Affiliates Dictionary The Affiliate's Dictionary

Your guide to the affiliate and online marketing terminology you need to know.


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120x600 Banner - See Skyscraper.

160x600 Banner - See Wide Skyscraper.

234x60 Banner - See Half Banner.

468x60 Banner - A standard banner size.  Horizontal, measured in pixels. Also known as a full banner.

728x90 Banner - See Leaderboard. - A search engine where affiliates can buy pay-per-click advertising, or where affiliates can earn money from placing ads on their site.  For more information, visit


A - A search engine where affiliates can buy pay-per-click advertising, or where affiliates can earn money from placing ads on their site.

Above the Fold - An advertisement that is located higher on a web page, visible without scrolling down.

Account Manager - At a search engine or advertising company, this is the company contact that the advertiser is sometimes assigned to specifically.  At an affiliate program, this is the company contact that the affiliate is sometimes assigned to specifically, to answer questions or to offer assistance.

Ad - See Advertisement.

Ad Clicks - The number of times an ad has been clicked on.

Ad Views - The number of times an ad has been shown on a site, and potentially seen by web site visitors.

Advertisement - The images or text that promote a product, service, etc.

Advertiser - A company or web site that purchases advertising.  In affiliate programs, sometimes also known as a merchant.

Affiliate - Someone who promotes other companies, either on their own web site or by purchasing advertising, and earns a commission from each click, form, or sale they send to the company.  This could be a flat-rate amount or a percentage.

Affiliate Manager - See Account Manager.

Affiliate Network - A program that affiliates can sign up to and have access to a wide variety of companies to promote, as opposed to signing up to the affiliate program of each individual company.

Affiliate Program - A program where a company allows other people (affiliates) to advertise their product and earn a commission.

Affiliate Summit - A conference where affiliates and affiliate programs attend to network or view information seminars.  For more information, visit the Affiliate Summit web site.

Alexa - A web site where you can get more information about web sites, such as how much traffic they receive or contact information.  For more information, visit

Alexa Ranking - How much traffic a web site receives relative to other web sites.  For more information, visit

Amazon Associates - An affiliate program that allows you to earn a percentage of sales of books or other Amazon products.  Includes the ability to link to specific books, categories, or keywords.



Backlinks / Backlinking - Incoming links to a web site.

Bandwidth - The amount data transferred over the internet in a certain amount of time.

Banner - A graphical advertisement that appears on a web page.

Board - See Message Board.

Blog - Short for web log.  An online journal.  Some affiliates use their blogs to advertise affiliate programs.  For more information, visit

Broker - An affiliate who earns a commission by referring other affiliates to an affiliate program.  This is sometimes called a two-tier affiliate program, when one affiliate earns a percentage of another affiliate's sales.

Browser - A program used to view web pages, such as Firefox, Internet Explorer, or Netscape.

Button - A small banner.



CAN-SPAM - Legislation that sets out rules for sending out unsolicited bulk email.  For more information, see the FTC web site.

Click-through Rate - The ratio of the number of times an ad has been clicked to the number of ad impressions.

Co-brand - When a web page or set of pages is set up on a site with the artwork and colors of another site.

Commission - See Payout.

Commission Junction - An affiliate network where you can choose to promote companies in a variety of categories.

Content - The articles, photos, or videos on a web site.

Contextual Advertising - Instead of an ad showing when a user searches for a particular keyword, an ad will show on a related site or on a site in a particular category.

Cookie - Code that tracks a web site visitor and collects information on them.

Cost Per Acquisition - See CPA.

Cost Per Click - See CPC.

CPA - Cost Per Acquisition; the amount you pay for every sale (or form filled out, or other action) that you receive.

CPC - Cost Per Click; the amount you pay for every click on your advertisement.

CPM - The cost per thousand impressions.  To find the cost per impression, divide the total cost by one thousand.

Creative(s) - The advertisement.  This could be a banner, a pop-up, or text.

CTR - See Click-through Rate.



Dark Blue Affiliate Network - A smaller affiliate network where you can choose to promote companies in a variety of categories.  For more information, visit Dark Blue Affiliate Network.

Directory - A web site that lists other web sites by category.  You can have your site listed for free in some, but others will charge a fee.  For example, visit the Open Directory Project or the Yahoo Directory.

Domain Name - A unique name identifying a web site; also known as "URL" or "address".  For example, is the domain name of this site.  You get a domain name by buying an existing one or by registering a new one with a domain registry, such as GoDaddy, Network Solutions, or Yahoo Domains.

Domain Registry - A company that keeps track of domain names webmasters have registered.  For example,  GoDaddy, Network Solutions, or Yahoo Domains.


E - An auction-based marketplace for selling products and services.  Depending on the particular affiliate program you are promoting, you may or may not be able to promote this way.  For more information, visit eBay.

