‘s browser.
COPPA (Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act) – Congress enacted the COPPA in 1998 to prohibit unfair or deceptive acts or practices in connection with the collection, use, or disclosure of personally identifiable information from and about children on the Internet. Section 6502(b)(1) of the Act sets forth a series of general privacy protections to prevent unfair or deceptive online information collection from or about children, and directs the Commission to adopt regulations to implement those protections. The Act requires operators of Web sites directed to children and operators who knowingly collect personal information from children to: (1) Provide parents notice of their information practices; (2) obtain prior verifiable parental consent for the collection, use, and/or disclosure of personal information from children (with certain limited exceptions for the collection of “online contact information,” e.g., an e-mail address); (3) provide a parent, upon request, with the means to review the personal information collected from his/her child; (4) provide a parent with the opportunity to prevent the further use of personal information that has already been collected, or the future collection of personal information from that child; (5) limit collection of personal information for a child’s online participation in a game, prize offer, or other activity to information that is reasonably necessary for the activity; and (6) establish and maintain reasonable procedures to protect the confidentiality, security, and integrity of the personal information collected.
COPPR (Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule) – issued by the FTC in October 1999 the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule went into effect on April 21, 2000, and implements the requirements of the COPPA by requiring operators of websites or online services directed to children and operators of Web sites or online services who have actual knowledge that the person from whom they seek information is a child (1) to post prominent links on their Web sites to a notice of how they collect, use, and/or disclose personal information from children; (2) with certain exceptions, to notify parents that they wish to collect information from their children and obtain parental consent prior to collecting, using, and/or disclosing such information; (3) not to condition a child’s participation in online activities on the provision of more personal information than is reasonably necessary to participate in the activity; (4) to allow parents the opportunity to review and/or have their children’s information deleted from the operator’s database and to prohibit further collection from the child; and (5) to establish procedures to protect the confidentiality, security, and integrity of personal information they collect from children. As directed by the COPPA, the Rule also provides a safe harbor for operators following Commission-approved self-regulatory guidelines. See www.caru.org for more information. Count audit – see activity audit.
CPA (Cost-per-Action) – cost of advertising based on a visitor taking some specifically defined action in response to an ad. “Actions” include such things as a sales transaction, a customer acquisition, or a click.
CPC (Cost-per-Customer) – the cost an advertiser pays to acquire a customer. CPC (Cost-per-click) – cost of advertising based on the number of clicks received.
CPL (Cost-per-lead) – cost of advertising based on the number of database files (leads) received. CPM (Cost-per-thousand) – media term describing the cost of 1,000 impressions. For example, a Web site that charges $1,500 per ad and reports 100,000 visits has a CPM of $15 ($1,500 divided by 100).
CPO (Cost-per-Order) – cost of advertising based on the number of orders received. Also called Cost-per-Transaction.
CPS (Cost-per-Sale) – the advertiser’s cost to generate one sales transaction. If this is being used in conjunction with a media buy, a cookie can be offered on the content site and read on the advertiser’s site after the successful completion of an online sale.
CPT (Cost-per-Transaction) – see CPO (Cost-per-Order).
CPTM (Cost per Targeted Thousand Impressions) – implying that the audience one is trying to reach is defined by particular demographics or other specific characteristics, such as male golfers age 18-25.The difference between CPM and CPTM is that CPM is for gross impressions, while CPTM is for targeted impressions.
Crawler – a software program which visits Web pages to build indexes for search engines. See also spider, bot, and intelligent agent.
Crowdsourcing– Taking a task that would conventionally be performed by a contractor or employee and turning it over to a typically large, undefined group of people via an open call for responses.
CRM – customer relationship management. Business practices that foster customer care, loyalty, and/or customer support.
CSS (Cascading Style Sheet)– A stylesheet language used to describe the presentation of a document written in a markup language. CSS provides a more elegant alternative to straight HTML to quickly specify the look and feel of a single Web page or a group of multiple Web pages.
Cyber Cafe – a public venue like a bar or cafe which contains computers with access to the Internet.
Daughter window – an ad that runs in a separate ad window associated with a concurrently displayed banner. In normal practice, the content and banner are rendered first and the daughter window appears thereafter.
Demographics – common characteristics used for population or audience segmentation, such as age, gender, household income, etc.
Digital signatures – signatures for electronic documents. They establish identity and therefore can be used to establish legal responsibility and the complete authenticity of whatever they are affixed to — in effect, creating a tamper-proof seal.
Digital Video Server – a robust, dedicated computer at a central location that receives command requests from the television viewer through a video-on-demand application. Once it receives this request, it then instantly broadcasts specific digital video streams to that viewer.
Display Advertising – a form of online advertising where an advertiser‘s message is shown on a destination web page, generally set off in a box at the top or bottom or to one side of the content of the page.
DHTML (Dynamic Hypertext Markup Language) – an extended set of HTML commands which are used by Web designers to create much greater animation and interactivity than HTML.
Domain name – the unique name that identifies an Internet site. Every domain name consists of one top or high-level and one or more lower-level designators. Top-level domains (TLDs) are either generic or geographic. Generic top-level domains include .com (commercial), .net (network), .edu (educational), .org (organizational, public or non-commercial), .gov (governmental), .mil (military); .biz (business), .info (informational),.name (personal), .pro (professional), .aero (air transport and civil aviation), .coop (business cooperatives such as credit unions) and .museum. Geographic domains designate countries of origin, such as .us (United States), .fr (France), .uk (United Kingdom), etc. DPO (Distinct Point of Origin) – a unique address from which a browser connects to a Web site on the Internet.
Drill down – when an online user accesses more and more pages of the Web site, i.e., he or she goes deeper into the content of the site.
