Advertising services I Why advertise with Publiboda? I Glossary of Interactive Advertising Terms

Glossary of Interactive Advertising Terms A to D




When a user leaves a shopping cart with something in it prior to completing the transaction.


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.


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 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.


A unique identifier for a computer or site online, usually a URL for a website or marked with an @ for an email 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 emailed 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.

Ad impression ratio

Click throughs divided by ad impressions.

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 websites 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 website 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 website. If the user successfully displays the advertiser's website, 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.


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 email 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.

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.


An intermediary which prevents websites from seeing a user’s Internet Protocol (IP) address.


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.


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.

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).


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.


A third party independent organization that performs audits.


A graphical representation of an individual in a game or other virtual world or environment.



High volume, central, generally long haul, portion of a data network.


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.


A graphic advertising image displayed on a Web page.


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).

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.


A test version of a product, such as a website 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).


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.


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 websites for indexing. Short for “robot”.

Brand Awareness

Research studies can associate ad effectiveness to measure the impact of online advertising on key branding metrics.


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.


A software program that can request, download, cache and display documents available on the World Wide Web.

BtoB/B2B (Business to Business)

Businesses whose primary customers are other businesses.

BtoC/B2C (Business to Consumer)

Businesses whose primary customers are consumers.


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.


1) Clickable graphic that contains certain functionality, such as taking one someplace or executing a program; 2) buttons can also be ads.


Cable modem

A device that permits high speed connectivity to the Internet over a cable television system.


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.


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.

CGI script (Common Gateway Interface)

CGIs 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.


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.


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 website or another page or frame within the website; 4) metric which measures the reaction of a user to linked editorial content.

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 website or third party ad server.

Click through

The action of following a link within an advertisement or editorial content to another website or another page or frame within the website. 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.


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 email 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.


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.


A cookie is a text only string of information from a website via a response header that a web browser transfers to a cookie file on a client PC. The client PC browser has sole discretion to store these response headers from one or more websites.

Cookie buster

Software that blocks the placement of cookies on a user’s browser.

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 website 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)

Cost of advertising based on the number of orders received. Also called Cost per Order.

CPTM (Cost per Targeted Thousand Impressions)

This implyies 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.


A software program which visits Web pages to build indexes for search engines.


Customer relationship management. Business practices that foster customer care, loyalty, and/or customer support.

CSS (Cascading Style Sheet).

A style sheet 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.


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.


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 website on the Internet.

Drill down

When an online user accesses more and more pages of the website, 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), 1.5Mbps; SDSL (Single line Digital Subscriber Line), 1.5 Mbps; VDSL (Very high data rate Digital Subscriber Line), ranging up to 2.3Mbps; and RDSL (Rate Adaptive Digital Subscriber Line), various speeds.

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.

Source: Interactive Advertising Bureau