Web Analytics and eCommerce Glossary

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Abandonment When a visitor exits or leaves a conversion process on a website and does not return later in the session. See also Conversion and Conversion Funnel.
A/B Testing A method of comparing visitor response to two different versions of your website, typically two different landing pages for an advertising campaign, and measuring the effect that each makes on conversions. See also Conversion and Landing Page.
Accuracy The ability of a measurement to match the actual value of the quantity being measured. Accuracy is the foundation upon which your marketing analytics should be built. If you can't trust that your data is accurate, you can't make confident decisions. In statistical terms, accuracy is the width of the confidence interval for a desired confidence level. See also Unique Visitors.
Acknowledgement Page A page displayed after a visitor completes an action or transaction. For example, a thank-you or a receipt page. Acknowledgement pages are often important in Scenario Analysis, where it is an indicator of a completed scenario.
Acquisition The process of gaining customers through the means of different marketing strategies. For the purposes of Web Analytics, it often refers specifically to the process of attracting visitors to a website.
ACT After-Click Tracking is the recording the activity path of a visitor to a site after they have clicked on an email link.
Actionable Data Information that allows you to make a decision or can be made use of in any way.
Ad / Advert A link that takes a visitor to a website when clicked on, usually graphic or text. See also Banner Ad.
Ad Click A click on an advertisement on a website which takes a user to another site. See also Ad View.
Ad Hoc Query A non-standard inquiry posed to a database of information as the need arises. See also Query.
Ad View A webpage that presents an ad. There may be more than one ad on an ad view. Once visitors have viewed an ad, they can click on it.
Address The unique location of a specific webpage. See also URL.
Address Book A software application that stores and manages personal contact information. Typically built into email packages.
ADSL Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line. High-speed, always-on internet access via standard domestic telephone lines, usually faster in one direction. See also DSL.
Adware Software code on a computer that transmits or receives data to or from a remote host for the primary commercial purpose of delivering advertising content or performing other advertising functions.
Affiliate Marketing / Affiliate Programme A method of promoting web businesses in which an affiliate is rewarded for providing customers. Compensation could be made based on a value for visits, subscriptions, leads, sales, and so on. See also PPC.
Aggregate Data A summary of collected information which groups data together without individual-level statistics.
Algorithm A mathematical formula used by search engines to determine which websites to present, in which order, in their search results. See also Search Engine.
Analogue Signal A continuously-modulated waveform, such as that produced by a human voice or musical instrument. See also Digital Signal.
Analytics See Web Analytics.
Anti-Virus Programs Updatable software that scans and monitors your computer’s memory for viruses, usually includes removal and recovery tools.
API Application Programming Interface is a system that a computer or application supplies in order to allow requests for service to be made of it by other computer programs. APIs allow data to be exchanged between computer programs, and a standard software API method includes Open Database Connectivity (ODBC).
Applet A small program that can be embedded in an html page, for a specific purpose, for example to communicate with a host server.
Application Any computer program, such as a word processor, email client, spreadsheet, database etc.
ARPANET Advanced Research Projects Administration Network. A communications network developed in the 1960s by the US defence department as a network which could survive a nuclear attack – and later evolved into the Internet.
ASCII American Standard Code for Information Interchange. The worldwide standard for the codes used by computer systems to represent all the upper and lower-case Latin letters, numbers, punctuation, etc. There are 128 standard ASCII codes each represented by a 7 digit binary number in the range 0000000 to 1111111.
ASP Active Server Pages are a set of software components that run on a web server and let developers build dynamic webpages.
Attachment A file sent together with a message, usually via email.
Attrition The erosion of your customer base over time. The opposite of customer retention.
Auth A transaction type in which a transaction is pre-authorised and post-authorised in one step. Auth is used only to process purchases of goods or services that do not require physical shipment, e.g., donations, registrations, or "soft" (digital) goods that are delivered electronically.
Authentication The process by which a system validates a user's identity, such as comparing a log-in name and password with entries on a stored list before permitting access.