DSL (Digital Subscriber Line) – a high-speed dedicated digital circuit from a given location to the telephone company’s central office, using normal copper telephone lines. DSL is the main form of consumer broadband worldwide. DSL is a general term that includes several variations: ADSL (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line), ranging up to 1.5 Mbps; HDSL (High-bit-rate Digital Subscriber Line), 1.5 Mbps; SDSL (Single-line Digital Subscriber Line), 1.5 Mbps; VDSL (Very high-data-rate Digital Subscriber Line), ranging up to 2.3 Mbps; and RDSL (Rate Adaptive Digital Subscriber Line), various speeds. DVR (Digital Video Recorder) – a high capacity hard drive that is embedded in a set-top box, which records video programming from a television set. DVRs enable the viewer to pause, fast forward, and store TV programming
Dynamic ad insertion – the process by which an ad is inserted into a page in response to a user’s request. Dynamic ad placement allows alteration of specific ads placed on a page based on any data available to the placement program. At its simplest, dynamic ad placement allows for multiple ads to be rotated through one or more spaces. In more sophisticated examples, the ad placement could be affected by demographic data or usage history for the current user.
Dynamic IP address – an IP address (assigned by an ISP to a client PC) that changes periodically. Dynamic rotation – delivery of ads on a rotating, random basis so that users are exposed to different ads and ads are served in different pages of the site.
E-commerce – the process of selling products or services via the Web. E-mail Advertising – banner ads, links or advertiser sponsorships that appear in e-mail newsletters, e-mail marketing campaigns and other commercial e-mail communications. Includes all types of electronic mail (e.g., basic text or HTML-enabled).
E-mail Bounce – An e-mail that cannot be delivered to the mailbox provider and is sent back to the e-mail Service Provider that sent it. A bounce is classified as either ?hard? or ?soft.? Hard bounces are the failed delivery of e-mail due to a permanent reason, such as a non-existent address. Soft bounces are the failed delivery of e-mail due to a temporary issue, such as a full inbox or an unavailable ISP server.
E-mail campaign – advertising campaign distributed via e-mail.
E-mail Inbox – Within a mailbox provider, the default, primary folder that stores delivered e-mail messages.
E-mail Mailbox Provider – the e-mail program, and by extension the server, that hosts the targeted e-mail address
E-mail Preview Pane – a small window within a mailbox provider that allows the user to view some e-mail content without opening the e-mail.
E-mail Service Provider (ESP) – a business or organization that provides the e-mail campaign delivery technology. ESPs may also provide services for marketing, advertising and general communication purposes.
Encoding – the process of compressing and separating a file into packets so that it can be delivered over a network.
Encoder – a hardware or software application used to compress audio and video signals for the purpose of streaming. See codec
Encryption – securing digital information so that it is unreadable without the use of digital keys.
EPG (Electronic Programming Guide) – an application that allows the viewer to interactively select his/her television programming.
Ethernet – a networking technology that links computers together in local area networks.
ETV (Enhanced Television) – a type of interactive television technology which allows content producers to send data and graphical “enhancements” through a small part of the regular analog broadcast signal called the Vertical Blanking Interval. These enhancements appear as overlays on the video and allow viewers to click on them if they are watching TV via special set-top box/software services.
Expandable banners – a banner ad which can expand to as large as 468 x 240 after a user clicks on it or after a user moves his/her cursor over the banner. See iab.net for the IAB IMU guidelines.
Extranet – an intranet that is partially accessible to authorized outsiders via a valid username and password.
Eyeballs – slang term for audience; the number of people who view a certain website or advertisement.
Failure to transfer – content requested by a browser can fail to transfer if the page is abandoned by the browser which requested it (see abandon) or if the server is unable to send the complete page, including the ads (known as an error or a communications error).
Family/Ad family – a collection of one or more ad creatives. Also called ad campaign.
FAQ – frequently asked questions.
FTP (File Transfer Protocol) – Internet protocol which facilitates downloading or uploading digital files.
FTTH (Fiber to the Home) – Advanced, next generation data networking infrastructure being deployed by some telcos and other companies to provide faster broadband Internet connectivity and other services.
Fiber Optic Cable – Strands of glass used to transmit data—encoded as light—at extremely high data rates. Fiber optics is widely deployed in backbone data networks today and is beginning to be used for ?last-mile? broadband connections as well
Filtering – the process of removing robotic activity and error codes from measurement records to make the remaining records representative of valid human Internet actions.
Filtration guidelines – IAB voluntary guidelines for removing non-human activity in the reported measurement of ad impressions, page impressions, unique visitors and clicks. See iab.net for ad campaign measurement guidelines.
Firewall – a security barrier controlling communication between a personal or corporate computer network and the Internet. A firewall is based on rules which allow and disallow traffic to pass, based on the level of security and filtering a network administrator wishes to employ.
Flame – an inflammatory opinion or criticism distributed by e-mail or posted on a newsgroup or message board.
Flash™ – Adobe‘s vector-based rich media file format which is used to display interactive animations on a Web page.
Floating ads – an ad or ads that appear within the main browser window on top of the Web page’s normal content, thereby appearing to “float” over the top of the page.
Fold – The line below which a user has to scroll to see content not immediately visible when a Web page loads in a browser. Ads or content displayed ?above the fold? are visible without any end-user interaction. Monitor size and resolution determine where on a Web page the fold lies.
Frames – multiple, independent sections used to create a single Web page. Each frame is built as a separate HTML file but with one “master” file to control the placement of each section. When a user requests a page with frames, several files will be displayed as panes. Sites using frames report one page request with several panes as multiple page requests. IAB ad campaign measurement guidelines call for the counting of one file per frame set as a page impression. Frame rate – the number of frames of video displayed during a given time. The higher the frame rate, the more high-quality the image will be.
Geotargeting– Displaying (or preventing the display of) content based on automated or assumed knowledge of an end user‘s position in the real world. Relevant to both PC and mobile data services.
GIF (Graphic Interchange Format) – a standard web graphic format which uses compression to store and display images. Gigabyte – one gigabyte equals 1000 megabytes.
GPRS (General Packet Radio Service)– Digital mobile radio technology permitting moderate data rates along with voice communication. Evolution from the GSM standard; referred to as ?2.5 G.? See 3G.
Gross exposures – the total number of times an ad is served, including duplicate downloads to the same person.
GSM (Global System for Mobile) – the wireless telephone standard in Europe and most of the rest of the world outside North America; also used by T-Mobile and AT&T, among other US operators
Guerilla Marketing– campaign tactic involving the placement of often humorous brand-related messages in unexpected places either online or in the real world; intended to provoke word-of-mouth and build buzz
GUI (Graphical User interface) – a way of enabling users to interact with the computer using visual icons and a mouse rather than a command-line prompt/interpreter.
