Glossary of Online Marketing Terms
Adsense is the name of Google's paid advertising program for web publishers. It is the counterpart to its Adwords program for web advertisers.
Adware is advertising supported software which automatically plays, displays or downloads advertisements to a computer.
Adwords is the name of Google's CPC program for web advertisers. It is the counterpart to it's
Adsense program for web publishers.
An Advertiser on the web is conceptually similar to an advertiser in traditional media - someone who individually or as an organization
promotes their product or services through a public medium. However, the mechanisms of advertisng online, as well as the organizational capabilities needed for
quite different. Advertisers love the web because the results from the dollars they spend online are much more measurable than in traditional media.
However, advertising online requires a very different mindset as the web is a conversational medium and ads cannot interrupt that conversation, especially
as social media becomes an increasingly large part of the web's focus and content.
An Advertising Network is an intermediary that sits between advertisers and publishers. The network sells inventory
on the publishers' web properties to advertisers. The advertising network can consist of a few or thousands of publishers. The terms under which
an advertiser may buy space vary greatly between networks, as does the control advertisers have to chose the specific web properties
on which they desire to advertise.
An Affiliate is a website which links back to an e-commerce site such as Amazon.com (which was the first to use the concept)
with the goal of making a commission for referred sales. The term is somewhat related to the broadcasting industry (especially in
North America), where a network affiliate (or affiliated station) is a local broadcaster which carries some or all of the program
line-up of a television or radio network, but is owned by a company other than the owner of the network.
The creation and use of marketing programs for a network of affiliates. The parallel is channel marketing through an indirect
sales channel in traditional physical world sales.
An Affiliate Network is a company that acts as market maker between advertisers who
need affiliates and publishers who wish to earn revenue as affiliates.
There are hundreds of these networks, the largest of which are Commission Junction and Linksys.
Alt Tags are hypertext tags that are attached to content (e.g. images) and hypertext links. The alt attribute is
used in HTML and XHTML documents to specify text that is to be rendered when the element to which it is applied
cannot be rendered. Search engines use the tags as another indicator of the purpose/content focus of a page and of
the page to which it is linked. Thus SEO experts leverage these tags as part of a site's
search engine optimization.
AOL is mainly known as an ISP and for its front end proprietary client software which was one of the earliest
interfaces to the world wide web (and which has now been supplanted by html front ends). However AOL has a more
critical role for email marketers, as it is a major backbone for web traffic and thus email traffic. AOL has very
strict spam controls on its network, and their front end makes it incredibly easy to report spam abuse.
As a result, AOL is the first and primary vendor with whom you can be blacklisted when sending bulk emails. Once
blacklisted, it is
extremely difficult to clear your IP address(es) from that list, and the size of AOLs email traffic effectively prevents
you from doing any email marketing.
The AOL guidelines and standards for email publishers are all collected
AOL also has an "Enhanced White List" to which bulk mailers may subscribe to avoid blacklisting. See
AOL's Enhanced Whitelist.
Attitudinal Segmentation categorizes target customer groups by a shared set of attitudes they maintain about
the world they live in, people, products, or services.
Automated Bid Management System
An Automated Bid Management System is a software tool that will continuously monitor bids and performance
for CPC campaigns and automatically adjust bids for specific keywords based on specific goals,
such as avg cost/click, avg position on page, etc.
A Banner Ad is an embedded advertisement in a web page. It is intended
or multimedia object constructed with Silverlight, Java, Shockwave or Flash, often employing animation, sound, or
video to maximize presence. Images are usually in a high-aspect ratio shape (i.e. either wide and short, or tall and narrow)
hence the reference to banners. These were the earliest, dominant form of online advertising using a
cost per thousand impressions
(CPM) model until the economic downturn in 2001. At that point, Google introduced
Adwords, based on a cost per click (CPC)
model that has become the more dominant ad type and pricing model. Several types of banner advertising have also
moved to the CPC model, although CPM still dominates the banner ad world.
Behavioral Segmentation groups target or existing customers by their behavior. Behavioral segmentation
can categorize individuals by either specific behaviors or general behaviors, depending on how detailed the segmentation needs to be.