Email Marketing - Advertising of a product or service by sending email.  This type of advertising is restricted by SPAM rules; see CAN-SPAM. - A smaller affiliate network where you can choose to promote companies in a variety of categories.



FindWhat - A search engine and network where affiliates could purchase pay-per-click advertising. Has now been purchased by Miva.

Flash - A tool for creating animations, images, advertisements, and games to appear on a web site.

Free For All Links Page - A web page that allows anyone to post any link they want in a long list.

Full Banner - See 468x60 banner.



Gif - A type of image file. - A search engine where affiliates can purchase pay-per-click advertising.

Google - A major search engine that shows free listings as well as paid listings.  For more information, visit

Google Adsense - A program where webmasters can earn money from displaying Google listings on their site.  The listings can be inside a banner, and appear based on keywords in the text of the web page, or can be reached through a search form placed on the web page.  For more information, visit the Google Adsense web site and 

Google Adwords - A pay-per-click advertising program, where ads will appear next to free Google search listings or on affiliate web sites.  For more information, visit the Google Adwords web site and

Google Page Rank - How high a web site appears in the Google search listings.  For more information, visit Google.



Half Banner - A 234x60 pixel banner.

Hit - When a web page, graphic or other file is opened in a user's browser.  The number of hits on a web site gives a general idea of the site's traffic.

Home Page - The main page of a web site.

Hosted Banner - A banner that is hosted on the affiliate program's servers that an affiliate links to.

Hotlink - Instead of hosting a banner on their own web site, an affiliate links to a banner that is hosted on the affiliate program's servers.  Some affiliate programs produce this code automatically, while others do not.  The hotlink code is:

<a href="Place Landing Page URL Here">
<img src="Place URL of Image Here"</p>

HTML - Hyper Text Markup Language.  The code that a web page is made of.  Web sites can be created by typing in HTML codes, or by using a program that automatically places in the appropriate HTML codes, such as Microsoft Front Page.  Even when using programs such as Front Page, though, knowledge of HTML can be useful when inserting affiliate codes and hotlink codes, and when troubleshooting problems with how the page looks.  For more information, visit The Bare Bones Guide to HTML.



Iframe  Banner - HTML code that places a banner on a web page.  Instead of hosting a banner on the site's own server, or pointing to a specific image file on another server, having HTML code allows the affiliate program to make changes to a banner without an affiliate having to make any changes to the code on their site.

Impression - Each time an advertisement is loaded, it is counted as an impression.  The user may or may not see the ad, and may or may not click on the ad.

Insertion Order - A document some companies use when purchasing or selling advertising on their site.  It may include information such as the purchase price, dates, details of the ad placement, or legal terms.

Invoice - A document used when requesting payment for an advertisement. It may include information such as the price and details of the ad placement.

IP Address - A unique web site address composed of numbers.  A domain name is usually associated with the IP address, because it is easier to remember and to type into the browser.



Java - A programming language that can be used for various operating systems on personal computers.  Often confused with Javascript..

Javascript - A programming language used to create applications for the internet.  Often confused with Java.

Java Applet - An internet application created using Java or another language.  It is a way to put interactive elements on a web page.

Jpg - A type of image file.

Jump Page - See Splash Page.



Kanoodle - A search engine and network where affiliates can purchase pay-per-click advertisements.

Keyword - A word or short phrase that is related to your web site's content, which you bid on in search engines.



Landing Page - The page of a web site that the advertisement links to.  This could be the main page of a web site or an individual product page or section of the web site.

Lead - Someone who fills out a form for more information.  For example, this could be someone filling out a form for more information on a franchise.

Leaderboard - A large horizontal banner that is 728x90 pixels. - A smaller affiliate network where you can choose to promote companies in a variety of categories.  For more information, visit Leadhound.

Link - A connection between two web sites; one web site puts the other web site's URL on their web page.

Link Exchange - In a link exchange, two web sites each put a link to the other's site on their own site.  Also known as a reciprocal link. - A site where webmasters can find other sites to exchange links with; see Link Exchange. - An affiliate network, where you can choose to promote companies in a wide variety of categories.  For more information, visit LinkShare

Log File - A file on a web site's server that records information such as how many times a web page has been viewed, where the visitors came from, and where they visited within the web site.



Mailing List - A list of email addresses and other information such as name that marketing emails are sent to.

Merchant - In an affiliate program, the merchant is the company that is being advertised by the affiliates.  Sometimes also known as an advertiser.

Message Board - A web site where people post and read messages on a particular topic.  Boards can be a useful place for an affiliate to get information or opinions on affiliate marketing, technical aspects of building a web site, or other topics.  They can also be a source of traffic, if the webmaster posts messages on the board and has a link to their web site or an affiliate program in their posts.  However, be careful about the particular message board's policy on links and advertising.