Authorisation A request to the payment processor, to approve the reservation of funds in a customer's account. The request can involve several transaction types, including Auth, PreAuth and PostAuth.
Autocomplete Software that keeps a record of previous contacts, web addresses, or text phrases, matching these to your keyboard input so that it can finish typing for you.
Automated Reconciliations The process of passing data between electronic systems so that the completeness and integrity of the data is verified during the transfer.
Autoresponder A software facility which can handle electronic requests for brochures, product information etc. and automatically generates an email response.
Average Lifetime Value The average of the lifetime value of a visitor or multiple visitors during the reporting period, where each visitor's lifetime value is the total monetary value of a visitor's past orders since visitor tracking began.
AVS Address Verification Service. A fraud-prevention service used to verify that the billing address and post code supplied by an online customer match the address registered with the card-issuing bank.
B2B Business To Business. A business model for online trade between businesses. See also B2C and C2C.
B2C Business To Consumer. A business model for online trade between organisations and individuals. See also B2B and C2C.
Backbone A high-speed line or series of connections that forms a major pathway within a network, much as a motorway system comprises the major pathways in a road transport network.
Bandwidth The maximum amount of data that can be handled by a given electronic connection, usually measured in megabits per second (Mbp/s). A page of English text requires about 16,000 bits (0.016Mb), while one second of full-screen video requires around 10,000,000 bits (10Mb).
Banner Ad A banner is a standard-format advertisement placed on a website either above, below or on the side of the main content, usually linked to the advertiser's website. Banner ads may contain text, animated graphics, video and sound. The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) has created a standard set of banner ad sizes (Medium Rectangle, Rectangle, Leaderboard, Wide Skyscraper) into a set of guidelines called the Universal Ad Package.
Batch A group of transactions that have been captured and are waiting for processing.
BCC Blind Carbon Copy. Facility within an email or messaging application to send multiple copies of a message, without revealing the list of addresses to each recipient.
Benchmark A standard by which something can be measured or judged. Often used as a means to ensure everyone in your organization is measuring performance against the same goals.
Billing Address The address to which a customer's credit card billing statement is mailed, used to verify that an online customer is the actual cardholder.
Biometrics Methods of identifying unique human characteristics for security purposes, for example fingerprinting, iris scanning and dynamic signature verification.
Bit The smallest measure of digital data, represented by a single binary digit, 0 or 1.
Blog / Web Log A web diary. Initially, a blog was a personal web space for an individual, but is now also used as a media outlet for multi-national companies.
Bluetooth A local wireless communications standard that allows electronic devices to share information, for instance to synchronise address books among PCs, PDAs and some mobile phones.
Bookmark A means of storing and indexing information, typically used by browser applications to store visited web addresses.
Bot See Robot.
Bounce See Bounce Rate and Email Bounce.
Bounce Rate Bounce rate is the percentage of single-page visits or visits in which the person left your site from the entrance (landing) page.
BPS Bits Per Second. A measurement of how fast data is pushed through a communications link, for example a 56Kbps modem is designed to move data at 56,000 bits per second.
Bricks And Mortar Of the physical world, as opposed to the online environment, usually refers to High Street retail outlets.
Brochureware Website publicity material that is basically an adaptation of existing marketing tools, and not optimised for online interaction.
Broken Link An incorrect HTML hyperlink that does not deliver the user to the specified location.
Browser Software application that can access and view information stored on websites and organised into HTML pages (Microsoft Internet Explorer for example).
Business Intelligence While some would claim it's an oxymoron, business intelligence refers to a category of software and tools designed to gather, store, analyse, and deliver data in a user-friendly format to help organizations make more informed business decisions. Software types include dashboarding, data mining, data warehouses, and other information systems.
Business User An individual that uses electronic systems for business or commercial purposes.
Byte A measurement of digital data, originally equivalent to 8 bits, although 16, 32 and 64-bit bytes are now common. Regardless of the byte length, a kilobyte (Kb) equals 1024 bytes, a megabyte (Mb) equals 1,024,000 bytes and a gigabyte (Gb) equals 1024,000,000 bytes.