Bid-Based Advertising is a form on online advertising in which an advertiser makes a bid for an available slot on a
publisher's site or within a bid-based network. The position of the ad on the page, or whether it is displayed at all, is determined by how
the bid compares to other advertisers who are bidding for the space at the same time. Google's Adwords program is one form of bid-based
advertising. Many other networks have bid-based advertising programs. Examples include vertical search engine shopping.com and the online
Blacklists are maintained by email providers and spam filters of email spammers that prevent them
from sending email across the Internet. One common mechanism for implementing blacklists is a DNS Blacklist. A DNS Blacklist,
or DNSBL, is used by an Internet site to publish lists of IP addresses that should be avoided. The technology is built upon
the Internet Domain Name System, or DNS. DNSBLs are chiefly used to publish lists of addresses linked to spamming. Most mail
transport agent (mail server) software can be configured to reject or flag messages which have been sent from a site listed on
one or more such lists.
A web log. Usually maintained by an individual to record on-going,
or near real-time activities or thoughts. Often includes images and video. Like an online diary.
Two uses. 1. The percentage of visitors to a site that visit a first page and immediately
leave the site. 2. The percentage of emails from an e-mailing that never reach their intended recipient (usually due
to the fact the email address is no longer valid).
A Brand is the promise made by a product or service. It consists of many elements, including
product or service features, ancillary services (e.g. technical support), values espoused by the company, words and images the company
associates with its businesses, and the media it uses to communicate about itself. The brand, when delivered, must meet the
"expectation of the brand" (the mental model) in customers' minds. If it is does not, customers will lose trust in the brand and
A Brand Ladder is a tool used by marketers to express the features of a brand.
Brand Reach is the number of individuals exposed to a brand or product in a given period.
The CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 (15 U.S.C. 7701, et seq., Public Law No. 108-187, was S.877 of the 108th
United States Congress) was signed into law by President George W. Bush on December 16, 2003. It establishes US standards for
the sending of commercial email and requires the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to enforce
its provisions. The acronym CAN-SPAM derives from the bill's full name: Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography
And Marketing Act of 2003, and is also a double entendre around spam.
Under the CPC model, Click Fraud occurs when a publisher generates fake clicks solely for the
purpose of inflating revenues earned from advertisers. e.g. by having a person sit in the office and click on Google Ads
that appear on the publisher's site. Click fraud can also be caused under other scenarios, e,g. by a competitor, who by clicking on an advertiser's CPC ads
causes the advertiser to pay for ads that will never generate revenue.
The Click-Through Rate, or CTR, is a measure of audience receptiveness to an online ad or email. Click-Through Rate is the percentage of people
that click on an ad or email N(c) divided by the total number of impressions
N(p). CTR = N(c)/N(p).
A Cohort is a group of objects or individuals being studied in a statistical research program that share one or more
Conjoint analysis, also called multi-attribute compositional models or stated preference analysis, is a market research technique
in which research participants are required to make a series of trade-offs. Analysis of these trade-offs reveals the relative importance of the features or
attributes that are being compared. Conjoint analysis has traditionally been carried out using some form of multiple regression, but in recent years a more
probablistic approach using Bayesian analysis has become more prevalent..
Market research that focuses on defining attitudes, behaviors, preferences, or other characteristics of consumer
From the perspective of SEO, content is any text, images, flash, and video that can potentially be spidered
by a search engine web spider.
Two meanings. 1. Whether the writing, images, video, or flash on a web page meets generally accepted standards of
semantics, style, and grammer. 2. From an SEO perspective, whether or not the content on a web page follows best practices for
getting high search engine rankings on the desired keyword.
Contextual Advertising is a form of targeted advertising in which the advertisements themselves are selected and served by
automated systems based on the content displayed to the user. A contextual advertising system scans the text of a website for keywords
and returns advertisements to the webpage based on what the user's viewing context.
Conversion Rate is the number of people who buy a product or service from a specific offer, divided by the number of people
to whom the offer was presented (impressions). CR = N(b)/N(t) where N(b) equals the number of buyers and N(t) is the
namber of impressions solicited to the offer. On the web, conversion rate often measures conversion from one page to another, or from
a specific page to a purchase (on an ecommerce site).
