Glossary and Terms

This is our internet marketing glossary of terms that will help you better understand the whole process of setting up a website and/or blog.


Above the Fold- Once a web page has loaded, the part that is visible is said to be 'above the fold.'

Adware- Also known as "spyware," a program hidden within free downloaded software that transmits user information via the Internet advertisers.

Affiliate- A web site owner that promotes a merchant's products and/or services earns a commission for referring clicks, leads, or sales.

Affiliate Agreement- Terms that govern the relationship between a merchant and an affiliate.

Affiliate Network- Acts as an intermediary between affiliates and merchants, allowing affiliates to source relevant programs quickly and often provide one-click application to new merchants.

Affiliate Program- Any arrangement through which a merchant pays a commission t an affiliate for generating clicks, leads, or sales from links located on the affiliate's site. Also known as associate, partner, referral, and revenue sharing programs.

Affiliate Program Directory- Information about a collection of affiliate programs. May include information about commission rate, number of affiliates and commission structure.

Affiliate Program Manager- The person responsible for administering an affiliate program. Duties should include maintaining regular contact with affiliates, program marketing and responding to queries about the program.

Affiliate Solution Provider- Company that provides the software and services to administer an affiliate program.

Affiliate URL or Link- Special code in a graphic or text link that identifies a visitor as having arrived from a specific affiliate site.

Applet- A small Java program embedded in an HTML page.

Associate- Synonym for affiliate.

Auto responder- An email robot that sends replies automatically, without human intervention. This is an important tool for conducting online commerce.


Bandwidth- How many bits-per-second are sent through a connection. A full page of text is about 16,000 bits.

Banner Ad- Advertising in the form of a graphic image.

Bit (Binary Digit)- A bit is the smallest unit of computer data. It is a single digit number, either a 1 or a zero.

Bits-per-second (bps)- A measurement of how fast data is moved from one place to another. A 56.6 modem can move 56,000 bits per second...but usually doesn't.

Blog- Acronym for 'web log,' a blog is basically a journal that is published using an online content management system. The act of updating a blog is referred to as 'blogging' and those who keep blogs are known as 'bloggers.'

Browser- A program that allows you to access and read hypertext documents on the World Wide Web.


CGI- Common Gateway Interface programs that perform certain functions in connection with your HTML documents.

CGI-bin- A directory on a web server in which CGI programs are stored.

Charge back- An incomplete or invalid sales transaction that results in an affiliate commission deduction.

Click through- When a user clicks on a link and arrives at a Web site.

Click through Ratio (CTR)- Percentage of visitors who click through to a merchant's Web site.

Client- A software program used to contact and obtain data from a software program on another computer. For example, the email program Eudora is an email 'client.'

Cloaking- Hiding of page code content.

Commission- Also known as a bounty or referral fee, the income an affiliate is paid for generating a sale, lead or click-through to a merchant's web site.

Co-branding- Where affiliates are able to include their own logo and/or colors on the merchant's site.

Contextual Link- Placement of affiliate links within related text.

Conversion- When one of your visitors makes a purchase on the merchant's site, i.e., converts from 'visitor' to 'buyer.' C-D

Conversion Rate- The percentage of visits to your site that convert to a sale. For example, if 1 person in every hundred visitors to your site makes a purchase, then your conversion rate is 1:100 or 1 percent.

Comment Code- HTML tags used to hide text and code scripting from browsers.

Cookie- A cookie is a piece of information sent by a Web Server to a web Browser that the Browser software is expected to save and to send back to the server whenever the browser makes additional requests from the server. You may set your browser to either accept or not accept cookies. Cookies can contain user preferences, login or registration information, and/or "shopping cart" information. When a cookied browser sends a request to a server, the server uses the information to return customized information.

Cost Per Acquisition (CPA)- The amount you pay to acquire a customer.

Cost Per Click (CPC)- The amount you pay when a surfer clicks on one of your listings.

Cost Per Thousand (CPM)- The amount you pay per 1,000 impressions of a banner or button.

Creative- The promotional tools advertisers use to draw in users. Examples are text links, towers, buttons, badges, email copy, pop-ups, etc.

