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Common Web Development Terms

Ad banner -
a graphic image or other media object used as an advertisement. See iab.net for voluntary guidelines for banner ads.

Ad click -
a measurement of the user-initiated action of responding to (such as clicking on) an ad element causing a re-direct to another Web location or another frame or page within the advertisement. There are three types of ad clicks: 1) click-throughs; 2) in-unit clicks; and 3) mouseovers. Ad click-throughs should be tracked and reported as a 302 redirect at the ad server and should filter out robotic activity.

Ad click rate -
ratio of ad clicks to ad impressions.

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 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 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 window -
separate from the content window.

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 advertisement -
an ad that changes over time. For example, an animated ad is an interactive Java applet or Shockwave or GIF89a file.

Animated GIF -
an animation created by combining multiple GIF images in one file. The result is multiple images, displayed one after another, that give the appearance of movement.

Ajax -
makes web pages feel more responsive by exchanging small amounts of data with the server behind the scenes, so that the entire web page does not have to be reloaded each time the user makes a change.

Banner -
a graphic image displayed on an HTML page used as an ad. See iab.net for voluntary guidelines defining specifications of banner ads.

Blogs Websites where entries are made in journal style,displayed in a reverse chronological order, and often include a comment feature.

Cache -
memory used to temporarily store the most frequently requested content/files/pages in order to speed its delivery to the user. Cache 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. Today, Web browsers cause virtually all data viewed to be cached on a user's computer.

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.

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, but the words are typed instead of spoken.

Chat room -
an area online where you can chat with other people in real-time.

Click down -
the action of clicking on an element within an ad and having another file displayed on the user's screen, normally below or above the initial ad. Click down ads allow the user to stay on the same Web page and provide the advertiser a larger pallet to communicate their message.

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 hot-linked editorial content. See iab.net for ad campaign measurement guidelines.  See also ad click, click-through, in-unit clicks and mouseover.

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 hyperlink 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 that submits an information request to a server on behalf of a user or proxy.

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.

Content integration -
advertising woven into editorial content or placed in a contextual envelope. Also known as "Web advertorial".

Cookie -
a file on the user's browser that uniquely identifies the user's browser. There are two types of cookies: persistent cookies and session cookies. Session cookies are temporary and are erased when the browser exits.  Persistent cookies remain on the user's hard drive until the user erases them or until they expire.

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.

Copy -
printed text in an advertisement.

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).

CPM pricing model -
pricing model based on the cost of delivering ad impressions.  See CPM and Pay-per- Impression.

CPO (Cost-per-Order) -
cost of advertising based on the number of orders received. Also called Cost-per-Transaction.

Crawler -
a software program which visits virtually all pages of the Web to create indexes for search engines. They are more interested in text files than graphic files.  See also spider, bot, and intelligent agent.

customer relationship marketing. Marketing specifically targeted to increasing brand loyalty.

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.

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.

Dynamic ad placement -
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 that changes every time a user logs on to the Internet.

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-mail campaign -
advertising campaign distributed via e-mail.

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.

Encryption -
the scrambling of digital information so that it is unreadable without the use of digital keys.

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 -
reference to the number of people who view, or "lay their eyes on," a certain advertisement.

FTP (File Transfer Protocol) -
Internet protocol which facilitates transfer of files.

Firewall -
a security barrier placed between an organization's internal 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.

Flash downloading -
the ability to automatically send software upgrades to a set-top box network.

Flash is commonly used to create animation, advertisements, various web-page components, to integrate video into web pages, and more recently, to develop rich Internet applications.

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 -
an ad or content that is viewable as soon as the Web page arrives. One does not have to scroll down (or sideways) to see it. Since screen resolution can affect what is immediately viewable, it is good to know whether the Web site's audience tends to set their resolution at 640 x 480 pixels or at 800 x 600 (or higher).

Forums - 
a facility on Web for holding discussions.

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.

Frequency -
the number of times an ad is delivered to the same browser in a single session or time period. A site can use cookies in order to manage ad frequency.