C2C Consumer to Consumer. A business model in which consumers transact with other consumers, e.g via eBay. See also B2B and B2C.
Cable Modem A device that enables broadband internet connections over cable TV networks.
Cache A type of local memory built into a PC or software that stores information in order to speed up processing. Web browsers store webpage content in a cache and the next time a user visits the same page, any elements that haven't changed are loaded from the cache rather than from the site.
Campaign Analysis the tracking of activity originating from a marketing campaign, so you can compare your campaigns and evaluate their effectiveness.
Captcha Completely Automated Public Turing Test to Tell Computers and Human Apart. Webmasters employ this method to tell computers and humans apart requiring the user to view a code and type it in an entry box. See also Webmaster.
Captured The status of a transaction that has gone through Auth or PostAuth and is awaiting processing. See also Auth and PostAuth.
CAM Card Authentication Method. A method by which a plastic card is determined genuine and not counterfeit. Current chip cards provide the best CAM available.
Card Issuer A financial institution that provides cards via a contractual relationship with a cardholder.
Card Refund Refund to a customer, created by return of goods or services paid for by a payment card.
Card Schemes Organisations that manage and control the operation and clearing of card transactions, e.g. MasterCard, Visa, Switch, American Express, Diners Club International.
CVM Cardholder Verification Method. The means by which the presenter of the card may be identified as genuine, for example by a signature or PIN number.
Card-Not-Present A type of credit card transaction that does not require the cardholder and card to be physically present. All online transactions are card-not-present transactions.
Card-Present A type of credit card transaction in which the cardholder and the card are physically present, for example in a shop. Typically, the credit card passes through a card reader and the cardholder enters their PIN or signs a form.
Carrier Organisation that provides delivery services direct to the consumer.
CC Carbon Copy. Used to send a copy of an email message to more than one recipient.
CA Certification Authority. A trusted third-party organisation or company that issues digital certificates used to create digital signatures and public-private key pairs. The role of the CA in this process is to guarantee that the individual granted a unique certificate is, in fact, who he or she claims to be. Usually, the CA has an arrangement with a financial institution, such as a credit card company, which provides information to confirm an individual's claimed identity. CAs are crucial to data security and electronic commerce because they guarantee that parties exchanging information are genuine.
CGI Common Gateway Interface. Software protocols used by a web server to communicate with other applications hosted on the same machine.
Change Controls Definition of a person who has the ability to make changes to data being stored and programs that are being used.
Chargeback The reversal of a previously Settled transaction in which the merchant bank debits the amount of the sale from the merchant's account because the cardholder has disputed the charge.
Chat Program An application that allows real-time text messaging between two or more users connected over a network.
Chat Room A virtual location, hosted on an internet server, where users can ‘join’ a room and send real-time text messages to other visitors in the same room.
Chip card A plastic payment card containing a microchip which has memory and processing capabilities, recognisable by a gold contact plate that allows communication with a card reader. Also known as integrated circuit cards (ICCs) or smart cards.
Churn The tendency for subscribers to switch between service providers, whether prompted by costs, quality of service levels or suitability of subscription packages.
CIFAS CIFAS is the UK's Fraud Prevention Service. They can be found at www.cifas.org.uk.
Click-And-Mortar Click-and-mortar describes a store that exists both online and in the physical world, for example John Lewis.
Click Fraud The act of purposefully clicking a paid search ad with the intention of incurring a charge for the advertiser. See also PPC.
Clickstream A virtual trail that a user leaves behind while surfing the internet. A clickstream is a record of a user's activity on the internet, including every website and every page of every website that the user visits, how long the user was on a page or site, in what order the pages were visited, any newsgroups that the user participates in and even the e-mail addresses of mail that the user sends and receives. Both ISPs and individual websites are capable of tracking a user's clickstream. Such data is becoming increasingly valuable to internet marketers and advertisers.
Client A software program, for example a web browser or FTP application that is designed to contact and communicate over a network from a SERVER program.
Client Error An error that occurs because of an invalid request by the visitor's browser. See also Return Code.