Cyberspace- William Gibson coined the term in his book, "Neuromancer." Cyberspace now describes the whole range of data available through computer networks.


Demographics- The physical characteristics of a population such as age, sex, marital status, family size, education, geographic location and occupation.

Digital Subscriber Line (DSL)- A much faster way to move data over phone lines.

Disclaimer- A disclaimer states the terms under which the site or work may be used and gives information relating to what the copyright owner believes to be a breach of his/her/their copyright. In some cases you may wish to permit certain activities, in others you may wish to withhold all rights, or require the user to apply for a license to carry out certain actions.

Disclosure Statement- A statement acknowledging that compensation is received for product endorsements and/or sales.

Domain Name- The unique name that identifies an Internet site; compromised of two or more parts and separated by dots.

Doorway Page- See Gateway Page.

Download- Transferring a file from another computer to your own.


Email- Electronic mail, a message sent to another Internet user across the Internet. An email address looks like this: Whereas, "jimsmith" is your user name, your unique identifier; "@" stands for "at," "" is the name of your Internet service provider.

Email Link- An affiliate link to a merchant site contained in an email newsletter or signature file.

Email Signature (Sig File)- A brief message embedded at the end of every email that a person sends.

EPC- Term used by the Commission Junction affiliate network, this is your average earnings per 100 clicks. This number is calculated by taking commissions earned divided by the total number of clicks times 100.

EZine- Short for 'electronic magazine.'


File Transfer Protocol (FTP- The most common method for moving files between computers, servers and Internet sites.

Fire Wall- Hardware and/or software used to separate a LAN into two or more parts for security purposes.

Forum- An online discussion board.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)- Lists and answers the most common questions asked on a particular subject. Generally posted to avoid having to answer the same question repeatedly. G

Gateway Page- Also known as bridge pages, doorway page, entry pages, portals or portal pages, these pages are used to improve search engine placement. Caution: Some search engines will drop a site entirely if the existence of doorway/gateway pages is detected.

Graphic Interchange Format (GIF)- An image file format, suitable for simple files. A JPEG is the preferred format for storing photographs.


Hit- A hit is a single request for a single item on a web server. To load a page with 5 graphics would count as 6 'hits,' 1 for the page plus 1 for each of the graphics. Hits are therefore a poor measurement of traffic to a web site.


Home Page- Your primary HTML page, the first page anyone would see in your web site. Also called a 'landing page.'

Hybrid Model- A commission model that combines different payment methods.

Hype (Hyperbole)- A deliberate exaggeration for emotional effect. The addressee is not expected to have a literal understanding of the expression.

Hypertext Markup Language (HTML)- The primary "language" that World Wide Web documents are created in.

Hypertext- A hypertext document has reference to other documents sprinkled throughout. If you click on one of these references, you are transferred to an entirely different document. For example, if this report was a hypertext document, you could click on any italicized word, and you'd instantly be transported to the definition of that word.


Impression- An advertising metric that indicates how many times an advertising link is displayed.

In-house- Merchant that administers it's own affiliate program.

Internet- Inter-connected networks that use TCP/IP protocols.

Intranet- A company or organization's private network that uses the same type of software found on the internet, but that is only for internal use.

Internet Service Provider (ISP)- The company you call from your computer to gain access to the Internet.

IP Address- A unique number consisting of 4 parts separated by dots, e.g. 123.456.789.1. Every machine on the Internet has a unique IP address.


Javascript- A programming language developed by Sun Microsystems designed for writing programs that can be safely downloaded to your computer through the Internet and immediately run without fear of viruses or other harm to your computer or files. Java requires a browser compatible with Java. Using small Java programs, Web pages can include animations, calculators and other features.

Joint Venture- A general partnership typically formed to undertake a particular business transaction or project rather than one intended to continue indefinitely.


Keyword- The term that a surfer types into a search engine search box. For example, someone who wants to find a site that sells printer paper might enter 'printer paper' at Google.

Keyword Density- The ratio between the keyword being searched for and the total number of words appearing on your web page. If your keyword occurs only once in a page that has twenty thousand words, then it has a density of 0.005 percent.


Lifetime Value- The total amount that a customer will spend with a particular company during his or her lifetime.