Meta Tags - An HTML code you place in your web site, containing keywords related to the site.  Placed within the Head section of the HTML code.  The tags look like:


Miva - A search engine and network where affiliates can purchase pay-per-click advertising.

Mobile - When web sites and advertisements are viewed on portable devices such as phones and tablets.



Non-hosted Banner - A banner that an affiliate hosts on their own site's server.



Offer - An advertisement an affiliate can promote to potential customers.

Open Directory Project - A directory that many other sites refer to, to add to their own listings or search engine results.  It is free to be listed, but could take months because every suggestion is reviewed by an editor for a particular category.  For more information, visit

Overture - See Yahoo Sponsored Search.



Page Rank - See Google Page Rank.

Page Views - The number of times a web page has been opened and presumably viewed by a user.

Pay Per Lead - An affiliate receives payment when someone fills out a form asking for more information on something.  For example, a franchise affiliate program might pay for every person who fills out a form asking for more information on their franchises.

Pay Per Sale - An affiliate receives payment when someone makes a purchase from a web site.

Pay Per Signup - An affiliate receives payment when someone signs up for a web site membership or for more information.

Payout - The amount an affiliate is paid for the sales (or other actions, such as clicks) they send to an affiliate program. - A payment processor.  You can use PayPal to receive credit card payments or cash transfers on your web site, or use PayPal to make payments for advertising you purchase.  Some affiliate programs may also pay you using your PayPal account.  For more information, visit PayPal.

Pixel - A one by one image placed on a website for tracking purposes.  When the page loads it also loads this tiny image file from another server, allowing someone to track how many times the page loaded without seeing the statistics for the page itself.

Pop - Short form for pop-under or pop-up.

Pop-under - An advertisement that appears in its own, separate window.  Appears under the web page.

Pop-up - An advertisement that appears in its own, separate window.  Appears above the web page.

PPS - See Pay Per Sale.

Private Label - An affiliate has a site branded with their own web site's name and logo, but running off of the affiliate program's database.  The affiliate still earns revenue from the affiliate program, but the site looks like it is part of the affiliate's site.  For example, a web site might have a dating section that appears to be part of the same site, but it is hosted from, and members access the entire database of, the dating affiliate program.  Also known as a White Label.

Publisher - Another name for an affiliate.





Rank - How high a search engine appears in the search listings, such as in Google.  Or, how much traffic a site receives relative to other sites, such as in Alexa.

Reciprocal Link - See Link Exchange.

Recurring Commission - Money that is earned continuously from a customer that was sent to an affiliate program, as opposed to a one-time commission when the customer initially visited the site.

Redirect - When a user goes to one URL and it automatically takes them to a different URL.

Remove List - A list of email addresses of people who do not want to be contacted by a company or its affiliates.  Affiliates must make sure they do not contact any of these addresses when they are sending email.

Return on Investment - See ROI.

Revenue Magazine - A free magazine with useful articles on affiliate and online marketing.  For more information, visit the Revenue Magazine web site.

Revshare - When an affiliate program has a revshare option, an affiliate can earn a certain percentage (often 50%) of the sales that the affiliate program earns on an ongoing basis.  For example, if an affiliate program is selling memberships for $30 a month, the affiliate will receive $15 in the first month, and another $15 if the membership is renewed in the following month, and another $15 each month the membership is renewed.

Rich Media - Advertisements with video, java applets or other special elements.

Roar - A search engine offering pay-per-click advertising.  Advertisers bid on categories instead of keywords.  For more information, visit Roar.

ROI - Return on Investment.  What you get out of your advertising versus what you put in.  Generally how much profit you have earned from your advertising investment.



Sale - A purchase from a web site.  This could be a physical product or a membership.

Scrub - The act of removing email addresses from a mailing list which belong to people that do not want to be contacted.

Scrub List - See Remove List.

Search Engine - A web site where a user can type in a word or a phrase and find other web sites.  Some search engines list sites for free, and some accept paid advertising, and some have a combination of both.  For more information on search engines, visit

Search Engine Advertising - Web sites can purchase text ads on a pay-per-click basis on search engines.

Search Engine Optimization - When someone makes their web site more likely to rank higher in search engines for certain keywords.  This may involve placing meta tags with keywords on the site, putting more keywords in the text of the site, or more controversial methods such as having hidden text on the page.  For more information, visit or

Search123 - A search engine where affiliates can purchase pay-per-click advertising. - A search engine where affiliates could purchase pay-per-click advertising.  It has since been purchased by  For more information, visit

SEO - See Search Engine Optimization.

Server - The computer that stores a web site and makes it available for viewing on the internet. - An affiliate network where you can choose to promote companies in a variety of categories.  For more information, visit

Skin - When a message board or web site is sponsored by an advertiser, and has the sponsor's banner, text, color, and/or logos on the web page.

Skyscraper - A tall, vertical banner.  120x600 pixels.