Cookie Stuffing is a blackhat online marketing technique used to generate fraudulent affiliate sales. It involves placing an affiliate
tracking cookie on a website visitor's computer without their knowledge, As a result, the affected user generates fraudulent affiliate sales when they visit
the target publisher's site and either creates an account or makes a purchase (depending on the terms of the affiliate agreement).
Cost Per Acquisition (CPA)
A payment mechanism that pays web publishers when they deliver an actual sale to an advertiser
that advertised on their site. Also known as Pay for Performance, CPA is the most common form of payment mechanism used
in affiliate programs.
Cost Per Click (CPC)
A payment mechanism that pays a publisher every time someone clicks on an advertisement appearing
on the publisher's website. see also Pay Per Click
Cost Per Lead (CPL)
A payment mechanisism that pays a publisher every time his website, email, or landing page
delivers a lead to the advertiser.
Cost Per Thousand (CPM)
Cost Per Thousand is a
payment mechanism by which a publisher is paid by an
advertiser for every thousand times
an ad is presented on their website. This model is most similar to the more traditional print, radio, and tv advertising
models and is the payment mechanism that has the most business risk. Under this model, the only performance promise made by the
publisher is to show the ad in an agreed-to location on the website. If no one ever clicks on the ad, the publisher
is still paid.
Cost Per Order (CPO)
See Cost Per Acqusition.
see Web Spider
Crisis Public Relations
Crisis Public Relations is another name for the immediate triage response of a public relations
team to a significant event that has an large negative impact on a company's, brand's, or person's reputation.
Customer Relationship Management System
A system used to manage any or all customer facing activities, including pre-sales, sales, post-sales,
and customer service.
Customer Segmentation is the act of categorizing a group of prospective or actual buyers into subgroups based upon
some set of common criteria that those buyers share. Segmentation is often done on demographic, psychographic, geographic,
behavioral, or attitudinal characteristics.
Database Marketing is the use of databases to determine target recipients to receive an offer.
An email or direct mail campaign
would almost always be considered a form of database marketing. What distinguishes database marketing from other forms of
marketing is the fact that sophisticated analytic tools are applied to databases containing large amounts of data about
individuals backgrounds and buying behaviors. These analytics cross-tabulate data in myriad ways to find the
customer segments most likely
to respond to a specific offer from the advertiser.
A Data Mart is a company whose main business is collecting large amounts of data about individuals, their backgrounds,
their attitudes, and their behavior and selling that data, as well as their analytic services, to companies who wish to
better understand their customers and/or make offers to those customers. Data marts can collect both personally identifiable
information (PII) or data for which the specific person is not known.
A web directory or link directory is a web site that specializes in linking to other websites.
Directory categorization is usually based on the web site overall rather than one page or a set of keywords.
Sites are often limited to inclusion in only a few categories.
Web directories often allow site owners to directly submit their site for inclusion, and have editors review submissions
for fitness. The two most well-known directories are Yahoo! Directory (which was the first directory developed) and the
directory of the Open Directory Project, also known as DMOZ.
A submission of a web site, its address, and description to a directory
that allows submission by site owners.
Display advertising is a form of online advertising where an advertiser uses graphics, pictures, or other
artwork as part of the ad. Banner ads are the most common form of display advertising, enough so that the two terms - banner advertising and
display advertising - are used interchangeably.
DMOZ is an abbreviation for directory.mozilla.org, which is the
directory of the
Open Directory Project (ODP). It is a multi-lingual, open content
directory of World Wide Web links owned by Netscape. It is constructed and maintained by a community of volunteer editors.
DMOZ is very difficult to get into, but very worthwhile as it propogates its entries to numerous other directories.
Earnings Per Hundred Clicks
Earnings Per Hundred Clicks, also known as EPC, is the ultimate
test to tell which of the affiliates you're promoting is performing the best.
For example, is an affiliate program that pays $100 commission better than a program that pays $5 commission?