See Widget

GIF (Graphic Interchange Format) -
a graphic format which uses compression to store and display images.

GIF89a/Animated GIF -
an extension of the .gif format which creates animation through a sequence of images being stored in a single image. A delay is customizable between "frames" to render the appearance of animation, much like a flappable picturebook.

Gross exposures -
the total number of times an ad is served, including duplicate downloads to the same person.

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, 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 you 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.

Hot spot -
see Hyperlink.

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 (*.txt) 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.

HTML page -
a HyperText Markup Language document stored in a directory on a Web server and/or created dynamically at the time of the request for the purpose of satisfying that request. In addition to text, an HTML page may include graphics, video, audio, and other files.

HTTP (Hyper-Text Transfer Protocol) -
the format most commonly used to transfer documents on the World Wide Web.

Hyperlink -
HTML programming which redirects the user to a new URL when the individual clicks on hypertext.

Hypertext -
text or graphical elements on a page which activates a hyperlink when clicked.

iFrame (inline frame) -
a floating frame inserted within a Web page which is not bound to the side of a browser window.

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.

Instant messaging -
a method of users communicating one-to-one or in groups over the standard IP protocol. Users can assemble "buddy lists" and chat with friends, family and colleagues.

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 -
a worldwide system of computer networks providing reliable and redundant connectivity between disparate computers and systems by using common transport and data protocols.

Interstitial ads -
ads that appear between two content pages. Also known as transition ads, intermercial ads, splash pages and Flash 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 network so that its location and activities can be distinguished from other computers. The format is ##.##.##.## with each number ranging from 0 through 255 (e.g.

ISP (Internet Service Provider) -
an organization that provides access to the Internet. An ISP can be a commercial provider, a corporate computer network, a school, college, university, or the government.

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) -
file format that uses a compression technique to reduce the size (number of bytes) of graphic files.

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.

Key word -
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. The key word can be purchased by advertisers in order to direct the hyperlink opportunity to the advertiser's site or to serve an ad related to the user's search.

Keyword search revenues -
fees advertisers pay to retrieve the hyperlink opportunity to the advertiser's site or to serve an ad related to the user's search.

Lag -
the amount of time 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) which are 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.

Link -
an electronic connection between two Web sites. Also called "hot link" and 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.

Load -
usually used with up-load or down-load, it means to transfer files or software from one computer or server to another computer or server. In other words, it is the movement of information online.

Log -
a file that keeps track of network connections.

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.

Micro-sites -
multi-page ads accessed via click-through from initial ad. User stays on the publisher's Web site, but has access to more information from the advertiser than a standard ad format allows.

Mashup -
A mashup is a web application that combines data from more than one source into a single integrated tool; a typical example is the use of cartographic data from Google Maps to add location information to real-estate data from Craigslist, thereby creating a new and distinct web service that was not originally envisaged by either source.

Mashup originally referred to the practice in pop music (notably hip-hop) of producing a new song by mixing two or more existing pieces.

.MP3 -
a computer file format that compresses audio files by a factor of 12 from a .wav file.

Mobil Web   The Web as accessed from mobile devices such as cell phones, PDAs, and other handheld gadgets connected to a public network.

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.

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.

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.

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 unique user access to a secured Web site and/or a secure area of a 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.

Pay-per-Impression -
an advertising pricing model in which advertisers pay based on how many users were served their ads. See CPM pricing model.

PDF files (Portable Document Format) -
a translation format developed by Adobe used primarily for distributing files across a network, or on a Web site. Files with a .pdf extension have been created in another application and then translated into .pdf files so they can be viewed by anyone, regardless of platform.

Persistent cookie -
a cookie which remains on the user's hard drive until the user erases it.

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., PC, Macintosh, Unix or WebTV.

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.

podcast is a multimedia file distributed over the Internet using syndication feeds, for playback on mobile devices and personal computers.

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.

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.

Query -
a request for information, usually to a search engine.

delivers its information as an XML file, commonly called an RSS feed. Programs known as feed readers or aggregators can check a list of feeds on behalf of a user and display any updated articles that they find, giving the user a single place to aggregate information of their choosing

Rate card -
the list of 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.