Link- A link is a "clickable " object that, when clicked, will take the viewer to a particular page, place on a page, or start a new email with an address you specify.

Link Popularity- The total number of qualified web sites linking to your site.

Local Area Network (LAN)- Computers linked together in a central location, such as a business or government organization.


Manual Approval- Process in which all applicants for an affiliate program are reviewed individually and manually approved.

Media Metrix- Measures traffic counts on all the web sites on the net. They publish the top 50 sites in the US, the global top 50, and the media metrix top 500 web sites.

Merchant- A business that markets and sells goods or services.

Merchant Account- A commercial bank account established by contractual agreement between your business and a bank. A merchant account enables your business to accept credit card payments from your customers.

Meta Tags- Information placed in the header of an HTML page, which is not visible to site visitors.

Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions (MIME)- Allows and email message to contain non-text data, such as audio and video files.

Modulator/Demodulator (MODEM)- The card that allows your computer to connect to the phone line and communicate with other computers.

Mosaic- The first major browser program.


Newsgroup- A newsgroup is a discussion that takes place online, devoted to a particular topic. The discussion takes the form of electronic messages called "postings" that anyone with a newsreader (standard with most browsers) can post or read.

Netscape- Makers of the Netscape Navigator browser.

Newbie- Someone who is new to the Internet or Internet marketing.


Pay-Per-Sale (PPS)- Programs in which the affiliate receives a commission for each sale of a product or service that they refer to a merchant's web site.

Pay-Per-Lead (PPL)- An affiliate program in which an affiliate receives a commission for each sales lead that they generate for a merchant web site. Examples include completed surveys, contest or sweepstakes entries, downloaded software demos or free trials.

Pay-Per-Click (PPC)- An advertising payment model where the advertiser pays only when the advertisement is actually clicked. Also, an affiliate program where an affiliate receives a commission for each click (visitor) they refer to a merchant's web site.

Politeness Window- Most search engine spiders will not crawl an entire site in one session. Instead, they crawl a couple of pages and return after a day or two to crawl a couple more and so on until they have indexed the entire site. This is a self-imposed limit in order not to overburden a server. The time period between sessions are known as the politeness window.

Portable Document Format (PDF)- PDF stands for Portable Document Format. It's a distribution format developed by Adobe Corporation to allow electronic information to be transferred between various types of computers. The software that allows this transfer is called Acrobat.

Post Office Protocol (POP)- Refers to the way email software such as Eudora gets mail from a mail server.

Profit- The amount of money you earn from your sales. For example, if you sell 10 videos at $47.00 each, and each costs $10 to produce and ship, your profit would be $37.00 per video or #370.00 total.

Plugin- A small piece of software that adds features to a larger piece of software.

Portal- A term used to describe a web site that is intended to be used as a main "point of entry" to the web, i.e., is a portal site.

Posting- A message entered into a newsgroup or message board.

Privacy Policy- A privacy policy establishes how a company collects and uses information about it's customers accounts and transactions.

Protocol- A method or language of communication.

Proxy Server- Computers, such as those belonging to Internet service provider that act as agents for multiple users, resulting in many users only having one IP address.

Publisher- Another term for 'affiliate.' R

Real Simple Syndication (RSS)- An XML-based format for syndicated content.

Referring URL- The URL a user came from to reach your site.

Residual Earnings- Programs that pay affiliates for each sale a shopper from their sites makes at the merchant’s site over the life of the customer.

Return on Advertising Spend (ROAS)- How much revenue is generated per amount spent on an advertising method.

Return on Investment (ROI)- This is the amount derived from subtracting your net revenues from your total costs.

Revenue- Total income for your sales. For example, if you sell 50 ebooks at $27.00 each, your revenue would be $1350.00.

Robots- Any browser program not directly under human control that follows hypertext links and accesses Web pages. A search engine spider is a ‘robot.’


Scumware- Software that contains additional ‘features’ for the purpose of displaying advertisements. This software will modify web pages from their original content to put ads on the user’s computer screen. Examples of scumware propagators included: Gator, Ezula, Surf+Imesh.