CMS Content Management System. A software platform that helps in the management of content on a website.
CNAME A canonical name record makes one domain name an alias of another.
Commerce Server Software that manages the main functions of an online store, such as product display, online ordering, and inventory management. The software works in conjunction with online systems to process card payments.
Compression Programs Freeware or shareware applications that are able to read and reorganise one or more data files into a more compact form, usually recognised by a “.zip” or “.rar” suffix. To reduce connect time, downloadable applications and large file transfers are often compressed in this way.
Consumer An individual who purchases products and/or services for private use.
Content Provider An organisation or individual that devises content for an online enterprise, in the form of webpages, ads, audio, video, newswires, listings etc. The content may be available free of charge or for a fee.
Conversion An action that signifies a completion of a specified activity. For many sites, a user converts if they buy a product, sign-up for a newsletter, or download a file.
Conversion Funnel The series of steps that move a visitor towards a specified conversion event, such as an order or registration signup. See also Abandonment.
Conversion Rate The Conversion Rate, or Conversion Ratio, is the percentage of visitors who do convert. Cookie deletion can have an impact on your conversion rate because if a cookie is being systematically deleted, repeat visitor rates will be under-counted and new visitor rates will be over-counted, thus skewing the conversion rate metric by which you analyse your site's overall effectiveness.
Cookie Text file passed to a web browser by a web server. The main purpose of cookies is to identify users and prepare customized webpages for them. When you enter a website using cookies, you may be asked to fill out a form providing such information as your name and interests. This information is packaged into a cookie and sent to your web browser which stores it for later use. The next time you go to the same website, your browser will send the cookie to the web server. The server can use this information to present you with custom webpages. So, for example, instead of seeing just a generic welcome page you might see a personalised page.
Session Cookie: Also called a transient cookie. A cookie that is erased when the user closes the Web browser. The session cookie is stored in temporary memory and is not retained after the browser is closed. Session cookies do not collect information from the user’s computer. They typically will store information in the form of a session identification that does not personally identify the user.
Persistent Cookie: Also called a permanent cookie or a stored cookie. A cookie that is stored on a user’s hard drive until it expires (persistent cookies are set with expiration dates) or until the user deletes the cookie. Persistent cookies are used to collect identifying information about the user, such as Web surfing behaviour or user preferences for a specific website.
See also First and Third-Party Cookies.
Counterfeit Card A fake credit or debit card which has been printed, embossed or encoded so as to appear legitimate, or a valid card that has been altered or re-encoded with fake data.
CPC Cost Per Click. Advertisers pay for clicks to their websites through a medium. It is often used in the form Average CPC to so that advertisers know how much each lead is costing them. See also PPC.
CPG Consumer Packaged Goods.
CPM Cost Per Thousand (impressions). A system of advertising where an agreed amount is paid for the number of times an ad is seen, regardless of any subsequent action.
Crawler An intelligent robot program that searches for information on the World Wide Web. It is designed to locate new documents and new sites by following hypertext links and indexing information based on predefined criteria. See also Robot.
Creative For the purposes of Web Analytics, "creative" describes the characteristics of a marketing activity, such as colour, size and messaging-for example, a "Buy Now" graphic.
Credit A transaction type that transfers funds to the cardholder's account, typically used to refund a customer's money for an order that was previously Settled, e.g., returns or overcharges.
Credit Card Authorisation The process whereby a merchant (or a cardholder through an ATM) requests permissions for the card to be used for a particular transaction.
Credit Card Processor A third party that processes credit card information.
CRM Customer Relationship Management. CRM entails all aspects of interaction a company has with its customer, whether sales or service related. Computerisation and the proliferation of self-service channels like the web are leading to more of these relationships being managed electronically.
Cross-Border Card Fraud Fraud perpetrated using a payment card, or card number, in a country other than the country of issue.
CTR Clickthrough Rate. A clickthrough rate is the rate at which visitors "click through" from one website page or property to the next. A good indication of an ad's effectiveness.
