AdTech Glossary

We know that the AdTech industry jargon can be daunting. Let us help you navigate it with our Glossary.

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A

Ad Exchange

A digital marketplace where advertisers and publishers may buy and sell ad inventory through real-time bidding (RTB). They’re most commonly used to offer inventory for display, video, and mobile ads.

Ad Exchange Buyers Marketplace

The Buyers Marketplace helps publishers get discovered and enables buyers to find programmatic direct offers from publishers. Publishers can market their brands through a customizable publisher profile.

Ad Impression

An Ad Impression is a campaign measure used to count the number of times an ad has been served.

The metric counts when an advertisement is displayed to the target visitor and the creative is downloaded on the visitor’s device.

Ad Network

A company that connects advertisers with websites that want to run advertisements. An ad network’s primary job is to aggregate ad supply from publishers and match it with advertiser demand.

Ad Refresh

An Ad Refresh allows publishers to reload an advertising unit without reloading the whole page. This lets publishers gather more impressions when users remain on their pages.  

Ad Server

Publishers, advertisers, ad agencies, and ad networks all use an ad server to administer and run their online advertising campaigns. Ad servers make quick decisions about which advertisements to display on a website and also serve the creative.

Ad Tag

An ad tag is a piece of code that enables a website to display advertisements. It is placed within the source code of the website and gets triggered when a user lands on a page.

Ad Unit

On a website or in an app, an ad unit is a placeholder for an ad.  A publisher can have multiple ad units, each serving a different set of ad formats and sizes. 

Ad Verification

Advertisers use ad verification to see if their ads are being shown in the proper context, on the right websites, in the right part of a page, and to the right people.

AdBlock

Adblock browser extensions and phone applications give users the ability to block advertisements from being displayed.

Ads.txt

Ads.txt is an Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) project to promote programmatic advertising transparency and prevent unlawful inventory transactions. To identify who is permitted to sell their inventory, publishers can generate their own ads.txt files.

AdSense Deductions

AdSense deductions or clawbacks are applied to your earnings when Google detects invalid clicks or activity on your website. Deductions are applied to your earnings based on the amount of invalid activity. AdSense finalizes the deduction amount at the beginning of the following month. You can avoid deductions by reading our guide on how to avoid  AdSense deductions.

AdTech

AdTech (or Ad Tech) is short for advertising technology. Advertisers use various tools and software platforms to deliver their adverts to potential buyers, which is known as ad tech. Publishers employ ad tech solutions to automate the monetization of their ad inventory.

Advertisement

An advertisement is a form of commercial communication in which a product, service, or concept is promoted or sold through the use of an explicitly sponsored message. Businesses that want to market their products or services are often advertising sponsors.

Advertiser

A brand, advertising agency, corporation, or any other entity that buys ad inventory in order to market their service, product, or brand.

Advertising Agency

A company that assists marketers or brands with the creation, placement, and purchase of media.

Agency Trading Desk (ATD)

A media agency’s trading desk is a piece of technology or a group of services. The services are related to programmatic advertising campaign planning, buying, administering, and optimization.

Anti-AdBlock

Anti-Adblock tools enable website owners to show ads even if a user has an AdBlock tool enabled. This allows publishers to recover advertising revenue that would otherwise be lost because of AdBlock.

Audience Extension

Audience extension is the process of expanding a target audience by purchasing more uniques or comparable audiences from a third party to boost the reach (size) of a campaign.

B

Bid Request

A real-time bidding (RTB) request is a call from a publisher’s website that asks an ad exchange or SSP to bid on an ad impression. This function is activated when a user accesses a web page that contains ad units.

Bid Response

When a bid request is received, advertisers decide on a bid price and send this value back as a bid response. The ad unit is sold to the highest bidder within a fraction of a second.

Blacklist

A database that contains a list of banned websites that have been linked to fraudulent practices, spam, and unsuitable content.

Bot Traffic

Bot traffic is non-human traffic that is created automatically. It’s connected with scams and designed to mimic human behavior on a website. DSPs ensure fraud prevention technologically and collaborate with anti-fraud platforms to protect from this harmful traffic.