HDTV (High-Definition Television) – a higher quality signal resolution using a digital format for the transmission and reception of TV signals. HDTV provides about five times more picture information (picture elements or pixels) than conventional television, creating clarity, wider aspect ratio, and digital quality sound.
Head end – the site in a cable system or broadband coaxial network where the programming originates and the distribution network starts. Signals are usually received off the air from satellites, microwave relays, or fiber-optic cables at the head end for distribution. Heuristic – a way to measure a user’s unique identity. This measure uses deduction or inference based on a rule or algorithm which is valid for that server. For example, the combination of IP address and user agent can be used to identify a user in some cases. If a server receives a new request from the same client within 30 minutes, it is inferred that a new request comes from the same user and the time since the last page request was spent viewing the last page. Also referred to as an inference.
History list – a menu in a web browser which displays recently visited sites. The same mechanism makes it possible for servers to track where a browser was before visiting a particular site.
Hit – when users access a Web site, their computer sends a request to the site’s server to begin downloading a page. Each element of a requested page (including graphics, text, and interactive items) is recorded by the site’s Web server log file as a “hit.” If a page containing two graphics is accessed by a user, those hits will be recorded once
for the page itself and once for each of the graphics. Webmasters use hits to measure their servers’ workload. Because page designs and visit patterns vary from site to site, the number of hits bears no relationship to the number of pages downloaded, and is therefore a poor guide for traffic measurement.
Home page – the page designated as the main point of entry of a Web site (or main page) or the starting point when a browser first connects to the Internet. Typically, it welcomes visitors and introduces the purpose of the site, or the organization sponsoring it, and then provides links to other pages within the site.
Host – any computer on a network that offers services or connectivity to other computers on the network. A host has an IP address associated with it.
Hotlists – pull-down or pop-up menus often displayed on browsers or search engines that contain new or popular sites. House ads – ads for a product or service from the same company. ?Revenues? from house ads should not be included in reported revenues.
HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) – a set of codes called markup tags in a plain text file that determine what information is retrieved and how it is rendered by a browser. There are two kinds of markup tags: anchor and format. Anchor tags determine what is retrieved, and format tags determine how it is rendered. Browsers receive HTML pages from the Internet and use the information to display text, graphics, links and other elements as they were intended by a Website‘s creator.
HTTP (Hyper-Text Transfer Protocol) – the format most commonly used to transfer documents on the World Wide Web. Hybrid pricing – pricing model which is based on a combination of a CPM pricing model and a performance-based pricing model. See CPM pricing model and performance-based pricing model.
Hyperlink – a clickable link, e.g., on a Web page or within an e-mail, that sends the user to a new URL when activated.
Hypertext – any text that contains links connecting it with other text or files on the Internet.
IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau) – IAB is a non-profit trade association devoted exclusively to maximizing the use and effectiveness of interactive advertising and marketing. See iab.net for more information.
Image map – a GIF or JPEG image with more than one linking hyperlink. Each hyperlink or hot spot can lead to a different destination page.
Impression – 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 to opportunity to see the page by the user.
IMU (Interactive Marketing Unit) – the standard ad unit sizes endorsed by IAB. See iab.net for more information.
Inbox – See E-mail Inbox
Insertion – actual placement of an ad in a document, as recorded by the ad server.
Insertion order – purchase order between a seller of interactive advertising and a buyer (usually an advertiser or its agency).
Instant messaging (IM) – a method of communicating in real-time, one-to-one or in groups over the internet. Users assemble ?buddy lists? which reflect the availability (or ?presence?) of people with whom they communicate. Intelligent agents – software tools which help the user find information of specific interest to him/her. The user‘s profile is continually refined and improved based on the user’s acceptance or rejection of recommendations over time.
Interactive advertising – all forms of online, wireless and interactive television advertising, including banners, sponsorships, e-mail, keyword searches, referrals, slotting fees, classified ads and interactive television commercials.
Internal page impressions – Web site activity that is generated by individuals with IP addresses known to be affiliated with the Web site owner. Internal activity that is associated with administration and maintenance of the site should be excluded from the traffic or measurement report.
Internet – The worldwide system of computer networks providing reliable and redundant connectivity between disparate computers and systems by using common transport and data protocols known as TCP/IP.
Interstitial ads – ads that appear between two content pages. Also known as transition ads, intermercial ads and splash pages. Intranet – a network based on TCP/IP protocols that belongs to an organization, usually a corporation, and is accessible only by the organization‘s members, employees or others with authorization.
In-unit click – a measurement of a user-initiated action of responding to an ad element which generally causes an intra-site redirect or content change. In-unit clicks are usually tracked via a 302 redirect. Also known as click-downs, click-ups and click-withins. See ad click; 302 redirect.
Inventory – the number of ads available for sale on a Web site. IP (Internet Protocol) – a protocol telling the network how packets are addressed and routed.
IP address – Internet protocol numerical address assigned to each computer on the Internet so that its location and activities can be distinguished from those of other computers. The format is ##.##.##.## with each number ranging from 0 through 255 (e.g. 220.127.116.11)
IRC – (Internet Relay Chat) – 1) a facility that allows people to chat in real time. The chats, or forums, are typed remarks, and they can be either public or private; 2) a protocol that allows users to converse with others in real time. IRC is structured as a network of servers, each of which accepts connections from client programs.
ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network) – faster-than-dial-up connections to the Internet over copper phone wires. DSL has in large part replaced ISDN. See DSL.
ISP (Internet Service Provider) – A business or organization that provides Internet access and related services, to consumers.
ITI (Information Technology Industry Council) – represents the leading U.S. providers of information technology products and services. It advocates growing the economy through innovation and supports free-market policies. See itic.org for more information.
iTV (Interactive Television) – any technology that allows for two-way communication between the audience and the television service provider (such as the broadcaster, cable operator, set-top box manufacturer).
Java® – a programming language designed for building applications on the Internet. It allows for advanced features, increased animation detail and real-time updates. Small applications called Java applets can be downloaded from a server and executed by Java-compatible browsers like Microsoft Internet Explorer and Netscape Navigator.
JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group) – Standard web graphic file format that uses a compression technique to reduce graphic file sizes Jump page ad – microsite which is reached via click-through from button or banner ad. The jump page itself can list several topics, which are linked to either the advertiser’s site or the publisher’s site.
Junk E-mail Folder – A folder within an e-mail client or on an E-mail Service Provider server that stores e-mail messages that are identified, either by the user or by an automated spam filter, as undesired or undesirable.
Keyword – specific word(s) entered into a search engine by the user that result(s) in a list of Web sites related to the key word. Keywords can be purchased by advertisers in order to embed ads linking to the advertiser’s site within search results (see ?Search engine marketing.?
Lag – the delay between making an online request or command and receiving a response. See latency.
LAN (Local Area Network) – a group of computers connected together (a network) at one physical location. Large rectangle – an IMU size. The IAB‘s voluntary guidelines include seven Interactive Marketing Unit (IMU) ad formats; two vertical units and five large rectangular units. See iab.net for more information
Latency – 1) time it takes for a data packet to move across a network connection; 2) visible delay between request and display of content and ad. Latency sometimes leads to the user leaving the site prior to the opportunity to see. In streaming media, latency can create stream degradation if it causes the packets, which must be received and played in order, to arrive out of order.
LBS (Location Based Service) – Mobile data service related to an end user‘s immediate location. Examples include store or service locators and friend finders.
Lead Generation– 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.
Link – a clickable connection between two Web sites. Formally referred to as a hyperlink. Listserv – a mailing list comprised of e-mail addresses.
Listserver – a program that automatically sends e-mail to a list of subscribers or listserv.
Log file – a file that records transactions that have occurred on the Web server. Some of the types of data which are collected are: date/time stamp, URL served, IP address of requestor, status code of request, user agent string, previous URL of requestor, etc. Use of the extended log file format is preferable.
Login – the identification or name used to access a computer, network or site.
Mailing list – an automatically distributed e-mail message on a particular topic going to certain individuals.
Makegoods – additional ad impressions which are negotiated in order to make up for the shortfall of ads delivered versus the commitments outlined in the approved insertion order.
M-commerce – mobile commerce, the ability to conduct monetary transactions via a mobile device, such as a WAP-enabled cell phone.
Media Company – A company that derives revenue from publishing content via one or more means of distribution, e.g., print publishing, television, radio, the Internet
Microblogging– Publishing very brief, spontaneous posts to a public Website, usually via a mobile device or wirelessly connected laptop.
Micro-sites – multi-page ads accessed via click-through from initial ad. The user stays on the publisher‘s Web site, but has access to more information from the advertiser than a display ad allows.
Midroll – Form of online video ad placement where the ad is played during a break in the middle of the content video. See Preroll and Postroll.
MIME (Multi-purpose Internet Mail Extensions) – a method of encoding a file for delivery over the Internet.
MMA– Mobile Marketing Association – Industry trade organization dedicated to facilitating the growth of advertising on mobile phones
Minimize– indicates that the user clicks or otherwise activates a close control which fully dispatches the ad from the player environment. May not apply to non-overlay ads.
MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Role-Playing Game) – Any of a variety of three dimensional, highly immersive, PC or console based video games where many players interact, competing or co-operating to achieve goals in real time.
Modem – device which transfers digital signals to analog signals and vice versa suitable for sending across phone or cable lines.
Moore’s Law – A key observation regarding the growth in computer power experienced over the past several decades. Gordon Moore of Intel stated that the speed of semiconductor processors doubles every 18 months. So far this has remained true.
Mouseover – the process by which a user places his/her mouse over a media object, without clicking. The mouse may need to remain still for a specified amount of time to initiate some actions.
MP3 – Codec most commonly used for digital music online. Generic term for any digital music file, regardless of codec used to create or play it.
MPEG – 1) the file format that is used to compress and transmit movies or video clips online; 2) standards set by the Motion Picture Exports Group for video media.
MRC (Media Rating Council) – a non-profit trade association dedicated to assuring valid, reliable and effective syndicated audience research. The MRC performs audits of Internet measurements as well as traditional media measurements.
MSO (Multiple System Operator) – A generic industry acronym for a cable TV system operator; more correctly, any cable network operator with more than one cable TV system.
NAI (Network Advertising Initiative) – a cooperative group of network advertisers which has developed a set of privacy principles in conjunction with the Federal Trade Commission. The NAI provides consumers with explanations of Internet advertising practices and how they affect both consumers and the Internet. See networkadvertising.org for more information.
Netiquette – a term that is used to describe the informal rules of conduct (“do’s and don’ts”) of online behavior.
Newsgroup – an electronic bulletin board devoted to talking about a specific topic and open to everybody. Only a handful of newsgroups permit the posting of advertising.
Non-registered user – someone who visits a Web site and elects not to, or is not required to, provide certain information, and hence may be denied access to part(s) of the site.
Nonqualifying page impressions – page impressions which should be excluded from traffic or measurement reports, such as unsuccessful transfers of requested documents, successful transfers of requested documents to a robot or spider, and/or pages in a frame set. See frames.
Off-site measurement – when a site forwards its log files to an off-site Web research service for analysis. On-demand – the ability to request video, audio, or information to be sent to the screen immediately by clicking something on the screen referring to that choice.
On-site measurement – when a server has an appropriate software program to measure and analyze traffic received on its own site.
OPA (Online Privacy Alliance) – a group of corporations and associations who have come together to introduce and promote business-wide actions that create an environment of trust and foster the protection of individuals’ privacy online. See privacyalliance.org for more information.
OPA (Online Publishers’ Association) – trade association representing a segment of online publishers. See online-publishers.org for more information.
Opt-in – refers to an individual giving a company permission to use data collected from or about the individual for a particular reason, such as to market the company’s products and services. See permission marketing.
Opt-in e-mail – lists of Internet users who have voluntarily signed up to receive commercial e-mail about topics of interest.
Opt-out – when a company states that it plans to market its products and services to an individual unless the individual asks to be removed from the company’s mailing list.
OTS (Opportunity to See) – same as page display – when a page is successfully displayed on the user’s computer screen.
