AdOps Glossary Terms


20 min read


Above The Fold

Typically the upper half of a website or any part a user can view without having to scroll down. Automatically viewable.

Ad Choices

'Ad choices' is part of the Digital Advertising Alliance's (DAA) Self-Regulatory Program for Online Behavioral Advertising. The clickable icon associated with this program (technically named the "Advertising Option Icon") can be placed overtop of creatives in order to give consumers a better understanding of and greater control over ads that are customized based on their online behaviour.

Ad Fraud

Ad fraud relates to advertising that is served but never seen by a user and still has a cost collected against the impression.

Ad Quality

A term that refers to the settings that allow sellers to determine which creatives will be allowed to serve on their inventory.

Ad Tag

A piece of HTML on a webpage that will contact an ad server and ask for an ad.

Ad Tech

Advertising technology, or ad tech, refers to software built for the advertising industry that helps improve media effectiveness and increase operational efficiencies. Ad tech can refer to a number of platforms, including demand-side platforms (DSPs), data management platforms (DMPs), supply-side platforms (SSPs) and ad exchanges.


A cloud-based platform for buying or selling digital media. A buyer, like an agency or like eBay, can use AppNexus to bid on an impression-by-impression basis on display advertising based on criteria such as the user, the geography, time of day, etc. A seller of media, like a publisher or ad network, can use AppNexus to sell their impressions to a syndicated pool of buyers using the same techniques.

Audience suppression

The act of removing certain segments from a campaign audience, so only the right customers or prospects see that content.

Banner ads are image-based rather than text-based and are a popular form of online advertising. The purpose of banner advertising is to promote a brand and/or to get visitors from the host website to go to the advertiser's website

Bid Request

Request from the SSP for a bid. Includes data points about the user and the impression being sold.

Bidding Strategy

A bidding strategy is a way you calculate a bid in an ad auction. It can mean bidding a flat or variable price based on past click-through or conversion rates.

AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages)

Also known as AMP, a web component framework and a website publishing technology developed by Google which has the mission to "provide a user-first format for web content".

Ad Exchange

An ecosystem through which advertisers, publishers, and networks meet and do business on a unified platform or system. An ad exchange allows advertisers and publishers to speak the same language in order to exchange data, set prices, and ultimately serve an ad.

Well known Ad Exchanges:

  • Double Click Adx (Google)
  • OpenX.
  • The Rubicon Project.
  • AppNexus.

Ad Network

A company that serves as a broker between a group of publishers and a group of advertisers. Networks traditionally aggregate publishers and advertisers and handle remnant inventory, but can have a wide variety of business models and clients.

Ad Server

The computer or group of computers responsible for the actual serving of creatives to websites, or for making decisions about what ads will serve. An ad server may also track clicks on ads and other data. Major publishers, networks and advertisers sometimes have their own ad servers.

Well known Ad Server:

  • Google Ad Manager (GAM)
  • Xandr (Appnexus)
  • Open X

Ad Targeting

Also known as targeted advertising. Refers to the practice of attempting to reach a particular group of consumers, or audience, with specific ad content. Ads are placed in strategic areas to increase visibility among consumers who have specific traits, determined by their past behaviors and preferences and is meant to increase the likelihood of the targeted consumer clicking on the advertisement.

Ad Units

An ad unit is a kind of ad, which publisher and app developers display to users in order to monetize their traffic. There are many different kinds of ad units, including banner ads, native ads, interstitial ads and playable ads.


Attribution refers to how we determine which advertisement was responsible for triggering a conversion or acquisition. The most common attribution model is "last view/last click."

Behavioral Data

Information collected from a users' online actions, for example, things they’ve searched for in the past and types of website they frequent. Advertisers sometimes use this type of data in their campaigns to match relevant users with their offers.

Best Bid / Winning Bid

The highest bid in an auction. Does not guarantee that an ad will be served; the bid must then be accepted within the seller client's ad server.


A bidder is a piece of technology that uses proprietary code and algorithms to analyze bid requests and respond with bids and creatives in real-time auctions.


A list of people or things that are regarded as unacceptable or untrustworthy and should be excluded or avoided.

Bot Fraud

This happens when a bot attempts to imitate legitimate web traffic (acting like a real person visiting a website) and generate additional (but fraudulent) web page views (and therefore revenue) for the website publisher. Also known as Non-Human Traffic or NHT.

