Cut through the techno-babble with this guide to some of the most common internet terms you'll come across.
¹ Yell.com site statistics 2007
Results are based on past research and are no guarantee of future behaviour.
When a user does not complete a transaction.
Delivery of online adverts to an end user's computer by an ad management system. The system allows different online adverts to be served in order to target different audience groups and can serve adverts across multiple sites. Ad technology providers each have their own proprietary models for this.
An affiliate (a website owner or publisher), displays an advertisement (such as a banner or link) on its site for a merchant (the brand or advertiser). If a consumer visiting the affiliate's site clicks on this advertisement and goes on to perform a specified action (usually a purchase) on an advertisers site then the affiliate receives a commission.
The set of "rules" a search engine may use to determine the relevance of a web page (and therefore ranking) in its organic search results. See also "Organic search results" and "Search engine optimisation".
A picture or cartoon used to represent an individual in chat forums, games or on a website as a help function.
The transmission rate of a communication line—usually measured in kilobytes per second (Kbps). This relates to the amount of data that can be carried per second by your internet connection. See also Broadband.
A long, horizontal, online advert usually found running across the top of a page in a fixed placement. See also "Universal advertising package" and "Embedded formats".
A form of online marketing that uses advertising technology to target web users based on their previous behaviour. Advertising creative and content can be tailored to be of more relevance to a particular user by capturing their previous decision making behaviour (e.g. filling out preferences or visiting certain areas of a site frequently) and looking for patterns.
An online space regularly updated presenting the opinions or activities of one or a group of individuals and displaying in chronological order.
A square online advert usually found embedded within a website page. See also "Universal advertising package" and "Embedded formats".
An internet connection that is always on and that delivers a higher bit rate (128kbps or above) than a standard dial-up connection. It allows for a better online experience as pages load quickly and you can download items faster.
When a streaming media player saves portions of file until there is enough information for the file to begin playing.
Memory used to store web pages you have seen already. When you go back to those pages they'll load more quickly because they come from the cache and don't need to be downloaded over the internet again.
When a user interacts with an advertisement and clicks through to the advertiser's website.
Frequency of click-throughs as a percentage of impressions served. Used as a measure of advertising effectiveness. See also "Impression" and "Click-through".
Advertising that is targeted to the content on the web page being viewed by a user at that specific time.
A small text file on the user's PC that identifies the user's browser and hence, the user so they are "recognised" when they re-visit a site, e.g. it allows usernames to be stored and websites to personalise their offering.
Measure of success of an online ad when compared to the click-through rate. What defines a "conversion" depends on the marketing objective, e.g. it can be defined as a sale or request to receive more information etc.
A pricing model that only charges advertising on an action being conducted, e.g. a sale or a form being filled in.
Cost to acquire a new customer.
The amount paid by an advertiser for a click on their sponsored search listing. See also "PPC".
The unique name of an internet site, e.g. www.iabuk.net
Advertising formats that are displayed in set spaces on a publisher's page. See also "Banners", "Skyscrapers" and "Button".
Emoticon symbols are used to indicate mood in an electronic mode of communication, e.g. email or instant messenger.
Fixed online advertising placements that expand over the page in the response to user action, e.g. mouseover. See also "Rich media".
Software that provides security for a computer or local network by preventing unauthorised access. It sits as a barrier between the web and your computer in order to prevent hacking, viruses or unapproved data transfer.
Web design software that creates animation and interactive elements which are quick to download.
A single request from a web browser for a single item from a web server.
The metric used to measure views of a web page and its elements—including the advertising embedded within it. Ad impressions are how most online advertising is sold and the cost is quoted in terms of the cost per thousand impressions (CPM).
Sending messages and chatting with friends or colleagues in real-time when you are both online via a special application.
Online advertising formats that appear on users' screens on top of web content (and sometimes before web page appears) and range from static, one-page splash screens to full-motion animated advertisements. See also "Overlay" and "Pop-up".
Ads which appear between two content pages. Also known as splash pages and transition ads. See also "Rich media".
The numerical internet address assigned to each computer on a network so that it can be distinguished from other computers. Expressed as four groups of numbers separated by dots.
The use of a broadband connection to stream digital television over the internet to subscribed users.
High-speed dial-up connections to the internet over normal phone lines.
A company which provides users with the means to connect to the internet, e.g. AOL, Tiscali, Yahoo!
The purchase of keywords (or search terms) by advertisers in search listings. See also PPC.
A group of computers connected together which are at one physical location.
A record of all the hits a web server has received over a given period of time.
A sub-site reached via clicking on an ad. The user stays on the publisher's website but has access to more information from the advertiser.
A computer file format that compresses audio files up to a factor of 12 from a .wav file.
File format used to compress and transmit video clips online.
A square online advert usually found embedded in a web page in a fixed placement. Called "multiple purpose" as it is a flexible shaped blank "canvas" in which you can serve flat or more interactive content as desired. See also "Rich media" and "Universal advertising package".
