From Q to T


A request for information, usually to a search engine.

Rate card

The list of prices and products and packages offered by a media company.


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.


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.


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.

Referral fees

Fees paid by advertisers for delivering a qualified sales lead or purchase inquiry.


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.


A program that runs automatically without human intervention. Typically, a robot is endowed with some artificial intelligence so that it can react to different situations it may encounter. Two common types of robots are agents and spiders. Commercial robots are programs that are used to fetch Web pages, but the user never has an opportunity to see the content of the requested documents. Personal robots provide the user with the opportunity to see the requested Web pages, usually in an offline mode. Also known as bots.

ROI(Return on Investment)

Net profit divided by investment.


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.


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.


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.

A subset of a universe whose properties are studied to gain information about that universe.

Sampling frame

The source from which the sample is drawn.


Files that initiate routines like generating Web pages dynamically in response to user input.

SDSL(Symmetrical Digital Subscriber Line)

A type of DSL that uses only one of the two cable pairs for transmission. SDSL allows residential or small office users to share the same telephone for data transmission and voice or fax telephony.

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.

Sell-through rate

The percentage of ad inventory sold as opposed to traded or bartered.


A computer which distributes files which are shared across a LAN, WAN or the Internet. Also known as a “host”.

Server centric measurement

Audience measurement derived from server logs.

Server-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. Server-initiated ad counting uses the publisher’s Web content server for making requests, formatting and re-directing content. For organizations using 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, or later in the process. See client-initiated ad impression.

Server pull

A process whereby a user’s browser maintains an automated or customized connection or profile with a Web server. The browser usually sets up a unique request that is recorded and stored electronically for future reference. Examples are: requests for the automated delivery of e-mail newsletters, the request for Web content based on a specific search criteria determined by the user, or setting up a personalized Web page that customizes the information delivered to the user based on pre-determined self selections.

Server push

A process whereby a server maintains an open connection with a browser after the initial request for a page. Through this open connection the server continues to provide updated pages and content even though the visitor has made no further direct requests for such information.


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.

Set-top box

An electronic device that sits on top of one’s TV set and allows it to connect to the Internet, game systems, or cable systems.

SGML(Standard Generalized Markup Language)

The parent language for HTML.


A browser plug-in developed by Macromedia which allows multimedia objects to appear on the Web(animation, audio and video).

Shop bot

Intelligent agent which searches for the best price.

Site-centric measurement

Audience measurement derived from a Web site’s own server logs.


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.


A tall, thin online ad unit. The IAB guidelines recommend two sizes of skyscrapers: 120 X 600 and 160 x 600.

Slotting fee

A fee charged to advertisers by media companies to get premium positioning on their site, category exclusivity or some other special treatment. It is similar to slotting allowances charged by retailers.

Smart Card

Identical in size and feel to credit cards, smart cards store information on an integrated microprocessor chip located within the body of the card. These chips hold a variety of information, from stored(monetary)-value used for retail and vending machines, to secure information and applications for higher-end operations such as medical/healthcare records. The different types of cards being used today are contact, contactless and combination cards. Contact smart cards must be inserted into a smart card reader. These cards have a contact plate on the face which makes an electrical connector for reads and writes to and from the chip when inserted into the reader. Contactless smart cards have an antenna coil, as well as a chip embedded within the card. The internal antenna allows for communication and power with a receiving antenna at the transaction point to transfer information. Close proximity is required for such transactions, which can decrease transaction time while increasing convenience. A combination card functions as both a contact and contactless smart card. Specific to interactive television, the viewer can insert smart cards into the set-top box to trigger the box to decrypt contact programming.

SMPT(Simple Mail Transfer Protocol)

The protocol used to transfer e-mail.


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


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.


Slang term describing unsolicited e-mail.


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.


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.


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.


A measure used to gauge the effectiveness of a site in retaining individual users. Stickiness is usually measured by the duration of the visit.


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.


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.


Exploring the World Wide Web.


Electronic commerce on interactive television.


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


A very high-speed(45 megabits/second or higher)Internet connection.

TCP/IP(Transfer Control Protocol/Internet Protocol)

A software standard used by the Internet to understand all computer languages and most computers.

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 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.


The amount of data transmitted through Internet connectors in response to a given request.


Tracer or tag which is attached by the receiving server to the address(URL)of a page requested by a user. A token lasts only through a continuous series of requests by a user, regardless of the length of the interval between requests. Tokens can be used to count unique users.

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.


The number of visits and/or visitors who come to a Web site.


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.


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.