Social Media - Generally refers to sites such as and where users meet and post their own content, be it writing, photos, or videos.  The term can also apply to video sites such as, photo sites such as, business networking sites such as, and message boards.  Affiliates can use many of these sites for paid advertising, post their own content to direct traffic to their own sites, or network with potential business contacts or customers.

SPAM - Unsolicited bulk email; basically, email that is sent out to multiple users without their permission.  For more information, see the SpamHaus web site.

Splash Page - A page that users visit when they click on an ad, before clicking on a link on the splash page and continuing on to the actual web site.  A splash page can be used to advertise a special offer.  It can also be used when an affiliate is advertising an affiliate program on Google:  Google will only show one ad from a particular domain at a time, but if a webmaster uses a splash page on their own domain to advertise the affiliate program, their ad can show at the same time as the program's domain.  A splash page is sometimes known as a Jump Page.

Sponsorship - When an advertiser pays to sponsor a site, message board, or newsletter, they may have banners, links, or a skin.

Stickiness - A web site's ability to keep visitors at the site and keep them returning.  If the site has useful information or useful tools, visitors will keep exploring the site and coming back.  If the site just has links, or no useful content, the visitor is likely to keep going and not come back to the site.

Surfer - A web site visitor or potential web site visitor.  Also known as a "user".



Tracking Code - A series of numbers and/or letters associated with a specific affiliate.  When the affiliate sends traffic using that code in the URL, the affiliate program tracks where the traffic came from and who should be credited with the sales.

Tracking URL - A web page URL with a tracking code in it.  When affiliates use a tracking URL to send traffic, an affiliate program can track who sent the traffic and who should be credited for the sales.

Traffic - Visitors sent to a web site.  The amount of traffic you send to an affiliate program is the number of visitors you send.

Two-tier Affiliate Program - When one affiliate refers another affiliate to an affiliate program, then earns a commission when the other affiliate has sales.



Uniques - The number of individuals who visit a web site or view a pop-up ad, as opposed to the number of times a web site or ad has been visited, which may include multiple visits by the same individual.

URL - Universal Resource Locator.  The address of your web site.  May be in the form of

User - A web site visitor.



Viral - When a web page suddenly gets a big increase in traffic from being shared among friends, it is said to have gone viral. This is often a funny or controversial picture, video or site.


W - a message board where affiliates discuss the business.

Web Hosting - The service that stores a web site and makes it available for people to view on the internet.  If you have a web site, you will need to host it somewhere.  There are some places that will host your site for free, although they may have restrictions.  Other places will charge you a monthly fee.  For example, visit Yahoo Web Hosting.

Web Page - An individual page on a web site.

Web Site - A group of pages on the internet.

Webmaster - The owner or person in charge of updating a web site.  The term "webmaster is" often used interchangeably with the term "affiliate", meaning someone who sends traffic to the affiliate program.

White Label - See Private Label.

Whois - A search for information on a domain, such as the owner's name or contact information.

Wide Skyscraper - A variation of the skyscraper banner. 160x600 pixels. - A small search engine where advertisers could purchase pay-per-click advertising.  No longer in business.





Yahoo Directory - One of the oldest and most popular directories; lists sites by category.  It is free to be listed, or companies can also pay for a fast and guaranteed listing.  For more information, visit the Yahoo Directory.

Yahoo Domains - A service where you can register your new domain name.  For more information, visit Yahoo Domains.

Yahoo Search Engine - One of the oldest and most popular search engines.  Shows regular search results as well as paid advertising.  For more information, visit

Yahoo Sponsored Search - Affiliates can purchase pay-per-click advertising in Yahoo's search results.  Formerly called Overture.  For more information, visit Yahoo Sponsored Search.

Yahoo Web Hosting - Yahoo offers web hosting for your site, as well as services such as domain names.  For more information, visit Yahoo Web Hosting.





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Other Links:

SpamHaus - SPAM information.

CAN-SPAM Compliance Guide

2013 Affiliate Marketing Statistics Report - An interesting look at the demographics of affiliates.

Press Release:  Affiliate Resource Site Launches

ScienceLives on Twitter

ScienceLives on Google+

ScienceLives on Flickr

Suzanne on LinkedIn

The Amazing Technicolor Goldfish - Poetry, short stories, non-fiction, and much more, in genres ranging from fantasy to humor. - Science articles on a variety of topics - from Astronomy to Ecology and beyond.


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Comments?  Questions?  Any terms you would like to see added to the site?
Contact me at
[email protected]


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| N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z |, like a regular dictionary, is meant to be a guide to affiliate terms and programs.  It is not meant as an endorsement of particular companies.  While tries to be as accurate as possible, accuracy of the information here cannot be guaranteed.

2007-2019 Suzanne Patricia Currie Bergeron.  Updated Tuesday November 19, 2013 23:31:22 -0500.