Jargon Glossary

The ultimate programmatic advertising glossary for publishers. Get up to speed on ad tech's latest acronyms and jargon with our handy dictionary of common terms.

Glossary Terms

Sort Alphabetically


A/B testing
A/B testing is the process of testing two (or more) variations of the same page in order to define which elements of the page are more effective in driving conversions
Ad block
Ad blockers are browser extensions or plugins that disable ads on specific web pages. An ad blocker works by blocking communications to ad servers and then hiding the elements of the web page that are designed to display advertising content.
Ad Exchange
An ad exchange is a digital marketplace that automates ad deals between advertisers and publishers.
Ad Exchange Buyers Marketplace
A section of the ad exchange buyer user interface that provides a shopping like experience to help discover publishers and create deals.
Ad fill rate
The ads fill rate is the percentage number of ads served divided by the total number of ad requests that the server makes.
Ad Fraud
Ad fraud is the practice of inflating impressions, clicks or conversion data for financial gain, wasting the advertiser’s budget in the process.
Ad injection
Ad injection is an advertisement that sneaks into a place it shouldn’t be on a publisher’s website via malicious software.
Ad mediation
Ad mediation is the usage of revenue generation techniques and methods that aim to optimize ad fill rates and CPM for publishers.
Ad networks
An Ad Network is a media company that sells ad inventory across a range of publishers to advertisers at a set price.
Ad Server
An ad server is a digital store of content that will serve to pages and apps. Ad servers upload the ad to the webpage and target the most relevant ad to a particular user.
Ad Tag
An ad tag is code snippets generated and provided from a web source that contains information on how the ad will be displayed.
Ad tech
Ad technology, or ad tech for short, is the umbrella term encompassing all the software, platforms, and emerging technologies used by agencies, advertisers, and publishers in the strategic roll-out of their digital advertising campaigns.
Ad Trafficking
Ad trafficking is the process of designing and setting up ad campaigns and involves both marketing and technical aspects.
Ad Unit
Ad units are the actual specification for the ad in terms of dimensions and formatting.
Ad Refreshes
Ad refresh is the process of refreshing ads to serve new ads to users while they are visiting a specific web page. Auto ad refreshes that are triggered by a predefined logic like a user based action, a scrolling or clicking event, or based on the user's time on page.
Ad Inventory
Ad inventory is the space a publisher makes available for advertising.
Ads.txt is an IAB initiative to improve transparency in programmatic advertising and prevent unauthorized inventory sales. Publishers can create their own ads.txt files to identify who is authorized to sell their inventory.
Affiliate network
An affiliate network connects digital publishers with companies, brands, and merchants looking to promote their products and services.
A company that works for marketers to create, place and buy media.
Agency Trading Desk
A team within an ad agency that conducts online media buying as a service. They either use their own tech or DSPs to buy and optimize media campaigns on ad exchanges, ad networks and any other inventory sources.
Banner Blindness
Banner blindness is a form of selective attention whereby web users either consciously or subconsciously ignore information presented to them in online advertisements, particularly banner advertisements.
Behavioral Targeting
Behavioral targeting is the process of identifying particular sets of customers based on their online activity, which helps advertisers place the right ads in front of the right users.