User Agent

A user agent is a “string” – that is, a line of text – identifying the browser and operating system to the web server

Example: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; Win64; x64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/80.0.3987.122 Safari/537.36

Contextual Data

Information on the contents of a particular webpage, rather than a website as a whole. Usually used for ad targeting; for example, if there is a newspaper article about travel, an airline may wish to display on that page

A parcel of text sent by a server to the cookie file in a browser and then sent back unchanged by the client each time it accesses that server. HTTP cookies are used for authenticating, session tracking, and storing information about specific users, such as site preferences or buying habits. Advertisers often use cookies to track the number and frequency of advertisements that have been shown

Cost Per Click

Cost per click. A payment model in which advertisers pay each time a user clicks on their advertisement.

Cross-device attribution

Cross-device attribution assigns a value to each device in the path to purchase, enabling agency teams and advertisers to better understand their consumers’ behavior and more intelligently invest their budgets. Traditional, single-device attribution assumes all message exposure and activity occurs on the same device, whereas cross-device attribution knows that a single user often has access to multiple devices on which message exposure and activity can occur.

Daisy Chain / Ad Chain

Ad Tech -Placing ad partners ad tags in order (usually by CPM rate, highest to lowest) so they have the option of serving an ad or 'defaulting' to the next partner in line (waterfalling).

Bounce Rate

Percentage of users that visit a page and then leave the site in a short time frame without visiting any other pages at that site.


A set of bidding instructions that at a minimum includes a bid price for inventory. Most campaigns also include criteria such as a specific start and end date, daily or overall budgets, frequency restrictions, and targeting based on user or inventory data.

Click-Through Rate

The number of clicks divided by total impressions served for a particular creative or campaign. Also called a CTR.


In the most common situation this means that when a user clicks a hyperlink in a web browser, the browser sends a request to the server holding the destination webpage. The request may include the referer field, which indicates the last page the user was on (the one where they clicked the link).

Consumer Insights

Consumer insights allow agencies, media companies, and advertisers to better understand who their best customers are and which campaigns are excelling. Consumer insights are derived from analysis of available collected data.


When a user signs up, makes a purchase, or performs some other desired action in response to an ad. Also called an acquisition or action, especially to distinguish it from clicks in an acronym. e.g. CPC and CPA

CPA (Cost Per Aquisition)

Cost per action/acquisition. A payment model in which advertisers pay for every action, such as a sale or registration, completed as a result of a visitor clicking on their advertisement.

Cross Device

Cross-device marketing allows agencies, media companies and advertisers to deliver brand messages to consumers at the right time, in the right format and on the right device. The underlying foundation of cross-device marketing is a technology that links together various identifiers associated with a digital consumer. This linking forms a holistic profile of an individual, which enables marketing professionals to address and understand actual people, instead of devices.

Data Management Platform

A DMP is a centralized data management platform that allows you to create target audiences based on a combination of in-depth first-party and third-party audience data; accurately target campaigns to these audiences across third-party ad networks and exchanges

DMA (Direct Marketing Association)

An independent nonprofit organization of "data-driven marketers" whose stated mission is to "advance and protect responsible data-driven marketing".

Display Advertising

Online advertising is often divided into "display" and "search." Display ads are images and search is text-based. Display ads sometimes referred to as banners, come in standardized ad sizes, and can include text, logos, pictures, or rich media.

Dynamic Creative

Advertisers wish to show different ads to different customers.


The person or entity who collects/builds the data set with a direct relationship to the data contributors

First-Party Data

First-party data is the information that companies can collect from their own sources. In other words, every information about customers from both online and offline sources, such as the company's website, app, CRM, social media or surveys is first-party data


Geotargeting (also called geotargeted advertising) is a type of advertising that uses location data to reach consumers with messaging appropriate to their locality

GAM (Google Ad Manager)

Formerly DFP, GAM is an ad serving platform run by Google that streamlines your ad management whether you deliver ads to websites, mobile webpages, mobile apps, games or a combination of devices.


An iframe (short for inline frame) is an HTML element that allows an external webpage to be embedded in an HTML document. Unlike traditional frames, which were used to create the structure of a webpage, iframes can be inserted anywhere within a webpage layout.


The act of displaying a creative on a webpage. The same creative served two separate times would count as two impressions.


A session is a group of user interactions with your website that take place within a given time frame. For example, a single session can contain multiple page views, events, social interactions, and eCommerce transactions

In-session refers to events within a specific session or time frame.


The number of advertisements, or amount of ad space, a publisher has available to sell to an advertiser.

The term can refer to ads in print or other traditional media but is increasingly used to refer to online or mobile ads

Demand Side Platform

A demand-side platform (DSP) is a system that allows buyers of digital advertising inventory to manage multiple ad exchange and data exchange accounts through one interface.