P3P (Platform for Privacy Preferences Project) – browser feature that will analyze privacy policies and allow a user to control their privacy needs.
Packet sniffer – a program used to monitor and record activity and to detect problems with Web transactions on a network.
Page – a document having a specific URL and comprised of a set of associated files. A page may contain text, images, and other online elements. It may be static or dynamically generated. It may be made up of multiple frames or screens, but should contain a designated primary object which, when loaded, is counted as the entire page.
Page display – when a page is successfully displayed on the user’s computer screen.
Page impression – a measurement of responses from a Web server to a page request from the user‘s browser, which is filtered from robotic activity and error codes, and is recorded at a point as close as possible to the opportunity to see the page by the user. See iab.net for ad campaign measurement guidelines.
Page request – the opportunity for an HTML document to appear on a browser window as a direct result of a user’s interaction with a Web site.
Page view – when the page is actually seen by the user. Note: this is not measurable today; the best approximation today is provided by page displays.
Password – a group of letters and/or numbers which allow a user access to a secured Web site
Pay-per-Click – an advertising pricing model in which advertisers pay agencies and/or media companies based on how many users clicked on an online ad or e-mail message. See CPC
Pay-per-Impression – an advertising pricing model in which advertisers pay based on how many users were served their ads. See CPM.
Pay-per-Lead – an advertising pricing model in which advertisers pay for each “sales lead” generated. For example, an advertiser might pay for every visitor that clicked on an ad or site and successfully completed a form. See CPL.
Pay-per-Sale – an advertising pricing model in which advertisers pay agencies and/or media companies based on how many sales transactions were generated as a direct result of the ad. See CPS.
PDF (Portable Document Format) – a digital format developed by Adobe used primarily for distributing digital text files. Files with a .pdf extension can be viewed and printed consistently by anyone, regardless of platform.
Peer-to-Peer (P2P) – the transmission of a file from one individual to another, typically through an intermediary. Individuals sharing files via P2P do not necessarily know one another, rather applications like BitTorrent manage file transmissions from those who have part or all of the file to those who want it.
Performance pricing model – an advertising model in which advertisers pay based on a set of agreed upon performance criteria, such as a percentage of online revenues or delivery of new sales leads. See CPA, CPC, CPL, CPO, CPS, CPT.
Permission marketing – when an individual has given a company permission to market its products and services to the individual. See opt-in.
Persistent cookie – Cookies that remain a client hard drive until they expire (as determined by the website that set them) or are deleted by the end user.
PII (Personally Identifiable Information) – refers to information such as an individual‘s name, mailing address, phone number or e-mail address.
PIN (Personal Identification Number) – a group of numbers which allow a unique user access to a secured Web site and/or a secure area of a Web site. See password. Pixel – picture element (single illuminated dot) on a computer monitor. The metric used to indicate the size of Internet ads.
Platform – the type of computer or operating system on which a software application runs, e.g., Windows, Macintosh or Unix.
PLI (Privacy Leadership Initiative) – a partnership of CEOs from 15 corporations and 9 business associations using research to create a climate of trust that will accelerate acceptance of the Internet and the emerging Information Economy, both online and offline, as a safe and secure marketplace. See understandingprivacy.org
Plug-in – a program application that can easily be installed and used as part of a Web browser. Once installed, plug-in applications are recognized by the browser and their function integrated into the main HTML file being presented. Pop-under ad – ad that appears in a separate window beneath an open window. Pop-under ads are concealed until the top window is closed, moved, resized or minimized.
Pop-up ad – ad that appears in a separate window on top of content already on-screen. Similar to a daughter window, but without an associated banner.
Pop-up transitional – initiates play in a separate ad window during the transition between content pages.
Continues while content is simultaneously being rendered. Depending primarily on line-speed, play of a transitional ad may finish before or after content rendering is completed.
Portal – a Web site that often serves as a starting point for a Web user‘s session. It typically provides services such as search, directory of Web sites, news, weather, e-mail, homepage space, stock quotes, sports news, entertainment, telephone directory information, area maps, and chat or message boards.
Posting – entry on a message board, blog, or other chronological online forum. Postroll – form of online video ad placement where the advertisement is played after the content video plays. See Preroll and Midroll.
Pre-caching – storing advertising or content in a computer’s RAM or hard disk memory before it is displayed on the user’s screen, rather than at the time that it plays, to reduce delays in rendering. See cache, caching.
Profiling – the practice of tracking information about consumers’ interests by monitoring their movements online. This can be done without using any personal information, but simply by analyzing the content, URL‘s, and other information about a user‘s browsing path/click-stream.
Process audit – third party validation of internal control processes associated with measurement. See audit. Protocol – a uniform set of rules that enable two devices to connect and transmit data to one another. Protocols determine how data are transmitted between computing devices and over networks. They define issues such as error control and data compression methods. The protocol determines the following: type of error checking to be used, data compression method (if any), how the sending device will indicate that it has finished a message and how the receiving device will indicate that it has received the message. Internet protocols include TCP/IP (Transfer Control Protocol/Internet Protocol), HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol), FTP (File Transfer Protocol), and SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol).
Proxy servers – intermediaries between end users and Web sites such as ISPs, commercial online services, and corporate networks. Proxy servers hold the most commonly and recently used content from the Web for users in order to provide quicker access and to increase server security.
Publisher– an individual or organization that prepares, issues, and disseminates content for public distribution or sale via one or more media.
Push advertising – pro-active, partial screen, dynamic advertisement which comes in various formats.
PVR (Personal Video Recorder) – see DVR
Query – a request for information, usually to a search engine.
Rate card – the list of advertising prices and products and packages offered by a media company.
Re-direct – when used in reference to online advertising, one server assigning an ad-serving or ad-targeting function to another server, often operated by a third company. For instance, a Web publisher’s ad management server might re-direct to a third-party hired by an advertiser to distribute its ads to target customers; and then another re-direct to a “rich media” provider might also occur if streaming video were involved before the ad is finally delivered to the consumer. In some cases, the process of re-directs can produce latency. See ad serving, latency.