Bid Request
A real-time bidding (RTB) request sent from the ad server to the buyer for the auction of an impression.
Bid Shading
In bid shading, market bid data is aggregated to find an average bid between the highest and lowest price bids, preventing buyers from consistently overpaying in first-price auctions.
Bidstream Data
Bidstream data, short for bidstream location data, is any data connected to a publisher’s bid request. This includes data on the website or app, the ad format, as well as the visitor’s device type and their IP address.
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
Brand safety
The International Advertising Bureau (IAB) defines brand safety as the process of keeping a brand's reputation safe when they advertise online. This means ensuring that ads are not placed next to inappropriate content that will reflect poorly on the brand in the eyes of the consumer.
Brand safety
The International Advertising Bureau (IAB) defines brand safety as the process of keeping a brand's reputation safe when they advertise online. This means ensuring that ads are not placed next to inappropriate content that will reflect poorly on the brand in the eyes of the consumer.
Click Spam
Click spam is a type of digital ad fraud that wastes ad budgets through fake clicks. While it is a serious problem for digital advertisers, it can be tackled.
Click-Through Rate
Click-through rate (CTR) is a metric that is used to determine how many of those that saw an ad or free listing actually click on it.
Cookie Syncing
Cookie syncing (also known as cookie matching) is a process that synchronizes cookies and shares user information across different platforms so that every platform involved in an ad transaction has a common understanding of the audience.
Completion Rate
Completion rate is a metric for content engagement that measures how valuable and relevant your content is to users.
A predetermined action intended to be done by ad audiences. Each time the audience of an ad performs this action (i.e. membership sign up) a conversion is counted.
Core Web Vitals
Instead of taking only a variety of benchmarks into consideration, Google is now preparing to factor in real-world performance and user experience provided by the website to determine its ranking.
Cost Per Click (CPC)
CPC is a metric for determining the dollar value an advertiser will pay for each click generated (on average). Calculated by dividing the total amount spent on ad campaign by clicks generated.
Cost Per Mille (CPM)
CPM is the measure of the cost of serving 1000 ad impressions. This provides the advertiser with the value of an individual ad impression. CPM is also a standard measure for purchasing display ads –  inventory is usually sold on a CPM basis.
This is the actual ‘advertisement’ that the audience will see when the ad is served. Usually in the form of a code snippet, file or link.
Cumulative Layout Shift
Cumulative Layout Shift is a Core Web Vital metric that sums all layout shifts on a page, except those not caused by user interaction, with a speed-dependent calculation.
Deal Check
A tool that allows publishers to check for issues that are decreasing the number of matched ad requests for their preferred deals or private auctions.
Deal ID
A unique number assigned to each automated ad buy to allow buyers and sellers to identify it.
Demand-Side Platform (DSP)
A DSP is a marketplace for ad inventory that combines multiple ad exchanges into a single interface. Buyers will bid for the purchase of inventory.
Description URL
When a video is playing on site, there will be a URL that describes the content of the video. This can be in URL form or as text on a page that describes the video.
Device ID
A device ID is a unique, anonymous identifier assigned to a device—such as a smartphone, tablet, or laptop—whose apps can then access it.
Data Management Platform (DMP)