Customer Segment A powerful aspect of relationship marketing in which you target sub-section or group of customers who share a specific trait or set of behaviours. See also Demographics and Psychographics.
CVC or CVV Card Verification Code (for MasterCard) or Card Verification Value (for Visa). Encrypted numeric value contained in the data on the magnetic stripe which can be checked to ensure that the information has not been altered in anyway.
CVM Card Verification Method. A method used to ensure that a credit card being used in a purchase is in the possession of its owner. The CVM security code is a 3 or 4 digit code imprinted on the physical credit card, but not embedded or encrypted in the magnetic stripe. The code is a 3-digit number located on the signature strip on the back of Visa and MasterCard cards, after the card number. It is on the front of American Express cards, and 4 digits.
Cyberspace Coined by science fiction writer William Gibson, this is the name for the virtual space you are navigating when you are negotiating the web.
Dashboard A Web Analytics dashboard provides all of your critical metrics in one place to help you understand the health or performance of your business.
Data Warehouse A logical collection of information gathered from many different operational databases used to create business intelligence that supports business analysis activities and decision-making tasks, primarily, a record of an enterprise's past transactional and operational information, stored in a database designed to favour efficient data analysis and reporting.
Database A set of files containing data on products, services, customer details, purchasing history – organised in a way that allows extremely flexible manipulation.
Data Mining The process of collecting and analysing data to provide information sorted in flexible ways.
Demographics The physical characteristics of human populations and segments of populations, often used to identify consumer markets. Demographics can include information such as age, gender, marital status, education, and geographic location. See also Psychographics.
Dial-up A low-speed, temporary connection to the internet using a modem over a standard, dialled telephone connection.
Digital Cash A system that allows a person to pay for goods or services by transmitting a number from one computer to another. Like the serial numbers on real banknotes, digital cash numbers are unique. Each one is issued by a bank and represents a specific sum of money. Like real cash, it is anonymous and reusable, when digital cash is sent from a buyer to a vendor, no personal information is exchanged.
Digital Certificate An attachment to an electronic message used for security purposes. The most common use of a digital certificate is to verify that a user sending a message is who he or she claims to be, and to provide the addressee with the means to encode a reply. An individual wishing to send an encrypted message applies for a digital certificate from a Certificate Authority (CA). The CA issues an encrypted digital certificate containing the applicant's public key and a variety of other identification information. The CA makes its own public key readily available through print publicity or perhaps on the internet. The recipient of an encrypted message uses the CA's public key to decode the digital certificate attached to the message, verifies it as issued by the CA and then obtains the sender's public key and identification information held within the certificate. With this information, the recipient can send an encrypted reply. The most widely used standard for digital certificates is X.509.
Digital Receipt An electronic (email / PDF / printable webpage) acknowledgement of an order placed from a commerce-enabled website.
Digital Signal All digital data is represented by one of two binary states – off and on, corresponding to 0 or 1. Strings of 1s and 0s can be organised to represent text, images, audio and video information in efficient, non-degradable formats. Devices such as modems and codecs can translate digital to analogue signals and vice versa. See also Analogue Signal.
Digital Signature An electronic signature that can be used to authenticate the identity of the sender of an email or of the signer of an electronic document. It can also be used to ensure that the original content of the message or document has been conveyed unchanged.
Digital Wallet Encryption software that works like a physical wallet during electronic commerce transactions. A wallet can hold a user's payment information, a digital certificate to identify the user, and shipping information to speed transactions. The consumer benefits because his or her information is encrypted against piracy and because some wallets will automatically input information at the merchant's site. Most wallets reside on the user's PC.
Directory A website that lists addresses of other sites and online resources. Unlike search engines, they are maintained by humans and have a subject-based menu hierarchy to make it  easy to find sites. Yahoo! (http://www.yahoo.com) is the most popular example of a directory site.
Disaster Backup And Recovery Duplicated software and hardware that provide a backup copy of a computer system. Recovery procedures are predefined and used to re-establish the original environment in the event of a disaster.
DNS Domain Name System. A management system for internet addresses. