Internet Advertising Terms

We sincerely hope that this document will assist you today and that you will use it for future reference.
New terms are continuously being added to the Internet vocabulary. We will try to keep this list as up-to-date as possible.

If you you notice any term or definition missing, please let us know.


For Web advertising, an ad is almost always a A5 banner or graphic image of a designated pixel size and 50Kb size limit. It is often animated. M-WEB Business Solutions prefers the term Ad Creative.

Ad rotation:

Ads are often rotated into ad spaces from a list. This is usually done automatically by software coding on the central MARKETPLACE site and administered by an ad broker or advertiser.

Ad space:

An ad space is a space on a Web page that is reserved for ads. THE MARKETPLACE uses the term ad space group to refer to a group (categorised and indexed) of spaces with a Web site that share the same characteristics so that an ad purchase can be made for the group of spaces.

Ad view:

An ad view is a Web page delivered in a way that guarantees that the receiving viewer will actually see the ad. Ad views are what most Web sites sell or prefer to sell. Assuming that each ad is fully visible when a page arrives, the number of ad views equals the number of page views times the number of ads on the page.


A banner is an advertisement in the form of a graphic image that typically runs across a Web page or is positioned in a margin or other space reserved for ads. Banner ads are usually GIF images. In addition to adhering to size, many Web sites limit the size of the file to a certain number of bytes so that the file will display quickly. Most ads are animated GIFs since animation has been shown to attract a larger percentage of user clicks. The most common larger banner ad is 468 pixels wide by 60 pixels high. A smaller size is 120 by 90 pixels.

Booked space:

This is the number of ad views for an ad space that is currently sold out (e.g. A banner on the travel category site)


In Internet advertising, the caching of pages in a cache server or the user's computer means that some ad views won't be known by the ad counting programs and is a source of concern. Intel's Quick Web, a product that facilities caching, promises to provide requesting publishers data about cached pages.


A click is a Web page user's mouse click on an ad, which results in a hypertext link (that is, immediately "going to") the site sponsoring the ad.

Click stream:

A click stream is a recorded path of the pages a user requested in going through one or more Web sites. Click stream information can help Web site owners understand how visitors are using their site and which pages are getting the most use. It can help advertisers understand how users get to the client's pages, what pages they look at, and how they go about ordering a product.


A clickthrough is what is counted by the sponsoring site as a result of an ad click. In practice, click and clickthrough tend to be used interchangeably. A clickthrough, however, seems to imply that the user actually received the page. Some advertisers are willing to pay only for clickthroughs rather than for ad views.

Click rate:

The click rate is the percentage of ad views that resulted in clickthroughs. Although there is obviously some value in ad views that don't result in a clickthrough, this value is difficult to measure. A clickthrough has several values: it's an indication of the ad's effectiveness and it results in the viewer getting to the advertiser's Web site where other messages can be provided. A new approach is for a click to result not in a link to another site but to an immediate product order window. What a successful click rate is depends on a number of factors. In general, click rates vary from 1% to as high as 15%, but averages (in our opinion) are probably below 5%.


The most common meaning of "Cookie" on the Internet refers to a piece of information sent by a Web Server to a Web Browser that the Browser software is expected to save and to send back to the Server whenever the browser makes additional requests from the Server.

Depending on the type of Cookie used, and the Browser's settings, the Browser may accept or not accept the Cookie, and may save the Cookie for either a short time or a long time.

Cookies might contain information such as login or registration information, online "shopping cart" information, user preferences, etc.

When a Server receives a request from a Browser that includes a Cookie, the Server is able to use the information stored in the Cookie. For example, the Server might customise what is sent back to the user, or keep a log of particular user's requests.

Cookies are usually set to expire after a predetermined amount of time and are usually saved in memory until the Browser software is closed down, at which time they may be saved to disk if their "expire time" has not been reached.

Cookies do not read your hard drive and send your life story to the CIA, but they can be used to gather more information about a user than would be possible without them.


Cost per thousand page views. This measure is taken from print advertising. Since not all page views result in seeing the ad (for example, if a page scrolls, an ad may be initially out of view), CPM is often interpreted to mean the cost per thousand ad views. (The "M" has nothing to do with "mega" or million. It's a Roman numeral M.)


Cost per thousand-targeted ad views, apparently implying that the audience you're selling is targeted to particular demographics.


Demographics is data about the size and characteristics of a population or audience (for example, gender, age group, income group, purchasing history, personal preferences, and so forth).