A data management platform is a centralized platform to collect and organize first, second and third-party audience data from any source like cookie data. It is used by agencies, publishers and marketers to improve targeting.
Dynamic Allocation
A network level instrument intended to amplify your remnant and Ad Exchange income without compromising reservations.
eCPM or 'effective cost per mille', takes into account how many impressions were actually paid for. eCPM will be specific to each of your ad sources and is used to show what the value of your ad inventory is, based on the number of impressions your ad partners purchased.
Estimated Amount of Impressions Per Day
The number of impressions estimated to deliver to a publisher’s site per day during the lifetime of an ad.
Exchange Bidding
Exchange bidding is a server-side process where exchange networks and SSPs bid on inventory in a unified auction. It is often seen as Google’s answer to header bidding.
First Input Delay
First Input Delay (FID) is a web performance and user experience metric that tracks the time from when a visitor first interacts with a web page to the time when the browser starts processing the interaction.
First Look
DoubleClick First Look (DFL) is a feature in Google’s AdX that allows you to let selected programmatic advertisers compete against reserved guaranteed line items. In return for the opportunity to bid on these impressions over your premium campaigns, buyers will need to pay a higher price. The aim of DFL is to let programmatic advertisers take valuable impressions when they are willing to pay more than your direct campaigns.
First Party Data
First party data is information you have collected about your audience, most often from cookie-based data in display advertising and can include information gathered from website analytics platforms, CRM systems and business analysis tools.
First Party Auction
In a first price auction, all advertisers compete for an impression with the highest bid winning and paying the publisher this bid price. In a first price auction, the highest bidder determines the price of the impression.
Frequency Capping
A way to restrict the number of times a specific visitor to a website is shown a particular advertisement.
Gross Estimated Spend
The amount that a publisher estimates will be spent during the lifetime of an ad.
Header Bidding
Header bidding is an advanced programmatic technique where publishers offer inventory to multiple ad exchanges at the same time before making calls to their ad servers. The idea is by letting multiple demand sources bid on the same inventory at the same time, publishers increase their yield and make more money.
Abbreviation for Interface Media Arts Software Development Kit.
The measure used to count the number of times an ad has been served.
In-App Advertising
In-app advertising is a mobile marketing strategy that involves serving app users' ads through a mobile ad network.
Interstitial ads
Interstitial ads are full-screen ads that cover the entire interface of a host app or site.
Invalid Traffic (IVT)
Invalid traffic is any activity that doesn’t come from a real user with genuine interest. It can include accidental clicks caused by intrusive ad implementations, fraudulent clicking by competing advertisers, advertising botnets and more.
The ad space available on web pages or applications that the publisher makes available to sell to advertisers.
Largest Contentful Paint
Largest contentful paint measures the time it takes a website to show a user the largest element on the screen, complete and ready for interaction.
Lazy Loading
Lazy loading pages are built with placeholder content boxes that load initially. These are then replaced with content, or ads as the user scrolls down the page. This allows for faster page speed times as users don’t have to wait for ads that may never be in their view to load.
Leaderboard Ads
A leaderboard ad is a display ad that is 728 pixels wide by 90 pixels tall. It is usually placed at the top of the page, usually in a prominent position, so that it is visible immediately after the page loads.
Line Item
An advertiser’s guarantee to purchase an exact number of impressions (CPM), user clicks (CPC), or time on a particular day and at a particular price. Additionally, a line item indicates when and where the advertiser’s ads will appear.
A portmanteau of malicious software and advertising,  is the use of online, malicious advertisements to spread malware and compromise systems.
Marketing Attribution
A way to effectively measure all digital channels and the impact each touchpoint has on the customer journey and assigning a value to each point that contributed to a certain outcome.
An ad that will serve during another video or interaction. An example might be an ad that plays 2 minutes into a long video.
Multi-size Ad Placement
Multi-size ad placements allow you to send requests for multiple ad sizes in one bid request, increasing the amount of competition you have for an ad placement.
Open Auction
An open auction is a public marketplace where Ad Exchange matches buyers’ targeting with sellers’ inventory and seeks the highest bid.
The arrangement made between the advertisers and publishers stating what has been sold and for how much.
Overlay Ads
An ad that appears in the video player while content is playing and covering a part of the screen.
Override Blocks
A tool to override blocking rules for the private marketplace.
Page Revenue Per Mille (RPM)
A digital advertisement metric used by publishers that estimates the revenue a site can generate for every thousand page views. Page RPM = (estimated earnings / total number of page views) * 1000.
Parent Profile
The first publisher profile created in the publisher’s Ad Exchange account, it acts as the default profile when other profiles are not associated with a specific offer.
Percentage-Based Line Item
