What is an Advertising Network? (And Other Terms to Know) – Digital Nugget #6

Aug. 24, 2015 // Jeff Cracolici

Throughout Digital Marketing there are many keywords that commonly pop up. Here are five that you need to know:

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Who is considered Website Visitors?

The total amount of users who come to a website on a periodic basis. According to Alexa.com and Internetlivestats.com, Google is the #1 website in the world in regards to website visitors obtaining more than 40,000 a second (yes, a second).

What is an Ad Space/Ad Slots?

The amount of locations on a webpage that are allocated for advertisements.

The more Ad Spaces available, the more advertising revenue a website owner can make. However, by adding a large number of Ad Spaces to a website, an owner risks making their website less appealing therefore driving traffic away and losing advertising revenue. It’s a delicate balance.

What are Ad Networks?

A digital platform owned by one company that is in charge of selling and placing advertisements across dozens, or thousands, of websites.


Ad Networks are responsible for putting ads on multiple websites throughout the internet.

  • For website owners, Ad Networks can be beneficial because they do not have to worry about selling ads. Ad Networks do all the “heavy lifting” and, in return, give an appropriate cut of the advertising revenue to the website owner.
  • For advertisers, Ad Networks can be beneficial because they are not limited to one website for a digital campaign. By expanding their campaign across multiple websites, the amount of people that can be reached increases exponentially, resulting in a more effective campaign overall.

What is Ad Inventory?

The total number of impressions a website or an Ad Network has available for advertisers to purchase.

Since ads are typically bought and sold on an impression basis, and an impression can only be placed when a user is on a website, there is a cap on how many ads can be shown in a given time period. A simplified formula to help determine ad inventory is the total number of users who come to that website times the number of Ad Spaces available.

For example, if ESPN.com has 1,000,000 visitors come to their homepage a month, and on that homepage there are five ads spaces available, ESPN can sell up to 5,000,000 impressions in total to advertisers per month.

What is Ad Rotation?

The split-second decision of determining what ad is to be placed on a website when viewed. The decision can be random or based off a number of things including your online browsing habits.