RealAudio® -
a software program that downloads and plays streaming audio files.

Real time -
events that happen in real time are happening virtually at that particular moment. When one chats in a chat room, or sends an instant message, one is interacting in real time since it is immediate.

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.

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.

Rich media -
a method of communication that incorporates animation, sound, video, and/or interactivity. It can be used either singularly or in combination with the following technologies: streaming media, sound, Flash, and with programming languages such as Java, Javascript, and DHTML. It is deployed via standard Web and wireless applications including e-mail, Web design, banners, buttons, and interstitials.

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.

Router -
a device that connects any number of LANs. Routers use headers and a forwarding table to determine where packets go, and they communicate with each other to configure the best route between any two hosts.

Search engine -
a program 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.

Server -
a computer which distributes files which are shared across a LAN, WAN or the Internet. Also known as a "host".

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 -
cookies which are loaded into a computer's RAM, and only work during that browser session. When the browser exits, these cookies are erased. They are "temporary cookies", and no cookie is written to a user's hard drive. See cookie.

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.

Sniffer -
software that detects capabilities of the user's browser (looking for such things as Java capabilities, plug-ins, screen resolution, and bandwidth).

Social Networks-
a social network service is social software specifically focused on the building and verifying of online social networks for various purposes.

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 -
slang term describing unsolicited e-mail.

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 -
an association with a Web site in some way that gives an advertiser some particular visibility and advantage above that of run-of-site advertising. When associated with specific content, sponsorship can provide a more targeted audience than run-of-site ad buys.

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 high-speed (1.54 megabits/second) Internet connection.

T-3 -
a very high-speed (45 megabits/second or higher) Internet connection.

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.

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.

Total ad impressions -
the total of all graphical and textual ad impressions delivered, regardless of the source. See ad impression.

Total unique users -
see unique user.

Total visits -
total number of browsers accessing a Web site within a specific time period. Total visits should filter robotic activity, but can include visits from repeat visitors.

Total visitors -
total number of browsers or individuals which have accessed a site within a specific time period.

Traffic -
the number of visits and/or visitors who come 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.

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 robots. 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.

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.

User -
an individual with access to the World Wide Web.

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.

User Reviews -
tool that enables site visitors to provide reviews of products, content and services.

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.

Visit -
measurement which has been filtered for robotic activity of one or more text and/or graphics downloads from a site without 30 consecutive minutes of inactivity and which can be reasonably attributed to a single browser for a single session. See iab.net for ad campaign measurement guidelines.

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.

WAA (Wireless Advertising Association) -
trade association promoting wireless advertising. Members include: hand held device manufacturers, software providers, carriers and operators, agencies, retailers, and advertisers. See waaglobal.org for more information.

WAN (Wide Area Network) -
a group of computers connected together (a network) which are 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 can be used for Internet-based access.

WAP device -
any device (e.g., mobile phone, PDA, or simulator) that allows access to wireless content.

WAP phones -
mobile phones which utilize wireless application protocol technology to access the Internet. The screen on a WAP phone can be used to deliver ads.

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.

Webcasting -
real-time or pre-recorded delivery of a live event's audio, video, or animation over the Internet.

Web Widget:

A widget is anything that can be embedded within a page of HTML, i.e. a web page. A widget adds some content to that page that is not static. Generally widgets are third party originated, though they can be home made. Widgets are also known as modules, snippets, and plug-ins. Widgets can be written in HTML, but also in JavaScript, flash and other scripting languages that will be run when the page is called. (e.g. YouTube's widget allows users to place videos on their social networking profiles and blogs).

In the Macintosh, widgets are mini-applications written in JavaScript that are launched from the Mac Dashboard or desktop.  (e.g. stock tickers, daily weather forecasts, games)

A mini application for the Windows Vista desktop or the Windows Live personal portal.  A Gadget is the Windows counterpart of the Macintosh "widget."

a type of Web site that allows the visitors themselves to easily add, remove, and otherwise edit and change some available content, sometimes without the need for registration

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