Defining The Acronyms – Ad Tech Terminology

By: Kyle Peluso, Director, Publisher Support

Don’t know a CPM from a CMP? Wondering how an ad network is different from an ad server? Well, we’re not going to answer all of your burning terminology questions here, but we’ll tackle a handful in this article. We’re always publishing subsequent articles to help explain the various terms that float around the digital media and ad technology space. Now without further ado, here’s our first batch of terms around ad serving to get you started – enjoy!

  • Ad Unit is a term commonly used to describe the advertisement space on a website/mobile app – IE a 300×250 ad unit. It’s widely used within Google’s range of advertising products such as Google Ad Manager, AdExchange and AdSense.
  • Ad Unit ID -This is the unique ID that identifies a specific ad unit on a website or app.
  • Ad Tags are snippets of code generated from an ad server that allows for ad serving on web pages or within mobile apps where ads need to display.
  • Ad Inventory refers to the number of ad impressions available for sale on a publisher’s website or mobile app. In other words, these are the commodities available for the advertisers to buy on the website.
  • Key-Values are ways to further segment the inventory on a web page or mobile app for reporting and targeting. If you are a sports website, you might use a key-value pair to differentiate between the type of sport you are writing about. Ex. “Sport=Football” would be a key-value where “Sport” is the key and “Football” is the value of that key. These pairs often match the taxonomy a publisher has in their CMS for the content they produce.
  • Ad Price Floors are the lowest price that a publisher will sell their ad inventory for on the open exchange/marketplace. For instance, if a publisher sets their ad price floor at $1.25 CPM it means that a publisher will not accept bids lower than $1.25 CPM for the ad unit(s) on their website/mobile app. Applying price floors is an advanced tactic that publishers will use to find the optimal price that advertisers are willing to pay. They also balance their price floor strategy with the coinciding fill rate for their ad inventory. 
  • Ad Request is an action where your website sends a request to your ad server to fill an ad unit with an advertisement. An ad request is made when a user starts loading your webpage/mobile app. The ad request action will happen for every ad unit on a specific webpage. Ad requests can be counted even if no ads were returned/delivered from your advertisers.
  • Ad Servers help publishers gain better control over their ad inventory by giving them access to various features such as ad management, rotating creatives, direct selling of inventory, advanced reporting, and much more.
  • Ads.txt specifies a mechanism for publishers to list their authorized digital sellers, in order to fight against fraud and misrepresented domains.

We hope that was a useful first dive into ad tech terms. Be on the lookout for future articles where we’ll dive deeper into additional segments of the industry. Also, if you have any additional questions and would like to chat with someone at Freestar, please email us here

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