The difference between client number (typically taken from an ad server) and ad partner numbers. These differences are caused by a variety of factors including the number of partners you’re working with, the individual user you’re serving ads to, and page load time. Standard discrepancy metrics are impressions sold, served, revenue.

DBM (Doubleclick Bid Manager)

Google's demand-side platform (DSP) that offers agencies, trading desks and advertisers access to the world's most exclusive collection of display, video, and mobile inventory available in real-time.


A 'device fingerprint', machine fingerprint, or browser fingerprint is information collected about a remote computing device for the purpose of identification.

First-Party Cookies

Cookies that use the domain of the website a user is currently on. For example, if you visit and the domain of the cookie is, then this is a first-party cookie. First-party cookies are usually used for login, user experience, and remarketing purposes


The General Data Protection Regulation replaces the Data Protection Directive 95/46/EC and was designed to harmonise data privacy laws across Europe, to protect EU citizens data privacy and to reshape the way organisations across the region approach data privacy. HTML5 Web Storage - web storage means web applications can store data locally within the user's browser.

In-Banner Video

In-banner video creatives are played in standard banner placements rather than in video players. AppNexus serves these creatives with the JW Player for Flash to enable playing in the banner placements. Any banner placement may accommodate an in-banner video creative if allowed by the publisher.

IAB (Internet Advertising Bureau)

The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) empowers the media and marketing industries to thrive in the digital economy. Its membership is comprised of more than 650 leading media companies, brands, and the technology firms responsible for selling, delivering and optimizing digital ad marketing campaigns. The trade group fields critical research on interactive advertising, while also educating brands, agencies, and the wider business community on the importance of digital marketing.

In affiliation with the IAB Tech Lab, IAB develops technical standards and solutions. IAB is committed to professional development and elevating the knowledge, skills, expertise, and diversity of the workforce across the industry. Through the work of its public policy office in Washington, D.C., the trade association advocates for its members and promotes the value of the interactive advertising industry to legislators and policymakers. Founded in 1996, IAB is headquartered in New York City.


The percentage of increase in performance (measured in ROI, CPC, CPA, etc.) that can be attributed to advertising (or some other marketing endeavour).

Passback Tag

When an ad partner chooses to pass on the opportunity to capture or serve an ad impression they ‘default’ the opportunity to serve an ad. The tag that’s called during that default process is referred to as a passback tag.

PII (Peronsally Identifiable Information)

Information that can be used on its own or with other information to identify, contact, or locate a single person, or to identify an individual

Programmatic Buying

Programmatic buying is the process of executing transparent media planning and buying using automation. In most cases, programmatic buying is fueled by the use of advanced audience data through digital platforms such as exchanges, trading desks and demand-side platforms (DSPs), which helps create operational efficiency for both the buy and sell sides. Agencies use programmatic on behalf of their advertiser clients to increase marketing efficiency, helping them get more out of media budgets.

Key-Value Pairs

A set of two linked data items: a key, which is a unique identifier for some item of data, and the value, which is either the data that is identified or a pointer to the location of that data. Key-value pairs are frequently used in lookup tables, hash tables and configuration file

Line Item

Unit of advertising sold by the publisher to the advertiser that specifies details of the sale (site, size, cost, dates, etc).

Look-A-Like Modelling

Use of data enrichment to expand the set of attributes that are used to create the modelled audience. Using third party data within a data provider or a DMP, the smaller seed audience of customers can be enriched with added attributes.

Net Promoter Score

Net Promoter Score®, or NPS®, measures customer experience and predicts business growth. This proven metric transformed the business world and now provides the core measurement for customer experience management programs the world round.


Anytime a webpage loads, a pageview is created. The more pageviews a website has the more impressions it will have an opportunity to sell.


A form of advertising in which the purchaser pays only when there are measurable results

Price Floor

A fixed CPM rate that prevents an ad partner from serving campaigns that pay below a certain price threshold. For example, if you set your price floor to $1 your ad partner shouldn’t serve any campaigns with net CPM rates below that amount.

Programmatic Direct

Programmatic direct is where specified buyers get access to specified inventory that’s not necessarily available from an open marketplace or a supply-side platform (SSP).


Web publishing is the process of publishing original content on the Internet. The process includes building and uploading websites, updating the associated webpages, and posting content to these webpages online. Web publishing is also known as online publishing.

Rising Stars

Premium ad units that run from or instead of a standard IAB unit. The specs of the unit are defined by the IAB in an attempt to scale out rich media advertising and normalise the units so they can be sold and served more often. Standard Rising Star units include billboard, filmstrip, sidekick, slider, portrait, and pushdown.

Second-Party Data

Second-party data is essentially someone else's first-party data. The seller collects data straight from their audience, and it all comes from one source. You can feel confident in its accuracy. You purchase 2nd party data directly from the company that owns it.

Site Skin

Creative that appears behind the content of the webpage. Typically this takes over the borders of the website and produces very high engagement. It may also take over the 728×90 if that unit runs outside of the sites frame.

Request For Proposal

A request from an advertiser, brand, or media agency for a publisher to submit a bid to win their business for an ad campaign. A RFP typically outlines rates, time, cost, technical specs, audience and units

Retargeting Pixel

An identifier (cookie) that gets dropped on a user when they are browsing a participating web page. These cookies track online behaviour and allow for more targeted ads that are specific to the user.

Rich Media

Advertising appearing in a ‘richer’ form. These units are outside of the standard ad sizes and usually include special placements and movement. Examples of rich media units include skins, sponsor bars, pushdowns, rising stars.

Second Price Auction

An auction type in which the bidder who submitted the highest bid pays a price equal to the second-highest bid. Also known as a Vickrey auction.


Members of a target audience identified based on the webpages they visit, the actions they take such as making a purchase, and data such as gender, location, or wealth.

Site Fraud

Site fraud is when the website owner or operator is knowingly engaged in practices to create false ad inventory or hide the true location of an ad. Site fraud occurs when domain operators obtain inventory and misrepresent it in the open markets to artificially increase their value.

Supply Side Platform

An SSP enables publishers to access demand from a variety of networks, exchanges, and platforms via one interface.

The Trade Desk

The Trade Desk is a demand-side platform

Third-Party Data

Third-party data is any information collected by an entity that does not have a direct relationship with the user the data is being collected on. Often times, third-party data is generated on a variety of websites and platforms and is then aggregated together by a third-party data provider such as a DMP.

User ID

The user name, or username, by which a person is identified to a system or network. A user commonly must enter both a user ID and a password as an authentication mechanism during the logon process.

User Data

Information about users, either behavioural or demographic. Please note that user data is generally associated with a UUID rather than any personally identifiable information. User data is distinct from contextual data. Often used interchangeably with segment data and audience data.


A universally unique identifier (UUID) is a 128-bit number used to identify information in computer systems. Thus, anyone can create a UUID and use it to identify something with near certainty that the identifier does not duplicate one that has already been, or will be, created to identify something else.


A user who revisits a webpage, regardless of frequency

Walled Gardens

Walled gardens refer to services where the service provider has control over its ecosystem, including applications, content, organic media, paid media and any gathered data.

Examples of walled gardens include Google, Facebook and Amazon. These service providers have access to persistent consumer identification which enables them to manage control groups and run A/B tests when it comes to advertising campaigns. These tests can be used to measure the ROI of media investments made within an individual walled garden. Walled gardens constrain external agency and advertisers’ ability to measure media ROI, as they represent an additional measurement constraint.


A webhook (also called a web callback or HTTP push API) is a way for an app to provide other applications with real-time information. A webhook delivers data to other applications as it happens, meaning you get data immediately.

Unlike typical APIs where you would need to poll for data very frequently in order to get it real-time. This makes webhooks much more efficient for both provider and consumer.


The percentage of clicks vs. impressions on an ad within a specific page. Also called click rate.


The z-index property specifies the stack order of an element. An element with greater stack order is always in front (on top) of an element with a lower stack order.


Choosing to serve ads to a particular segment as well as when, where, and how often to serve ads.


Third-Party refers to groups or entities involved with the advertising stack who do not have a direct relationship with the advertiser or publisher. These entities are used to create additional context and value.

Example: "Since ITP, third parties have found it more difficult to see users online."


To be considered transparent, a solution provider must fully disclose all components of the buy including pricing, any related mark ups, delivery, placement level media location, inventory type, inventory mix, and how advanced audience data is being applied and reported. Arbitrage and black box inventory solutions are not transparent.

Unique User

A visitor on a web page for the first time over the course of audience measurement (Typically day, week, month, year).

User ID Mapping

Identity mapping is the process of using defined relationships between user identities in an enterprise such that applications and operating systems can map from one user identity to another, related user identity.


Variants are a feature which powers A/B style testing. You can vary both the content of the reaction (if applicable) and the segment the reaction applies to.


A metric for measuring performance. Viewability was created to ensure an advertiser that a brand will be viewed by a user.

A viewable impression is “at least 50% of the ad creative is displayed for at least 1 second.”

Yield Management

An approach used in digital advertising aimed at maximizing a publishers’ overall revenue by finding the best possible supply allocation (inventory) to sell to demand-side sources

Meta UID

A service to map Unified ID from multiple Unified ID providers.