Reach – 1) unique users that visited the site over the course of the reporting period, expressed as a percent of the universe for the demographic category; also called unduplicated audience; 2) the total number of unique users who will be served a given ad. Real time – events that happen live at a particular moment. When one chats in a chat room, or sends an instant message, one is interacting in real time.
Referral link – the referring page, or referral link is a place from which the user clicked to get to the current page. In other words, since a hyperlink connects one URL to another, in clicking on a link the browser moves from the referring URL to the destination URL. Also known as source of a visit.
Referral fees – fees paid by advertisers for delivering a qualified sales lead or purchase inquiry. Registration – a process for site visitors to enter information about themselves. Sites use registration data to enable or enhance targeting of content and ads. Registration can be required or voluntary.
Repeat visitor – unique visitor who has accessed a Web site more than once over a specific time period.
Return visits – the average number of times a user returns to a site over a specific time period. Revenue Management- See Yield Management.
Roadblock– Premium 100% share-of-voice rotation typically for one day or one week
ROI (Return on Investment) – Net profit divided by investment.
RON (Run-of-Network) – the scheduling of Internet advertising whereby an ad network positions ads across the sites it represents at its own discretion, according to available inventor. The advertiser usually forgoes premium positioning in exchange for more advertising weight at a lower CPM.
ROS (Run-of-Site) – the scheduling of Internet advertising whereby ads run across an entire site, often at a lower cost to the advertiser than the purchase of specific site sub-sections.
RSS / RSS Readers– is a process for publishing content on the Internet that facilitates moving that content into other environments. For example, top news stories on a newspaper website can be published as an RSS and pulled into and delivered via a Web portal site. RSS Readers are software programs or websites that enable users to subscribe to one or more RSS feeds, delivering content and information from multiple sources into a single user interface and environment.
Sample – a subset of a universe whose properties are studied to gain information about that universe. Sampling frame – the source from which the sample is drawn.
Scripts – files that initiate routines like generating Web pages dynamically in response to user input. SDSL (Symmetrical Digital Subscriber Line)- see DSL
Search – Fees advertisers pay Internet companies to list and/or link their company site or domain name to a specific search word or phrase (includes paid search revenues). Search categories include: Paid listings—text links appear at the top or side of search results for specific keywords. The more a marketer pays, the higher the position it gets. Marketers only pay when a user clicks on the text link. Contextual search—text links appear in an article based on the context of the content, instead of a user-submitted keyword. Payment only occurs when the link is clicked. Paid inclusion—guarantees that a marketer‘s URL is indexed by a search engine. The listing is determined by the engine’s search algorithms.
Site optimization—modifies a site to make it easier for search engines to automatically index the site and hopefully result in better placement in results.
Search engine – an application that helps Web users find information on the Internet. The method for finding this information is usually done by maintaining an index of Web resources that can be queried for the keywords or concepts entered by the user.
Search engine marketing (SEM)– a form of Internet Marketing that seeks to promote websites by increasing their visibility in the Search Engine result pages
Search engine optimization (SEO) – SEO is the process of improving the volume and quality of traffic to a web site from search engines via “natural” (“organic” or “algorithmic”) search results.
Sell-through rate – the percentage of ad inventory sold as opposed to traded or bartered.
Server – a computer which distributes files which are shared across a LAN, WAN or the Internet. Also known as a “host”.
Server centric measurement – audience measurement derived from server logs.
Server– initiated ad impression – one of the two methods used for ad counting. Ad content is delivered to the user via two methods – server-initiated and client-initiated. Server-initiated ad counting uses the publisher‘s Web content server for making requests, formatting and re-directing content. For organizations using 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, or later in the process. See client-initiated ad impression.
Server pull – a process whereby a user’s browser maintains an automated or customized connection or profile with a Web server. The browser usually sets up a unique request that is recorded and stored electronically for future reference. Examples are: requests for the automated delivery of e-mail newsletters, the request for Web content based on a specific search criteria determined by the user, or setting up a personalized Web page that customizes the information delivered to the user based on pre-determined self selections.
Server push – a process whereby a server maintains an open connection with a browser after the initial request for a page. Through this open connection the server continues to provide updated pages and content even though the visitor has made no further direct requests for such information.
Session – 1) a sequence of Internet activity made by one user at one site. If a user makes no request from a site during a 30 minute period of time, the next content or ad request would then constitute the beginning of a new visit; 2) a series of transactions performed by a user that can be tracked across successive Web sites. For example, in a single session, a user may start on a publisher’s Web site, click on an advertisement and then go to an advertiser’s Web site and make a purchase. See visit.
Session cookies – These are temporary and are erased when the browser exits at the end of a web surfing session. . See cookie. Set-top box – a device electronic device that connects to a TV providing connectivity to the Internet, game systems, or cable systems.
SGML (Standard Generalized Markup Language) – the parent language for HTML.
Shockwave – a browser plug-in developed by Macromedia (now part of Adobe) which allows multimedia objects to appear on the Web (animation, audio and video). Shopping bot – intelligent agent which searches for the best price. Site-centric measurement – audience measurement derived from a Web site’s own server logs.
Skins – customized and interchangeable sets of graphics, which allow Internet users to continually change the look of their desktops or browsers, without changing their settings or functionality. Skins are a type of marketing tool.
Skyscraper – a tall, thin online ad unit. The IAB guidelines recommend two sizes of skyscrapers: 120 X 600 and 160 x 600.
Slotting fee – a fee charged to advertisers by media companies to get premium positioning on their site, category exclusivity or some other special treatment. It is similar to slotting allowances charged by retailers.
Smart Card – identical in size and feel to credit cards, smart cards store information on an integrated microprocessor chip located within the body of the card. These chips hold a variety of information, from stored (monetary)-value used for retail and vending machines, to secure information and applications for higher-end operations such as medical/healthcare records. The different types of cards being used today are contact, contactless and combination cards. Contact smart cards must be inserted into a smart card reader. These cards have a contact plate on the face which makes an electrical connector for reads and writes to and from the chip when inserted into the reader. Contactless smart cards have an antenna coil, as well as a chip embedded within the card. The internal antenna allows for communication and power with a receiving antenna at the transaction point to transfer information. Close proximity is required for such transactions, which can decrease transaction time while increasing convenience. A combination card functions as both a contact and contactless smart card. Specific to interactive television, the viewer can insert smart cards into the set-top box to trigger the box to decrypt contact programming.
SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) – the protocol used to transfer e-mail.
SMS (Short Message Service) – standard for sending and receiving short (160 character) text messages via mobile handsets Sniffer – software that detects capabilities of the user’s browser (looking for such things as Java capabilities, plug-ins, screen resolution, and bandwidth).
Social Bookmarking– Aggregating, rating, describing, and publishing – links to Web pages or other online content
Social marketing – Marketing tactic that taps into the growth of social networks, encouraging users to adopt and pass along widgets or other content modules created by a brand, or to add a brand to the user‘s social circle of friends.
Social network – An online destination that gives users a chance to connect with one or more groups of friends, facilitating sharing of content, news, and information among them. Examples of social networks include Facebook and LinkedIn.
Space – location on a page of a site in which an ad can be placed. Each space on a site is uniquely identified. There can be multiple spaces on a single page.
Spam – term describing unsolicited commercial e-mail.
Spam filter – software built into e-mail gateways as well as e-mail client applications designed to identify and remove unsolicited commercial messages from incoming e-mail before the end user sees them
Spider – a program that automatically fetches Web pages. Spiders are used to feed pages to search engines. It is called a spider because it crawls over the Web. Because most Web pages contain links to other pages, a spider can start almost anywhere. As soon as it sees a link to another page, it goes off and fetches it. Large search engines have many spiders working in parallel. See robot.
Splash page – a preliminary page that precedes the user-requested page of a Web site that usually
promotes a particular site feature or provides advertising. A splash page is timed to move on to the requested page after a short period of time or a click. Also known as an interstitial. Splash pages are not considered qualified page impressions under current industry guidelines, but they are considered qualified ad impressions.
Sponsor – 1) a sponsor is an advertiser who has sponsored an ad and, by doing so, has also helped sponsor or sustain the Web site itself; 2) an advertiser that has a special relationship with the Web site and supports a specific feature of a Web site, such as a writer’s column or a collection of articles on a particular subject.
Sponsorship – Sponsorship represents custom content and/or experiences created for an advertiser which may or may not include ad unties (i.e., display advertising, brand logos, advertorial and pre-roll video). Sponsorships fall into several categories: -Spotlights are custom built pages incorporating an advertiser‘s brand and housing a collection of content usually around a theme; -Advergaming can range from an advertiser buying all the ad units around a game or a sponsored by link to creating a custom branded game experience; -Content Section Sponsorship is when an advertiser exclusively sponsors a particular section of the site or email (usually existing content) reskinned with the advertiser‘s branding; -Sweepstakes Contests can range from branded sweepstakes on the site to a full-fledge branded contest with submissions and judging
Static ad placement/Static rotation – 1) ads that remain on a Web page for a specified period of time; 2) embedded ads.
Stickiness – a measure used to gauge the effectiveness of a site in retaining individual users. Stickiness is usually measured by the duration of the visit.
Streaming – 1) technology that permits continuous audio and video delivered to a computer from a remote Web site; 2) an Internet data transfer technique that allows the user to see and hear audio and video files. The host or source compresses, then “streams” small packets of information over the Internet to the user, who can access the content as it is received.
Streaming media player – a software program which decompresses audio and/or video files so the user can hear and/or see the video or audio file. Some examples are Real Player™, Windows Media and Quick Time Player. Superstitials® – an interstitial format developed by Unicast which is fully pre-cached before playing. Specs are 550 x 480 pixels (2/3 of screen), up to 100K file size and up to 20 seconds in length.
Surfing – exploring the World Wide Web.
T-1 – a dedicated, typically corporate, high-speed (1.54 megabits/second) Internet connection.
T-3 – a very high-speed (45 megabits/second or higher) dedicated, corporate Internet connection. T-commerce – electronic commerce via interactive television.
TCP/IP (Transfer Control Protocol/Internet Protocol) – The software protocols that run the Internet, determining how packets of data travel from origin to destination
Target audience – the intended audience for an ad, usually defined in terms of specific demographics (age, sex, income, etc.) product purchase behavior, product usage or media usage.
Terms & Conditions – the details of the contract accompanying an insertion order. See iab.net for voluntary guidelines for standard terms & conditions for Internet advertising for media buys.
Text Messaging– text messaging, or texting is the common term for the sending of “short” (160 characters or fewer) text messages, using the Short Message Service, from mobile phones. See SMS.
Textual ad impressions – the delivery of a text-based advertisement to a browser. To compensate for slow Internet connections, visitors may disable “auto load images” in their graphical browser. When they reach a page that contains an advertisement, they see a marker and the advertiser’s message in text format in place of the graphical ad. Additionally, if a user has a text-only browser, only textual ads are delivered and recorded as textual ad impressions.
Third-party ad server – independent outsourced companies that specialize in managing, maintaining, serving, tracking, and analyzing the results of online ad campaigns. They deliver targeted advertising that can be tailored to consumers’ declared or predicted characteristics or preferences.
3G – The Third Generation mobile network infrastructure. As of 2007 being deployed (or already deployed) by mobile operators in most of Europe, East Asia, and North America. Supports much higher data speeds than previous mobile networks, in some cases approaching wired broadband connections.
302 Redirect – the process of a server sending a browser the location of a requested ad, rather than sending the ad itself. Ad servers use 302 redirects to allow them to track activities such as ad requests or ad clicks.
Throughput – the amount of data transmitted through Internet connectors in response to a given request. Time Spent – The amount of elapsed time from the initiation of a visit to the last audience activity associated with that visit. Time spent … should represent the activity of a single cookied browser or user for a single access session to the web-site or property.
Token – tracer or tag which is attached by the receiving server to the address (URL) of a page requested by a user. A token lasts only through a continuous series of requests by a user, regardless of the length of the interval between requests. Tokens can be used to count unique users.
Traffic – the flow of data over a network, or visitors to a Web site
Transfer – the successful response to a page request; also when a browser receives a complete page of content from a Web server.
Transitional ad – an ad that is displayed between Web pages. In other words, the user sees an advertisement as he/she navigates between page ?a‘ and page ?b.‘ Also known as an interstitial.
