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Internet / Mobile / Social Media

Media Facts   Advantages   Disadvantages   Plus Radio   Glossary of Terms

Following are some commonly used terms in digital advertising. Since there are many unique terms applied to digital advertising, please check the IAB’s full Glossary to master the full list of competitive media jargon:

Ad Blocker: Software on a user’s browser which prevents advertisements from being displayed.

Ad Display/Ad Delivered: When an ad is successfully displayed on the user’s screen.

Ad View: When an ad is actually seen by the user. This is not measurable today. The best approximation currently is afforded by ad displays.

Banner: A graphic ad image displayed on a Web page.

Button: (a) A clickable graphic that contains certain functionality, such as taking one someplace or executing a program; or (b) buttons can also be ads.


  • A metric that measures the reaction of a user to an Internet ad. There are three types of clicks:
  • Click-through – the action of following a link with an ad or editorial content to another Web site or another page or frame within the Web site
  • In-Unit Clicks – measurement of a user-initiated action of responding to an ad element which generally causes an intra-site redirect or content change
  • Mouseovers – Process by which the user places the mouse over a media object, without clicking. The mouse may need to remain still for a specified unit of time to initiate more actions
  • The opportunity for a user to download another file by clicking on an advertisement, as recorded by the server
  • Result of a measurable interaction with an ad or key word that links to the advertiser’s intended Web site or another page or frame within the Web site
  • Metric which measures the reaction of a user to linked editorial content

Click Rate: Ratio of ad clicks to ad impressions

Click Fraud: 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-Through: Action of following a link within an ad or editorial content to another Web site or another page or frame within the Web site.

Click-Within: Similar to click down or click. More commonly, these 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.

Content Integration: Advertising woven into editorial content or placed in a contextual envelope. Also called Web advertorial.

Contextual Ads: Ads matched to keywords extracted from content, delivered by ad engines to non-search content pages.

Cookie: A small piece of information (program code) stored on a browser for the purpose of identifying that browser during audience activity and between visits or sessions.

Display Advertising: Form of advertising where the message is shown on a destination Web page. Usually set off in a box at the top or bottom or to one side of the content on the pages.

Dynamic Ad Insertion: Process by which an ad is inserted into a page in response to a user’s request. Allows alteration of specific ads placed on a page based on any data available to the placement program. Allows for multiple ads to be rotated through one or more spaces, at its simplest. Ad placement can be affected by demographic data or usage history for the current user, in more advanced application.

E-Mail Advertising: Banner ads, links or advertiser sponsorships that appear in e-mail newsletter, e-mail marketing campaigns and other commercial e-maill communications. Includes all types of electronic mail (basic text, HTML-enabled, etc.)

Geotargeting: Displaying (or blocking 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.

Interactive Advertising: All forms of online, wireless and interactive TV advertising, including banners, sponsorships, e-mail, keyword searches, referrals, slotting fees, classified ads and interactive TV commercials.

Insterstitial Ads: Ads that appear between two content pages. Also known as transition ads, intermercial ads and splash pages.

Jump Page Ad: Microsite reached via click-through from button or banner ad. The jump page can list several topics either linked to the advertiser’s site or the publisher’s site.

Lead Generation: Fees advertisers pay to Internet ad companies that refer qualified purchase inquiries (such as auto dealers receiving a qualified purchase inquiry online) or provide consumer info (demographic, contact, behavioral) where the consumer opts into being contacted by a marketer via any process. Priced on a performance basis (cost-per-action, -lead, or –inquiry); may include user applications (for a credit card, for example), surveys, contests (such as sweepstakes), or registrations.

Pay-Per-Click: An ad 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.

Pay-Per-Impression: An ad pricing model in which advertisers pay based on how many users were served their ads.

Pop-Under Ad: Ad that appears in a separate window beneath an open window. These 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.

Preroll: Form of video ad placement where the ad is played before content video plays.

Push Advertising: Pro-active, partial screen dynamic advertisement which comes in various formats.

Rich Media: Ads with which users can interact (as opposed to solely animation) in a Web page format. Can be used alone or in combo with various technologies, including but not limited to sound, video, or Flash, and with programming languages such as Java, Javascript, and DHTML. May appear in ad formats such as banners and buttons as well as transitionals and various over-the-page units such as floating ads, page take-overs, tear-backs.

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 top or side of search results for specific keywords. The more the marketer pays, the higher position it gets. They pay only 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. 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.

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.

Sponsorship: Custom content and/or experiences for an advertiser which may or may not include ads (display ad, brand logo, advertorial and pre-roll video). Sponsorships fall into several categories:

  • Spotlights – 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” line to creating a custom branded game experience
  • Content & Section Sponsorship – An advertiser exclusively sponsors a particular section of the site or e-mail (usually existing content) reskinned with the advertiser’s branding
  • Sweepstakes & Contests – Can range from branded sweepstakes on the site to a full-fledged branded contest with submissions and judging

Static Ad Placement/Static Rotation:

  • Ads that remain on a Web page for a specified period of time
  • Embedded ads

Transitional Ad: An ad that is displayed between Web pages. The user sees an ad as he/she navigates between page ‘a’ and page ‘b.’ Also known as an Interstitial.