Brand Safety

The collection of precautions intended to shield a brand’s image from the damaging impact of unsuitable or questionable content on the publisher’s site where the ads are served. Context brand safety is one of the most important aspects of any RTB process, as it protects the advertiser’s image, reputation, and data security.

Branded Inventory

Inventory that reveals the following information to potential buyers:
1) The full URL where the impression will occur
2) Publisher ID
3) Seller name

C

Consent Management Platform (CPM)

A CMP helps website owners comply with data privacy laws by collecting user consent. By gathering consent, website owners are able to serve personalized ads based on the user’s data and cookies.

Conversion

A conversion is an activity that is counted when someone engages with your ad (for example, clicks an ad) and then does an action that you’ve defined as useful to your business, such as making an online purchase or contacting you.

Cookie Sync/Matching

The procedure of linking one company’s user ID to another so that the ad exchange or ad network can combine all of the existing user data for a single person. The publisher collects this data and passes it to the advertiser. Cookies contain information about browsing habits, a user’s personal information, and login forms. This a cornerstone of programmatic advertising, without which no targeting can be done.

Core Web Vitals

Core Web Vitals are a subset of factors that are part of Google’s “page experience” score. Google considers CWV to be a set of particular variables that contribute to a webpage’s overall user experience. The ranking signals are made up of three page-speed and user interaction measurements: largest contentful paint, first input delay, and cumulative layout shift.

Cost per Action (CPA)

CPA is the amount of money spent on a campaign divided by the number of actions taken by users. It is an advertising payment model that considers the number of conversions that users take on the site.

Cost per Mile (CPM)

The cost of serving 1000 ad impressions. This gives the advertiser an idea of how much every individual ad impression is worth. CPM is also a common metric for buying display ads; inventory is typically sold on this basis.

Cost per Click (CPC)

Cost per click (CPC) is a measure that determines how much an advertiser will pay for each click generated (on average). CPC is calculated by dividing the total money spent on an advertising campaign by the number of clicks received.

Creative

Creative is the advertising content that is displayed in an ad unit, such as a banner or a video. Advertisers use creatives to attract attention, transmit a message, or convert a visitor into a customer.

Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)

Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) score aims to measure the visual stability of a web page. It helps to determine how often users experience unexpected layout shifts. Website owners should aim for a low CLS score. CLS is part of Google’s Core Web Vitals initiative that influences Google’s SERP rankings since June 2021.

D

Data Management Platform (DMP)

A data management platform is a centralized system for gathering and organizing first, second, and third-party audience data. Agencies, publishers, and marketers utilize it to improve targeting.

Demand-Side Platform (DSP)

Demand-Side Platforms help advertisers create, target, optimize, and automate their digital ad campaigns. DSPs communicate with SSPs, Ad Networks, Ad Exchanges, and publishers.

E

Effective Cost per Thousand Impressions (eCMP)

eCPM is the total ad revenue divided by the total number of impressions x 1000. eCPM helps publishers understand how much their ad inventory is being sold for.

Exchange Bidding

Exchange bidding is a server-side procedure in which exchange networks and SSPs participate in a unified auction to bid on inventory. It’s commonly thought of as Google’s solution to header bidding.

F

Fill Rate

The fill rate shows how often ad creatives were served when you received an ad impression. The number of creatives served is divided by the total number of impressions to arrive at the fill rate. The ideal fill rate is close to 100%, which means that all impressions resulted in creatives being displayed.

First Contentful Paint (FCP)

Google’s First Contentful Paint (FCP) score aims to measure page load speed from the perspective of the user. It helps determine how long it takes for a user to see content on the screen from the time a web page starts to load. Website owners should aim for a low FCP score.

First Input Delay (FID)

First Input Delay (FID) is one of several Core Web Vitals performance metrics to measure the responsiveness of your website. FID measures the time from when a user first interacts with your site (i.e. when they click a link or tap on a button) to the time when the browser can respond to that interaction.

First-Party Data

The information that website owners collect about their visitors in the form of user data. This type of information is considered the most useful and is gathered due to a user’s interaction with the website, such as filling out forms, making requests, purchasing products, and ordering services.

Floor CPM

The lowest acceptable cost per impression that the publisher agrees to sell the inventory for on the ad exchange or ad network is determined by the Floor CPM set by the publisher.