A line item that has a delivery goal which is a percentage of the total impressions delivered to the targeted ad unit.
Once the feature video has ended, the video ad position will serve.
Playable ads
Ads that consumers can play. In response to the heightened interest in playables, the IAB Games Committee formed a Working Group to create the Playable Ads for Brands
Preferred Deals
Preferred deals are usually a one-to-one deal where the advertiser is given priority access to a site’s inventory before others for a fixed, negotiated CPM. If the buyer decides not to bid or bids below the negotiated CPM, the inventory goes to the open auction.
Price Floor
The minimum CPM price a publisher will sell their inventory for. Different floor prices can be set for different ad formats and sections of content.
Before the feature video has started, the video ad position will serve.
Private Marketplace (PMP)
Private marketplace deals involve offering inventory on a publisher’s site to a selected pool of buyers and gives them priority access within a small auction before the inventory goes to the open auction. They will bid above a negotiated minimum price in exchange for this but are not locked in to buy a certain volume of impressions and so can buy at their discretion.
Programmatic Advertising
Programmatic advertising is the automated buying and selling of online advertising using software, as opposed to the traditional process of human negotiations and insertion orders.
Programmatic Guaranteed
Advertisers agree to purchase a guaranteed volume of impressions for a fixed CPM on a publisher’s site. Once this deal has been made, the corresponding inventory is sold and reserved for that deal.
Publisher Profile
A profile created by publishers that shows a snapshot of their brand and their offering to buyers and advertisers.
Quantity-Based Line Item
A line item that is reserved to meet certain impression or click goals.
The price that the advertiser is being charged to deliver guaranteed line items.
Remnant Inventory
Unsold inventory that is not contractually obliged to deliver a desired number of impressions. It is the unsold inventory after direct and premium buyers have been exhausted and are usually sold at a discounted rate through programmatic buys.
Real-Time Bidding (RTB)
Real-time bidding refers to the buying and selling of online ad impressions through real-time auctions that occur in the time it takes a webpage to load. Those auctions are often facilitated by ad exchanges or supply-side platforms.
Second-Party Data
Second-party data is usually someone else’s first-party data. It is usually shared through an arrangement with a trusted partner willing to share customer data.
Second Price Auction
In a second price auction, the runner up determines the price of the impression. So in a second price auction, if two buyers bid $10 and $15, then the buyer who bid $15 will win but will only pay the publisher $10.01.
Semi-Transparent Inventory
Inventory that reveals a truncated URL of where impressions will occur prospecting buyers.
Skippable In-Stream Ads
A video ad format that allows users to skip an ad after a certain amount of time.
Supply-Side Platform (SSP)
A supply-side platform is a piece of software that automates the process of selling advertising space. They are used by digital publishers to sell display and video ads to maximize the price their impressions sell for. SSPs help publishers connect their inventory with ad exchanges, DSPs and ad networks.
Standard In-Stream Ads
A video ad format that is non-skippable.
Sticky Ads
Sticky ads are ads that stick to the user’s screen, even when they scroll the page. Sticky ads can help you to optimize for viewability without harming your user experience.
Target CPM
tCPM bidding strategy allows you to set an average price you pay for every thousand impressions across all your chosen inventories.
Third-Party Data
Third-party data is any information collected by a company/publisher that does not have a direct relationship with the user the data is being collected on.
True CPM
True CPM measures revenue against the total impressions sent, not just matched providing publishers with a better understanding of the return they are making for the inventory they have. The formula is revenue/(total impressions/1000).
Unified ID 2.0
Unified ID 2.0 (UID2) is a privacy-focused, unencrypted alphanumeric identifier created from a user’s email address or phone number.
vCPM—or viewable CPM—stands for cost per thousand viewable impressions. It’s a metric used to determine how many people actually see ads on a web page, instead of simply how many user see the website.
Video Ad Serving Template (VAST)
A 3PAS standard for in-stream videos that allows publishers that support VAST to play any VAST-compliant ad.
Video Header Bidding
Video header bidding is the technique publishers use to sell video ad units to advertisers in real time.
An ad impression is deemed viewable if 50% of the ad’s pixels are in the user’s view for more than 1 second. Ad viewability rate is the percentage of total ad impressions that were deemed viewable.
Video Player Ad-Serving Interface
An industry standard for interactive in-stream video ads created by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB).
VPAID—which stands for video player-ad interface—is also a script that in addition to VAST’s features also allows publishers to play interactive ads during in-stream videos.
Walled Gardens
A walled garden is a closed platform or ecosystem wherein the provider of the platform has total control over the content, applications, and/or media and restricts access as it sees fit with the end goal of creating a monopoly.

Learn more

Grow with us

Grow your business with a sustainable, long term partnership. If you're making more than $2,000 in monthly ad revenue, contact us today to boost your revenue with our all-in-one solution.
Laptop screen with web page open