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:: Advertising terms & web advertising terms


Affiliate: An affiliate is a Web site that partners with an online merchant. The affiliate places links on its site to promote the merchant's products. In exchange, the affiliate receives a commission for all valid transactions it has referred.

Approval: Many online merchants will review the sites of potential affiliates before agreeing to partner with them. After applying to a particular merchant's affiliate program, potential affiliates must await the approval of that merchant.
Once a merchant approves an affiliate, that merchant's name appears on the affiliate's home page in the "Links" box. Then the affiliate can go ahead and begin making links to that merchant's site.

Auditor: a third-party company that verifies ad deliveries and site statistics or a site's proprietary reporting systems. Auditors include I/Pro and BPA International.

Automatic Approval: Some merchants allow all potential affiliates to participate in their programs without reviewing the potential affiliates' sites first.

Banner: an ad on the Web that links to an advertiser's site or a buffer page. Banners are the most common type of Web ad, and they come in a wide variety of sizes.

Buffer page: a page to which an ad message can link to simplify navigation or to narrow the focus of a message. Buffer pages are typically hosted by the Web site on which the ad is running, rather than appearing on the advertiser's site.

Button: a small ad unit on the Web. Buttons typically link to an advertiser's site or a buffer page. They are generally used for sponsorships or downloadable products.

C/I Ratio: Click-through to impression ratio: This shows the ratio of the number of actual clicks (click-throughs) to the number times a link is shown to a user (impressions). This is a good measure of the effectiveness of a link.

CPM: cost per mille (French for thousand). CPM refers to the total cost of 1,000 visitor requests to view an ad--in other words, the cost for 1,000 impressions.

Click rate: the percentage of impressions that result in clicks. Sometimes referred to as the response rate.

Click-through: A click-through is an instance where a user clicks on a particular link.

Clicks: the number of times a user clicks a banner or other advertising unit.

Co-Brand: Occasionally, affiliates are able include their own logo and branding on the pages to which they send visitors by putting a frame at the top of the page.

Code: Generally when we talk about code, we mean HTML code. LinkShare has created an online tool that provides affiliates with the lines of code they need to put links on their Web pages. Affiliates can simply copy the appropriate code and paste it into their own HTML pages.

Commission: Commission refers to the amount of compensation paid to affiliates for participation in a merchant's Affiliate program. Affiliates generally earn a percentage of each sale made on a merchant site to a visitor referred by a link on that affiliate's site. Commissions may also be a flat fee for each purchase or action. This commission varies from merchant to merchant.

Conversion: shifting a visitor's response from passive viewing to action. Conversion can be as subtle as attracting users to your site, or as dramatic as convincing them to buy your product. Another example of conversion is getting users to fill out an online form.

Counter: a company that counts Web page and ad deliveries. Counters include AccessWatch and WatchWise.

Dynamic rotation: delivery of ads on a rotating, random basis (the opposite of hardwired). Dynamic rotation lets different users see a different ad on a given page, and allows ads to be seen in more than one place on a site. Depending on a site's technology, ads can be dynamically rotated throughout an entire site or within a given section, or can be called up as part of keyword searches. Also called dynamic delivery.

E-mail Link: Affiliates who send out e-mail such as newsletters or other correspondence to their users can place a link to a merchant site in this e-mail that will send users straight to the products they want. E-mail links have proven to be a highly effective way to generate sales.

Hardwired: ads that are set in a fixed position on a particular page and delivered each time the page is delivered (the opposite of dynamic rotation).

Hit: every element of a requested page (including text, graphics, and interactive items) is counted as a hit to a server. Hits are not the preferred unit of site-traffic measurement because the number of hits per page varies widely. On average, a Web page contains six hits. See also page views.

Hosting / Hosted: Whenever a user clicks on a link and goes to a new page of a website, the images and HTML documents on that page are provided by a Web server. Until they are called, these images and other components are stored or "hosted" by a web server.

IAB: Internet Advertising Bureau. The IAB is a global nonprofit association devoted exclusively to maximizing the use and effectiveness of advertising in the Internet. The IAB sponsors research and events related to the Internet Advertising.

Impressions: the number of times an ad banner is requested by site visitors' browsers--and presumably seen by the user. Guaranteed impressions are the minimum times an ad banner has the opportunity to be seen by visitors (as specified in the contract).

Merchant: A merchant is someone who sells products or services on the Web.

O/C Ratio: Click-through to Order ratio: This shows the ratio of the number of actual clicks (click-throughs) to the number times an order is placed on a merchant site.

Offer: Different merchants offer different types of commission for affiliates. These can include commissions based on a set percentage of sales, on the number of impressions or click-throughs, or on a combination of these. Once an affiliate is approved into a merchant's program, the details of that merchant's offer can be found in the "Join" section of this Web site.

Orders: Orders are the number of purchases made.

Page views or page deliveries: the number of times a Web page is requested. Page views, not hits, are the preferred counting method for site-traffic estimates and measurement.

Payment Terms: The terms arranged between affiliates and merchants for merchants to compensate affiliates, such as flat fee, per click rate, percentage, etc.

Private Offer: An offer from a merchant that is only made to a particular affiliate or group of affiliates.

Program Level: After a merchant has accepted an affiliate into its program, the merchant may offer various types of commissions or compensation models. These are known as program levels.

Program: an ad buy, generally a certain number of impressions delivered in a specified period of time.

Report: LinkShare has built tools that allow affiliates to generate a wide variety of reports. Affiliates can use these reports to track their earnings, to identify trends and patterns, and to learn how to improve their performance.

Response rate: the percentage of impressions that result in clicks. Also called the click rate.

Return Days: The number of days between a user's first visit to a merchant's Web site and their next visit.

Rotation: Affiliates can choose to rotate the images or banners that appear on their Web pages so visitors to their site don't see the same banner over and over. You can choose to rotate among all of the banners provided by a given merchant, or you can select the banners you want to include. You can also choose to have a general rotation of all of the banners provided by all of your merchants. Click on "Banners/Images" in the Links section of this site to activate this feature.

SKU List: A list of product SKU numbers in text format that a merchant uploads to LinkShare, so that we can keep track of affiliate referrals, products and commissions. Affiliates should be sure to study the SKU list that's linked to product-specific offers and become aware of which products are included.

Search Box: A Search Box as a link that allows visitors to an affiliate site to conduct a search of the entire inventory of a merchant's site. The visitor types a keyword into the text box provided and clicks "Go." The visitor is taken to a search results page with links to the appropriate places on the merchant's site. This is a good way to send visitors directly to what they want, thereby increasing the likelihood that they will make a purchase.

Special Offers: Special Offers can be public or private offers that are available for a limited time, or at increased commission, or for a particular product, or some combination of these.

Storefront: Storefronts are prefabricated pages that display new or specialized products in an appealing way. LinkShare dynamically updates each storefront, so affiliates don't have to change the code on their pages to make sure that they are linking to an up-to-date storefront.

Terms of Agreement: The terms between a merchant and its affiliates will differ from merchant to merchant . Affiliates are bound by each merchant's terms when they enter into the agreement, so its important to review these terms in each instance when joining a merchant's program.

Text Link: A text link is a hot link that is not accompanied by a graphical image. Affiliates can use text links rather than graphical links on their sites. They are easy to use, they save download time, and they are the most clicked-on types of links available.

Unique users: the number of different individuals who visit a site within a specific time period. To distinguish these users, Web sites must use an identifier such as a cookie.

Special Thanks to:

CNET Networks, Inc. - LinkShare
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