For example, if a publisher sets a $1 floor CPM, campaigns with CPMs below that level will not be delivered on his website.

Frequency Capping

A method of limiting the number of times a visitor is shown a specific advertisement.

G

GEO-Targeting

Geo-targeting allows you to serve ads to visitors based on their geolocation, such as their country, city, or area. This type of geo-targeting makes impressions more relevant to the target audience, improves campaign efficiency, and produces the most user-friendly content and interface.

Google MCM (Multiple Customer Management)

Google MCM lets publishers access Google Ad Exchange through a 3rd party. It is the replacement for Google SPM (Scaled Partner Management) and a tool for publishers to increase their ad revenue and gain deeper insight into their Ad Exchange performance.

Gross Estimated Spend

The amount a publisher anticipates will be spent over the course of an ad’s lifecycle.

H

Header Bidding

Header bidding is a programmatic technology that enables publishers to simultaneously offer inventory to multiple ad exchanges at the same time. Publishers enhance their yield and make more money by allowing various demand sources to compete for their inventory simultaneously.

I

Impression

An impression is the act of an advertisement being downloaded to the target website; however, the instant the user sees it is assessed by a different metric called viewability.

In-Stream Video

Advertisements that appears before, during, or after watching a video and during a game or any other type of animation. This type of advertisement displays in the player environment with a runtime of 15 to 30 seconds. Cost-per-view is the most common pricing scheme for in-stream video.

Interactive Ad Units

Interactive ad units are an ad format that allows website visitors to engage with quizzes, facts, and tips.

Interstitial Ad

Interstitial ads are full-screen adverts covering up the app or website, interrupting the user’s experience. The key difference between an interstitial ad and a banner ad is that an interstitial ad has full-screen coverage. Conversion rates for interstitial ads are generally higher than banner ads.

Invalid Traffic (IVT)

Any action that does not originate from a genuine user with genuine interest is considered invalid traffic. Unintentional clicks caused by intrusive ad implementations, fraudulent clicks by competing advertisers, bots, and other factors can contribute to this.

Inventory

The ad space on web pages or apps that the publisher makes accessible for advertisers to purchase.

J

K

L

M

Mid-Roll

An advertisement that will appear while in the middle of a video.

Multi-Size Ad Placement

Multi-size ad placements allow you to submit a single bid request for numerous ad sizes, increasing the amount of competition for a given ad placement.

N

O

Open Auction

The open auction is a public marketplace in which Ad Exchange connects buyers’ targeting with sellers’ inventory and searches for the highest bidder.

Out-Stream Advertising

Out-Stream Advertising is a video ad format that only displays advertisements.

P

Page Revenue per Mille (RPM)

A digital advertising metric used by publishers to evaluate how much money a site can make per thousand page views.

RPM = (expected earnings / total number of page views) * 1000

Post-Roll

A video ad that starts after the main video content has finished.

Pre-Roll

A video ad that is displayed before the main video content.

Preferred Deal

This is a non-auction buying approach with a set display price and no certainty that inventory will be sold. Preferred deals do not allow for inventory booking; instead, they provide fixed pricing and the option to purchase impressions without having to participate in an auction.

Outside of auctions, site owners create inventory blocks with fixed, pre-agreed pricing available to advertisers. The unsold inventory is subsequently auctioned off.

Private Marketplace (PMP)

This is a real-time auction form of purchasing with well-defined price categories. It is exclusively available to a small group of customers. Therefore the cost per impression is usually greater in such a marketplace.

Buyers like private marketplace auctions because they provide them with more control over where their ads are displayed.

Programmatic Advertising

In contrast to the traditional human negotiations and placement orders, programmatic advertising is the automated buying and selling of online advertising through software.

Programmatic Buying

Methods for buying online advertising through automated systems and algorithms, such as RTB, that make transaction decisions without the advertiser’s participation based on user socio-demographic and behavioral data.

SSPs (the selling side), advertisers, DSPs (the buying side), and the Ad Exchange platforms are often involved in the process.

Programmatic Direct/Guaranteed

Advertisers agree to buy a set number of impressions on a publisher’s site for a set CPM. When a contract is made, the inventory that corresponds to it is sold and reserved for that deal.