Secure Server- A secure server allows a connection between itself and another secure server. Secured connections provide three essential things where online transactions are concerned: privacy, authentication, & message integrity. When viewing Web pages or posting information to a secure server, you’ll notice that the http:// that usually appears in the web address bar changes to https://. Also, on most web browsers, the symbol of a closed padlock should appear somewhere in the browser’s frame as an indicator that you are using a secure connection.

Server- The computer hardware that stores your homepage and sends and receives information through the World Wide Web.

Server Logs- Each time a user accesses a web page, information is recorded on server logs. Server logs contain information about what pages where accessed, along with the date and time and computer’s IP address. Other statistics can also be tracked, including username, browser type, previous page, etc.

Shockwave- Co-developed by Netscape and Macromedia, software that allows animations and interactive programs to be embedded into HTML pages.

Sig (Signature File or Sig Line)- Your signature at the end of an email or Usernet posting. Commonly consist of your email address and other contact information, very brief information about your business, and perhaps a favorite quotation or funny phrase.

Social Media Marketing (SMM)- Using social media sites such as MySpace, YouTube and Facebook to promote products online.

SPAM- The term “spam” is Internet slang that refers to unsolicited commercial email (UCE) or unsolicited bulk email (UBE). Some People refer to this kind of communication as junk email to equate it with the paper junk mail that comes through the US Mail. Unsolicited email is email that you did not request; it most often contains advertisements for services or products.

Spyware- Also known as "adware,", a program hidden within free downloaded software that transmits user information via the Internet to advertisers.

SQL (Structured Query Language)- A programming language for sending queries to databases.

SSL (Secure Sockets Layer)- A protocol used to enable encrypted, authenticated communications across the Internet. URL's that begin with "https" indicate that an SSL connection will be used.

Super Affiliates- The top 1 or 2% of affiliates that generate approximately 90% of any affiliate programs earnings.


Targeted Marketing- The process of distinguishing the different groups that make up a market and developing appropriate products and marketing mixes for each target market involved.

Text Link- A link not accompanied by a graphical image.

Third Party Credit Card Processing- A 'third party credit card processor' is a company that accepts credit card orders on behalf of another company, making a merchant account unnecessary.

Third Party Tracking Software- Software located on a server other than your own, that tracks and records visits to your web site.

Tracking Method- The method by which an affiliate program tracks referred sales, leads or clicks.

Tracking URL- A web site URL, e.g.,, with your special code attached to it. Visitors arriving at the site are tracked back to you through your special code, or ID.

Two-tier- Affiliate program structure whereby affiliates earn commissions on their conversions as well as conversions of webmasters they refer to the program.


Unique User- A unique visitor to your website. Probably the best indicator of site traffic.

Upload- Transferring a file from your computer to another computer.

Uniform Resource Locator (URL)- The address of site on the World Wide Web. Here's an example URL:

User Session- The session of activity for one user on a web site.


Viral Marketing- Describes any strategy that encourages individuals to pass on a marketing message to others, creating the potential for exponential growth in the message's exposure and influence. Like viruses, such strategies take advantage of rapid multiplication to explode the message to thousands, and even millions.

Virtual Reality Markup Language (VRML)- A language developed as a replacement for HTML. At a VRML web site, one can explore environments in three dimensions, and can interact with other people who are visiting the same site. VRML requires a special browser.

Virus- A computer virus is defined as a set of commands, created intentionally, that will do some level of damage to a computer. A computer virus does not float around in cyberspace, but is always attached to something. That 'something' could be a text file (MS Word document), and email, a photo, a music slip or a video clip. Your computer must receive one of these 'carriers' in order to get a computer virus.


Webmaster- The person at your Internet service provider who is responsible for maintaining the server. Also, any person who maintains a web site.

Web 2.0- Web based communities such as social networking sites intended to facilitate user collaboration and sharing.

Web Site- A collection of HTML pages.

World Wide Web (WWW, or Web)- A section of the Internet containing "pages" of information, including text, photos, graphics, audio and video. You can search for documents by using one of the many search databases. To access the web, you must use a browser.


Yahoo- Once regarded as the most popular and most comprehensive of all search index databases on the World Wide Web.

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