Glossary – Publishing 101

Ad Optimization
Last updated: July 16, 2019 | by Kean Graham
Glossary - Publishing 101

This post was most recently updated on July 16th, 2019

One of the major challenges every individual faces when trying to learn something new are the terms used in a certain discipline or technique. Indulging yourself in the publishing industry is no exception. There are a bunch jargons used that are quite bizarre to many.

In this first version of the Publisher Glossary we will guide you through some of the basic and most common terms used by publishers in the industry. Let’s get started!

Common Terms


A technique or action used to achieve optimal and effective result. Example, taking actions to improve the current operation of the website by adding more income streams to increase profitability.

Ad Optimization

Strategy of finding the most economical or most astounding execution procedure to make advertisements on site generate more cash under the given confinements or restrictions. Creating several income streams is one of the best ad optimization strategies.


They are the ones who own a website/s. A publisher either consists of a corporation or an individual. They are the recipients of the advertisers money by showing the ads on their site.


They are the ones who want to promote their campaigns (i.e business, promotions, services, etc.) on  Publishers websites in order to reach potential customers in the web.

Ad Network

A company that bridges the gap between Publishers and Advertisers. They work like a marketplace where both parties (Publishers and Advertisers) meet to do business.

Example of Ad Networks: Google AdSense, Tribal Fusion, Yahoo Gemini


It is a graphical or textual representation of the campaign that is shown on the website. The main objective of an ad is to capture the attention of the website visitor and to make them aware of the campaign that Advertisers wish to convey to their target audience.

Ad Tag

Javascript code generated by the ad server that needs to be integrated to the site in order for the ad to show on the site.

Ad Channel

These are the attributes of characteristics of the ad. Ad size, color, location etc. are all considered custom ad channels

Ad Inventory

This refers to the number of ad impressions available for sale on a website. In other words, these are the commodities available for the advertisers to buy on the website.

Ad Impression

This is simply the actual ad that is served on the website. Basically, this is what the website visitors see on the site as advertisement.

Ad Server

It is the one responsible for sending or delivering ads to the websites. One of its main purposes is to send the right ads to the right market or people through several targeting mechanism that ensures it will show the ads that will be interesting to the site’s visitor.

Example: Google’s Doubleclick for Publishers (DFP)

e.g., Right Media Exchange (Yahoo!), DoubleClick Ad Exchange (Google), AdECN (Microsoft), and Contextweb Ad Exchange

Ad Exchange

A cutting edge technology platform that facilitates the bidded buying and selling of online media advertising inventory from multiple ad networks in real-time.

Examples are Right Media Exchange (Yahoo!), DoubleClick Ad Exchange (Google), AdECN (Microsoft), and Contextweb Ad Exchange

Header Bidding Solution

A revolutionary and state of the art ad serving solution. This technology is relatively new in the industry and has a lot of potential and very promising future. It provides both the publishers and advertisers a more efficient way of doing business by taking advantage of the cherry picking strategy, where advertisers have more freedom to bid on a certain impression with a fixed price while the Publishers do not waste any impressions during the process. It is just simply a much more efficient way of buying ad inventory of the website.

Example: MonetizeMore Demand. To learn more about Header Bidding Solution, please click here!

Auction Price Floor

This is an indistinguishable thought from a standard value floor yet in an auction or programmatic environment the floor serves as a base, but however can be surpassed by higher offering or bidding. For instance on the off chance that you set your value floor at $1 you can in any case gets offers at $1.25 yet not $.75.


This is the actual image of the advertising display.

Daisy chain

Putting advertisement accomplices or partners ad tags all together (as a rule by CPM rate, most astounding to least) so they have the alternative of serving an advertisement or “defaulting” to the following partner in line.


It is the delta or the difference between the recorded impression from the Ad Networks UI (User Interface) in comparison to the figures generated from the ad server (i.e. Google DFP) where the ad impression came from.

DSP (Demand Side Platform)

A platform where advertisers allowed to buy digital inventory to easily and more directly connect with sellers in a programmatic and real time ecosystem.