Large advertisers benefit from the system’s integration with the finest sites since they may acquire data on premium placements and prices outside of the auction.

Publisher

A publisher is a website owner that has ad inventory (ad impressions for sale).

Q

Quantity-Based Line Item

A line item set aside to meet certain impression or click targets.

R

Reach

Reach is the number of unique visitors exposed to an advertisement. 

Real-Time Bidding (RTB)

Real-time bidding refers to the buying and selling of digital ad impressions in real-time auctions while a webpage is loading. Ad exchanges and supply-side platforms are frequently used to enable these auctions.

Remnant Inventory

Unsold inventory that isn’t required to deliver a certain number of impressions by contract. After direct and premium purchasers have been exhausted, the unsold inventory is usually sold at a lower rate through programmatic buys.

Retargeting

The set of ad measures and tactics that enable advertisers to choose and target just those people who have previously visited the advertiser’s website and are familiar with the product.

A “retargeting” pixel is placed in the visitor’s cookie when they first visit the site, and when they depart, the pixel signals the retargeting platform to serve the ad on other websites.

S

Second-Party Data

Second-party data is first-party data gathered and resold by website owners or data management platforms (DMPs). It is used by marketers when their own first-party data is insufficient for conducting an ad campaign.

This is the information that organizations acquire due to various advertising activities, including e-mail message reading, clicks, landing page views, target actions, and audience social activity.

Server-Side Header Bidding (S2S)

Server-side header bidding, also called server-to-server (S2S) header bidding, refers to a process where the header bidding auction takes place on a server instead of within the user’s browser.

Skippable In-Stream Ads

A video ad type that allows viewers to skip an advertisement after a particular time has passed.

Standard In-Stream Ads

This is a non-skippable video ad format.

Sticky Ads

Advertising that sticks to the user’s screen even when they scroll the page. Sticky advertising can aid in optimizing viewability without compromising the user experience.

Supply-Side Platform (SSP)

A supply-side platform is a piece of software that automates the selling of ad space. Digital publishers utilize them to sell display and video advertisements to get the most money for their impressions. SSPs assist publishers in connecting their inventory to ad exchanges, demand-side platforms, and ad networks.

T

Targeting

A method of delivering the ad impressions to the appropriate audience based on specific parameters. Contextual targeting analyzes the content of the website to offer relevant adverts to the client, whereas behavioral targeting analyzes the user’s activity as the main analysis point.

Third-Party Data

The type of information that third parties collect and provide. Third-party data is gathered from a variety of sources, then consolidated and licensed for reuse.

Third-party data providers gather information from various sources, including email messaging services, payment systems, third-party sites, data processing, and storage services for DMPs.

True CPM

True CPM compares revenue to total impressions sent rather than just matched impressions, giving publishers a better idea of how much money they’re generating on their inventory.

True CPM = Revenue/(total impressions/1000)

U

User Acquisition (UA)

The total cost of acquiring a new user for your website, app, platform, or service. This word is used in strategic marketing planning to evaluate the budget, track changes, and optimize expenditures associated with growing the audience base.

V

Video Player Ad-Serving Interface

An industry standard for interactive in-stream video ads defined by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB).

Viewability

Viewability is a metric that indicates how long the ad was on the user’s screen. It is used to analyze the effectiveness of ad impressions.

According to the MRC standard, an ad is considered viewable if at least 50% of its pixels were in the visitor’s view for at least a second or two seconds in the case of video.

W

Whitelist

A database that contains a list of websites that advertisers have approved. A whitelist indicates that it is safe to advertise on these websites because they have a good reputation and relevant content.

Whitelists are useful for businesses who wish to protect their brand.

Win Rate

The metric that indicates whether or not the bid strategy is successful. Divide the total number of impressions gained by the total number of submitted impressions bid on to get the win rate. The DSP platform, the number of requests per second it can handle, and the pre-set auction filters will all influence the win rate.

X

Y

Yield Optimization

The technique aims to help publishers increase the amount of ad revenue they are getting from their ad inventory.

Many SSPs come with yield optimization features built-in. To begin yield optimization, you must first assess the existing data to identify the weak and strong points.

Z

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