EPC is a way of better understanding the business value of the relationship. EPC is calculated
by dividing the commission generated by an affiliate C(a) by the the number of clicks N(c), so that EPC = C(a)/N(c)
A Focus Group is a number of people brought together into a small group setting for the purpose of researching
some aspect of their attitudes or behavior. A focus group allows researchers to interact directly with cohorts or customer segments and to
probe individuals on a much deeper basis than can be accomplished with a survey vehicle.
Frequency is the number of times a member of a marketing cohort receives an impression for a specific
product or brand within a specific period.
An Index is a structure within a database that speeds retrieval of information from the database. When applied to
the content on the web, an index collects, parses, and stores critical information about any web page crawled by a search engine
web spider to allow fast and accurate information retrieval.
Integrated Online Presence
Integrated Online Presence (IOP) is a OnlineMatters developed
term describing an approach to internet- and multi-channel
marketing. IOP focuses on creating a holistic presence for a brand and/or product on the World Wide Web that
maximizes both reach and frequency of impressions to specific and
well-understood customer segments.
Interactive Advertising is a term that describes a form of ad on a publisher website with which the
viewer can perform an action that causes the ad to respond. Adwords and other CPC
programs are one form, clickable banner ads
are another. There are also interactive ads that only respond upon mouse rollover but are not clickable.
A Keyword is an index term, subject term, subject heading, or descriptor, in information retrieval. Keywords
are used by search engines to determine relevance of entries in their indices to a specific query.
Keyword Density is a measure of the number of repetitions of a
keyword on a web page. Keyword
density is often one of the key metrics used by search engine optimization
specialists to determine if a page is optimized for a specific keyword.
A Landing Page is a content page on a website to which traffic is directed, either through paid search
or email marketing.
Lead Nurturing is a process by which leads are tracked and developed into sales opportunities.
Lead nurturing usually
begins with an unqualified lead (suspect) entered into a CRM system. The CRMS is then used to send
offers to the suspect
to which they respond. Leads are categorized based on their behaviors and subsequent offers are made based on that
categorization. Leads either move into the next step in a sales process or are set aside for future development/nurturing.
Link Analysis is the examination of links on a website to determine their effect on the site's rankings in the search engines.
Link analysis covers both links into the site from other websites (inbound links), as well as links within a site (site cross-linking).
Link Building is an active program that increases the number of inbound links into a web site or cross-linking
within a web site in order to increase that site's placement in the search engine rankings for specific keywords.
Meta Tags are HTML or XHTML elements used to provide structured metadata about a Web page. Such elements
must be placed as tags in the head section of an HTML or XHTML document. Meta elements can be used to specify page
description, keywords and any other metadata not provided through the other head elements and attributes.
Microsoft's cost per click advertising program.
Similar to Google Adwords
Multidimensional scaling is a statistical approach for exploring and visualizing similarities or dissimilarities in data.
An analysis based on multidimensional scaling starts with a matrix of item-item similarities, then assigns a location to each item in an N-dimensional space,
where N is specified beforehand. In marketing, multidimensional scaling usually uses an N <=3, so that the resulting "map" may be displayed
in a graph or 3D visualisation. Multidimensional scaling is often used to create a "preference map" that shows the tradeoffs between product features that
a typical individual in a customer segment is willing to make.
Natural Language Search
Natural Language Search is a term describing the act of making a query, and the return of results from that
query, to a web search engine. Natural language search refers especially to the list of
results at the center of a web results
page, as compared to any of the CPC ads that surround those results.
Search Engine Optimization focuses
on this aspect of web search, attempting to maximize both the relevance
and precision of results to a specific query.
Open Directory Project
The Open Directory Project is a multilingual open content directory
of World Wide Web links owned
by Netscape that is constructed and maintained by a community of volunteer editors. ODP uses a hierarchical ontology scheme
for organizing site listings. Listings on a similar topic are grouped into categories, which can then include smaller
Open Rate is an email-marketing metric that is defined as the number of emails N(o) opened by receipients of
a specific email campaign divided by the total number of emails sent N(t) or OR=N(o)/N(t).
Opt-in describes the status of an individual relative to email marketing programs of a specific
email publisher. An opt-in is an individual who has given written permission to receive emails from that publisher.