An individual has given a company permission to use his/her data for marketing purposes.
An individual has stated that they do not want a company to use his/her data for marketing purposes.
The "natural" search results that appear in a separate section (usually the main body of the page) to the paid listings. The results listed here have not been paid for and are ranked by the search engine (using spiders or algorithms) according to relevancy to the term searched upon. See also "Spider", "Algorithm" and "SEO".
Online advertising content that appears over the top of the webpage. See also "Rich media".
In exchange for a payment, a search engine will guarantee to list/review pages from a website. It is not guaranteed that the pages will rank well for particular queries—this still depends on the search engine's underlying relevancy process.
The search results list in which advertisers pay to be featured according to the PPC model. This list usually appears in a separate section to the organic search results—usually at the top of the page or down the right hand side. See also "Organic search results" and "PPC" (Pay Per Click).
An illegal method whereby legitimate looking emails (appearing to come from a well-known bank, for example) are used in an attempt to get personal information that can be used to steal a user's identity.
An illegal method of redirecting traffic from another company's website (such as a bank) to a fake one designed to look similar in order to steal user details when they try to log in. See also "Phishing".
Podcasting involves making an audio file (usually in MP3 format) of content, usually in the form of a radio program, that is available to download to an MP3 player.
Fixed online advertising placements that load and display additional Flash content after the host page on which the advert appears has finished loading. See also "Flash".
An online advert that pops up in a window over the top of a web page. See also "Interruptive formats".
Allows advertisers to bid for placement in the paid listings search results on terms that are relevant to their business. Advertisers pay the amount of their bid only when a consumer clicks on their listing. Also called "Sponsored search" or "Paid search".
The number of unique web users potentially seeing a website one or more times in a given time period, expressed as a percentage of the total active web population for that period.
Is the collective name for online advertising formats that use advanced technology to harness broadband to build brands. It uses interactive and audio-visual elements to give richer content and a richer experience for the user when interacting with the advert. See also "Interstitial", "Superstitial", "Overlay" and "Rich media guidelines".
Design guidelines produced by the IAB for effective use of rich media technologies in all forms of internet advertising. They aim to protect user experience by keeping them in control of the experience, e.g. encouraging clearly labelled close, sound and video buttons.
Software that allows you to flag website content (often from blogs or new sites) and aggregate new entries to this content into an easy to read format that is delivered directly to you. See also "Blogs".
An organisation which sells advertising on behalf of other media owners. These sales houses typically retain a percentage of the revenue they sell in exchange for their services. These organisations may combine a number of websites together and sell them as different packages to advertisers.
The process which aims to get websites listed prominently in search engine results through search engine optimisation, sponsored search and paid inclusion. See also "PPC" and "SEO" and "Paid inclusion".
The process which aims to get websites listed prominently within search engine's organic (algorithmic, spidered) search results. Involves making a site search engine friendly. See also "Organic search results".
A host computer which maintains websites, newsgroups and email services.
A long, vertical, online advert usually found running down the side of a page in a fixed placement. See also "Universal advertising package".
Software which identifies the capabilities of the user's browser and therefore can determine compatibility with ad formats and serve them an advert they will be able to see/fully interact with, e.g. GIF, Flash etc.
Unsolicited junk mail.
A programme which crawls the web and fetches web pages in order for them to be indexed against keywords. Used by search engines to formulate search result pages. See also "Organic listings".
See PPC (Pay Per Click).
Advertiser sponsorships of targeted content areas (e.g. entire website, site area or an event) often for promotional purposes.
Measure used to gauge the effectiveness of a site in retaining its users. Usually measured by the duration of the visit.
Compressed audio/video which plays and downloads at the same time. The user doesn't have to wait for the whole file to download before it starts playing.
A form of rich media advertising which allows a TV-like experience on the web. It is fully precached before playing. See also "Rich media" and "Cache".
The "renting" out of a section of a website by another brand who pays commission to this media owner for any revenue generated from this space, e.g. dating services inside portals or bookstores inside online newspapers.
Number of visitors who come to a website.
A set of online advertising formats that are standardised placements as defined by the IAB. See also "Banner", "Skyscraper", "Button", "MPU" and "Embedded formats".
Number of different individuals who visit a site within a specific time period.
Technical term that is used to refer to the web address of a particular website. For example, www.iabuk.net
The term "viral advertising" refers to the idea that people will pass on and share striking and entertaining content; this is often sponsored by a brand, which is looking to build awareness of a product or service. These viral commercials often take the form of funny video clips, or interactive Flash games, images and even text.
Technology that allows the use of a broadband internet connection to make telephone calls.
Standard for providing mobile data services on hand-held devices.
The ability to connect to the internet wirelessly. Internet hotspots in coffee shops and airports etc. use this technology.