Transitional pop up – an ad that pops up in a separate ad window between content pages.
Triggers – a command from the host server that notifies the viewer’s set-top box that interactive content is available at this point. The viewer is notified about the available interactive content via an icon or clickable text. Once clicked by using the remote control, the trigger disappears and more content or a new interface appears on the TV screen.
UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunications System) – broadband, packet-based wireless transmission of text, digitized voice, video, and multimedia at data rates up to and possibly higher than 2 megabits per second, offering a set of services to mobile computer and phone users. See 3G
Unduplicated audience – the number of unique individuals exposed to a specified domain, page or ad in a specified time period.
Unique Device– An unduplicating computing device that is used to access Internet content or advertising during a measurement period. A count of unduplicated devices necessarily accounts for multiple browser usage on an individual computer or other computing device.
Unique Browser– An identified and unduplicated Cookied Browser that accesses Internet content or advertising during a measurement period. This definition requires taking account for the potentially inflationary impact of cookie deletion among certain of the cookied browsers that access Internet content.
Unique Cookie– A count of unique identifiers…that represents unduplicated instances of Internet activity (generally visits) to Internet content or advertising during a measurement period.
Unique user – unique individual or browser which has either accessed a site (see unique visitor) or which has been served unique content and/or ads such as e-mail, newsletters, interstitials and pop-under ads. Unique users can be identified by user registration or cookies. Reported unique users should filter out bots. See iab.net for ad campaign measurement guidelines.
Unique visitor – a unique user who accesses a Web site within a specific time period. See unique user. Universe – total population of audience being measured.
Unresolved IP addresses – IP addresses that do not identify their 1st or 2nd level domain. Unresolved IP addresses should be aggregated and reported as such. See also domain.
Upload – to send data from a computer to a network. An example of uploading data is sending e-mail.
URL (Uniform Resource Locator) – the unique identifying address of any particular page on the Web. It contains all the information required to locate a resource, including its protocol (usually HTTP), server domain name (or IP address), file path (directory and name) and format (usually HTML or CGI).
URL tagging – the process of embedding unique identifiers into URLs contained in HTML content. These identifiers are recognized by Web servers on subsequent browser requests. Identifying visitors through information in the URLs should also allow for an acceptable calculation of visits, if caching is avoided. Usenet – Internet bulletin-board application.
User – an individual with access to the World Wide Web.
User agent string – a field in a server log file which identifies the specific browser software and computer operating system making the request.
User centric measurement – Web audience measurement based on the behavior of a sample of Web users.
User registration – information contributed by an individual which usually includes characteristics such as the person’s age, gender, zip code and often much more. A site‘s registration system is usually based on an ID code or password to allow the site to determine the number of unique visitors and to track a visitor’s behavior within that site.
Video Game Console– An interactive entertainment computer or electric device that manipulates the video display signal of a display device (a television, monitor, etc.) to display a game. The term video game console is typically used solely for playing video games, but the new generation of consoles may play various types of media such as music, TV shows, and movies. View- Often used as a synonym for impression. Any measurement and reporting of a view should be governed by the impression definition above.
Viewer – person viewing content or ads on the Web. There is currently no way to measure viewers.
Viral marketing – 1) any advertising that propagates itself; 2) advertising and/or marketing techniques that “spread” like a virus by getting passed on from consumer to consumer and market to market.
Viral video – Online video clips (typically short and humorous) passed via links from one person to another.
Virtual worlds – Three-dimensional computerized environments that multiple users can explore and interact with via avatars characters representing themselves. Online games like World of Warcraft take place in virtual worlds, but the term is often used to define services that are open-ended and geared for socializing, as opposed to the more goal-oriented environments of online games.
Visit – A single continuous set of activity attributable to a cookied browser or user (if registration-based or a panel participant) resulting in one or more pulled text and/or graphics downloads from a site. Visit duration – the length of time the visitor is exposed to a specific ad, Web page or Web site during a single session.
Visitor – individual or browser which accesses a Web site within a specific time period.
VRML (Virtual Reality Modeling Language) – programming language designed to be a 3D analog to HTML.
WAN (Wide Area Network) – connectivity between a number of computers not located at the same physical location.
WAP (Wireless Application Protocol) – a specification for a set of communication protocols to standardize the way that wireless devices, such as cellular mobile telephones, PDAs and others access and browse Internet-based content.
WASP (Wireless Applications Service Provider) – an organization that provides content and applications for wireless devices.
Web beacon – a line of code which is used by a Web site or third party ad server to track a user‘s activity, such as a registration or conversion. A Web beacon is often invisible because it is only 1 x 1 pixel in size with no color. Also known as Web bug, 1 by 1 GIF, invisible GIF and tracker GIF. Web site – the virtual location (domain) for an organization’s or individual’s presence on the World Wide Web. Web bug – see Web beacon.
Webcasting – real-time or pre-recorded delivery of a live event‘s audio, video, or animation over the Internet.
Widget – A small application designed to reside on a PC desktop (Mac OS X or Windows Vista) or within a Web-based portal or social network site (e.g., MySpace or Facebook) offering useful or entertaining functionality to the end user
Wi-Fi – Any of a family of wireless LAN data standards (IEEE 802.11) used fairly ubiquitously for corporate and home connectivity. Also available as hotspots in public areas such as cafes and airport terminals, either for free or for a one-time use charge or subscription fee.
WIMAX – A wireless WAN standard (IEEE 802.16) designed to provide portable (eventually mobile) wireless broadband access. Single WIMAX antennas can provide coverage over large physical areas, making deployment potentially very cost effective. Although not widely available as of 2007, sometimes considered a potential competitor to cable modems and DSL for residential broadband.
XML (eXtensible Markup Language) – a richer more dynamic successor to HTML utilizing SGML or HTML type tags to structure information. XLM is used for transferring data and creating applications on the Web. See SGML and HTML.
Yield – the percentage of clicks vs. impressions on an ad within a specific page. Also called ad click rate. Yield Management- Yield and Revenue Management is the process of understanding, anticipating and influencing advertiser and consumer behavior in order to maximize profits through better selling, pricing, packaging and inventory management, while delivering value to advertisers and site users.