Opt-out describes the status of an individual relative to email marketing programs of a specific
email publisher. An opt-out is an individual who has specifically denied permission to receive emails from that publisher.
see Natural Language Search
A Page Header is the section of a web page that is contained within the <head> and </head> tags.
Page headers contain general information, also called meta information, about a document that helps search engines identify the main
topic or purpose of a web page.
An algorithm developed by Sergei Brin and Larry Page that measures the relevance of a particular
web page to a specific query. The PageRank algorithm is the fundamental algorithm underlying the Google search engine.
Paid Inclusion is a hybrid of natural language search
and paid search that places natural search engine results at the top of a search
results page independent of how that page would otherwise rank in the SERPs. This manipulation of
ranking, and the actual placement of a specific result, is based on a fee paid to the search engine.
Paid inclusion was an invention of Yahoo!, and they continue to be the main proponent of that product in the web search engines
(as compared to shopping search engines, which often practice a form of paid inclusion). Paid inclusion is very controversial
as it can often compete with a company's organic search results.
Paid Search is any form of online advertising
that ties the presentation of an ad to a specific keyword-based
Pay Per Click
Pay Per Click is a form of online advertising where
advertisers pay a publisher when someone clicks
on an ad presented on the publisher's website.
Permission-Based Marketing is a term that describes marketing programs that only contact
an individual who has given specific permission to have offers or other information presented to them. Permission-based
marketing is usually used in relation to email marketing, where many unethical email publishers will send emails to
a wide audience ("spam") without concern for whether the individual desires to receive the offer.
A Persona is model of a specific customer segment based on
behaviors and attitudes. Personas are used to
define audiences for which products and marketing programs should be targeted.
Another acronym for Cost Per Acquisition (CPA).
Another acronym for Cost-Per-Click (CPC).
Another acronym for Cost Per Order (CPO).
Precision is the fraction of search results returned in a SERP by a search query that
are relevant to the information need. In an ideal world, a search has 100% precision, which means that it
finds all relevant entries in the database, and no more than those entries.
Primary Research is market research that directly engages with the target customer segments or cohorts in order
to collect needed data for analysis. One form of primary research is focus groups.
A publisher is anyone who produces a website for public viewing/consumption.
Quality Score is a variable used by Google, Yahoo! (called Quality Index), and MSN that can influence
both the rank and cost per click (CPC) of ads in their
bid-based advertising programs. To determine the order
in which ads are listed, each ad has the following formula calculated: bid * Quality Score. Ads are then listed in descending order based on the result of
see Brand Reach
Relevance is the fraction of entries in a database that meet
the information needs of s specific query.
Reputation Management is a relatively new public relations specialty that focuses on
managing brand, product, or personal perceptions through an active, near real-time program of conscious engagement in
social media outlets.
SB 1386 stands for California State Bill 1386, which is a California law that regulates the
use of personal identifiable information. The law was introduced by California State Senator Peace on February 12, 2002,
and became operative July 1, 2003. SB 1386 requires an agency, person or business that conducts business in California and
owns or licenses computerized 'personal information' to disclose any breach of security (to any resident whose
unencrypted data is believed to have been disclosed).
A Search Engine is an information retrieval technology that returns a set of relevant results from
a database based on a specific query on the database.
Search Engine Consultants
An individual or firm that specializes in one or more forms of online marketing that ties
to a query on a specific keyword by a search engine.
Search Engine Index
Search Engine Marketing
Search Engine Marketing refers to any form of paid advertising that ties the presentation of
an advertisement to a search by a web search engine on a specific keyword.
see also Paid Search
Search Engine Optimization
Search Engine optimization, or SEO, is the science of adapting web sites so that their pages show
at the highest possible position in the search engine results page for a specific
keyword or keywords.
Search Engine Results Page
A Search Engine Results Page, or SERP, is the list of results returned against a specific
query on a web index like Google or Yahoo!
see Search Engine Marketing
Secondary Research describes the collection of data for analysis that is based on the research of others - i.e.
where information about a cohort or market trend is derived from second-hand sources such as third-party research or magazine articles.
see Search Engine Marketing
see Search Engine Optimization
An abbreviation for Search Engine Results Page
Social Bookmarking is the act of tagging a specific web page for inclusion on a
website. In a social bookmarking system, users save links to web pages that they want to remember and/or share.