Filtering is the immediate analysis by a program of a user request to determine which ad(s) to return in the requested page. A Web page request can tell a Web site whether it fits a certain characteristic such as coming from a particular company's address or that the user is using a particular level of browser. The Web site can respond accordingly.


A hit is the sending of a single file whether an HTML file, an image, an audio file, or other file type. Since a single Web page request can bring with it a number of individual files, the number of hits from a site is a not a good indication of its actual use (number of visitors). It does have meaning for the Web site space provider, however, as an indicator of traffic flow.


(HyperText Markup Language) -- The coding language used to create Hypertext documents for use on the World Wide Web. HTML looks a lot like old-fashioned typesetting code, where you surround a block of text with codes that indicate how it should appear, additionally, in HTML you can specify that a block of text, or a word, is linked to another file on the Internet. HTML files are meant to be viewed using a World Wide Web Client Program, such as Firefox or Chrome.

HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) is the set of "markup" symbols or codes inserted in a file intended for display on a World Wide Web browser. The markup tells the Web browser how to display a Web page's words and images for the user.

HTML is defined both by a standards committee co-ordinated by the World Wide Web Consortium and by proprietary extenders of the markup language such as Firefox and Microsoft. Currently, the latest official version of HTML is HTML 3.2. However, both Firefox and Microsoft browsers now incorporate many features (referred to generally as dynamic HTML) in what is currently the working draft of the next version of HTML, HTML 4.0.

There are a number of helpful books on HTML. We like Laura Lemay's Teach Yourself Web Publishing with HTML 3.2 in a Week ( Publishing) and Ian Graham's HTML Sourcebook (John Wiley). (Lemay has a new book for HTML 4.0 that we will soon review here.) However possible to learn HTML from material available on the Web itself.


An impression is a view, in usage either a page view or more usually an ad view.

Media broker:

Since it's often not efficient for an advertiser to select every Web site it wants to put ads on, media brokers aggregate sites for advertisers based on audience niches and other factors.

Psychographic characteristics:

This is a term used by Marketplace for personal interest information that is gathered by Web sites by requesting it from users.

Response Form:

A web-based form, which allows users to fill in pre-defined fields, so as to sends a response to the web-site administrator or owner.

Splash page:

A splash page is a preliminary page that precedes the regular home page of an M-WEB Web hosting site and usually promotes a particular site feature or provides advertising. A splash page is timed to move on to the home page after a short period of time.


Targeting is purchasing ad space on Web sites that match audience and campaign objective requirements.


A view is, depending on what's meant either an ad view or a page view. Usually an ad view is what's meant. Ad views are slightly different than page views since a small percentage of users choose to turn the graphics off (not display the images) in their browser.


A visit is a Web user with a unique address entering a Web site at some page for the first time that day (or for the first time in a lesser time period). The number of visits is roughly equivalent to the number of different people that visit a site. A visit is the same thing as a session.

Selected Links:

The Internet Advertising Bureau is an industry collective that tries to promote and to some extent regulate advertising on the Internet. The IAB has identified a number of recommended banner sizes that almost all advertisers adhere to.

Web Site Design:

Web Site Development:

The process of creating, by means of HTML coding, CGI and PERL scripting, and other web development tools.

Web Site Maintenance:

The process of doing updates and corrections to the content and/or functionality of a Web Site.

Web Hosting:

A service provided whereby a client is allocated a certain amount of storage space on a Web Server to enable a client to upload a Web Site to that space.

Web site:

This definition is also listed under presence, site and Web site.

A Web site (we prefer the two words rather than Web site) is collection of Web files on a particular subject that includes a beginning file called a home page. For example, most companies, organisations, or individuals that have Web sites have a single address that they give you. This is their home page address. From the home page, you can get to all the other pages on their site. For example, the Web site for SA Web has the home page address of (In this case, the actual file name of the home page file doesn't have to be included because SA Web has named this file "index" OR "default" and told the server that this address really means

Since it sounds like geography is involved, a Web site can be confused with a Web server. A server is a computer that holds the files for one or more sites. A very large Web site may reside on a number of servers located in many different geographic places. SA Web is a good example; its Web site consists of thousands of files spread out over many servers in world-wide locations. But a more typical example is probably the site you are looking at, We reside on a commercial space provider's server with a number of other sites that have nothing to do with Internet glossaries.

A synonym and less frequently used term for Web site is "Web presence." That term seems to better express the idea that a site is not tied to specific geographic location, but is "somewhere in cyberspace." However, "Web site" seems to be used much more frequently.

You can have multiple Web sites that cross-link to files on each other's sites. This simply means that you've identified two starting places or home pages for all the files.