Fixed CPM

It is a deal from a certain ad network that  guarantee to pay a certain amount per thousand impressions.


It servers like a wrapper or a container of the HTML code. In more technical manner, it is an HTML code inside another HTML code document that enables content from a different source to appear on the page of the site.

Passback tag

In other words, this is called as the backup ads. Just in case the primary ad network in the stack will not be able to fill the impression, it will pass that to another one that is connected to it.

Price Floor

A limiting mechanism that prohibits ad partners from delivering or serving ads below the stated threshold. Example, if the floor CPM is $2. No Ad network will be allowed to deliver if they pay less that the $2.

Revenue share model

This is the type of deal that unlike Fixed CPM, there’s no guarantee CPM. The performance depends on the demand coming from the Ad Networks demand partners.

RFP (Request for Proposal)

Information required by the Advertisers to profile the website of the Publishers. This is very important for advertisers for them to effectively distinguish if the website fits the audience demand of their demand partners. The information consists of outlines rates, time, cost, technical specs, audience and units.

RTB (Real Time Bidding)

This works like an ordinary auction where impression buyers bid. This is a system platform technology that enables buyers to bid on a single website impression based on bidding algorithms of the system. Usually, the one with the highest bid will get the impression.

SSP (Supply Side Platform)

It’s a platform where publishers can better prepare or package their ad inventory and manage them for sale.


A quantifiable amount of traffic or impressions a website can generate on a certain amount of time (i.e. 30 days, 60 days).

Dynamic Allocation

This method in DFP allows Google Ad Exchange to compete in real- time with the rest of the line items in DFP to achieve optimum revenue potential for the publisher.

Methods of Buying and Selling of Ad Inventory


Stands for Cost Per Action. Which means, the ad network will pay the publisher if the site’s visitor will take some action to the ad. Example; visitor download an app, subscribed to the ad, etc.)


Stands for Cost Per Click. As the term implies, the ad network will only pay the publisher if the site’s visitor will click on the ad. Most often, once the ad is clicked, it will redirect the visitor to the advertiser’s landing page for further action.


Stands for Cost Per Milli. This is one of the most popular methods in buying ad inventory. In this method, the Ad Network will pay the publisher every thousand impression of the ad shown on the site. No action is necessary, this is conducive to campaigns that mainly aims for brand awareness.


Stands for Effective Cost Per Milli. This is very similar to CPM. However, it is more specific as it gives more specific and shows the cost of ad inventory based on the amount of impressions that were actually shown/paid.

Classifications of Ad Units (Types/ Sizes)

Ad Units

The portion of the page or website where the ad is placed or located. The dimensions (LxW) are measured in pixels.


It stands for above the fold ad units. Meaning, ad units that are placed on the upper portion of the website. The part where the site’s visitor will see the ad even without scrolling down on the page.

Banner/Leaderboard, Rectangle, Tower/Skyscraper

These are the basic or standard ad units (Banner (728X90), Rectangle (300X250) and Tower (160X600)) that a site’s visitors often see.


Stands for below the fold ad units. In contrast of ATF, these ad units are shown if the site’s visitor scrolls down on the page.

Native ads

The kind of ads that mimics the content of the page. This is usually for content discovery campaign of other websites.

Site Skin

Ad that is shown in the background of the page.

Ad serving Terminologies:


This is added to the ad tag code to ensure that ads that will be shown to the site’s visitors are not repeated.


Stands for Designated Market Area. This is geo targeting, where it allows advertisers to reach their potential market in a specific location.


This is the amount or length of time the campaign is running on the site.

Frequency cap

A limiting mechanism that suppress the number of instance a certain network is allowed to deliver an ad to a user or site’s visitor.


This allows advertisers to choose a specific location (like country, city, etc.) to launch their campaign. This is very helpful for advertisers who need a specific audience coming from a certain geo location.

Line item

A unit of ad sold by the publishers to the advertisers that have specific details of the sale (i.e. site, size, cost, dates, etc).


This is a group of line items in DFP. Usually, the group is composed of line items for a specific ad network.


Stands for Run of Site. This means the ad is set to deliver on any page of the website.

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