These bookmarks are usually public, and can be saved privately, shared only with specified people or groups, shared only
inside certain networks, or another combination of public and private domains. The allowed people can usually view these
bookmarks chronologically, by category or tags, or via a search engine.
Social media is any form of online publication or presence that allows end users to engage in
multi-directional conversations in or around the content on the website.
A Social Network is a website, or network of websites, specifically established to allow end users
to communicate directly with each other on topics of mutual interest.
The terms Spam is most often used to define email sent without permission to a vast, unfiltered audience.
Spam can take many forms.
Although it is most often associated porn sites and offers from online pharmacies, spam can be considered any form
of email sent without permission, e.g. when a company sends a new kind of newsletter to a customer who has
given permission only to receive a completely different newsletter
A suppression list is a database of email addresses of individuals who have
opted-out from receiving emails from a specific email publisher.
Maintaining a single up-to-date supression list can be a real challenge for firms that
engage in email campaigns through multiple third-party distributors (e.g. affiliates).
Even if affiliates conform to all legal
standards, their processes may make it difficult to synchronize suppression lists within the times periods needed by a mass
emailer to maintain a current suppression list for the next planned mailing
Within the field of information retrieval, tagging is the act of actively assigning
keywords to a document,
whether in a database or on the worldwide web. Tagging can be done programmatically or manually. In the case of the world wide web,
tagging often means social bookmarking, which is a manual act performed by members of a social
network of assigning specific keywords to a web page to make the content on the page easier to find by other members of the social network.
Text Link Ads
Text Link Ads are simple paid advertisements consisting only of text. The business model for
vairous text link ad networks varies, and can be cost-per-click (CPC),
Cost-per-Thousand (CPM), Cost-Per-Acquisition
(CPA or Pay for Performance), or Cost per Lead (CPL).
Title Tags are meta tags within the header of an XHTML document that define the title
of the page that will appear in the browser toolbar. The title element is required in all HTML/XHTML documents.
Unsubscribing is the act of removing oneself from an email publishers opt-in list. Also known as
Unsubscribe is also the most common word shown in links to landing pages that allow opting out for a specific publication.
The unsubscribe link is a required element under most anti-spam laws, such as
SB 1386, and can usually be found in small text at the
bottom of any email.
User Experience Testing
see Word-of-Mouth Marketing
Web metrics are established goals and standards for measuring website performance. There are
standard metrics in online marketing (e.g. conversion rate) which are often used by web marketers to provide a baseline of
website performance. However, more savvy companies develop web metrics unique to their business to help the, achieve
a sustainable competitive advantage in their industry.
A Web Spider is software that follows links, either on a specific site or across the web, Web spiders catalog
the data contained within the pages to which those links point. This data is then analyzed and used to create
the search indices which are used to speed search queries.
A webinar is a seminar that is presented through the worldwide web.
Web analytics has two meanings. 1. The tasks associated with analyzing activity on a
website. 2. Softare or services used to perform analysis of activity on with a website. Web analytics covers a wide range
of analysis, including (among others) sources of traffic, internal flows within a site, and revenue generated with various parts
of these site.
Website Architecture structure of the flows,links and metadata associated with a web site.
A review of the performance of a website against online marketing best practices. The concept of a
website audit is most often aasociated with Search Engine Optimization, but also is often applied
to any aspect of online marketing.
Two definitions. 1. The number of unique visitors to a website. 2. The total number of visits
to a website.
A whitelist is the list of email addresses of individuals who have given specific permission
to a publisher to receive emails for the publisher.
Word-of-Mouth marketing is the act of creating programs specifically designed to initiate and maintain
broad public discussion of a brand, product, or issue. This differs from the traditional concept of word-of-mouth,
which has the implication that people refer other individuals to a business without the active intervention of that
individual or business.
Yahoo Search Marketing
Yahoo!'s cost per click advertising program.
Similar to Google Adwords.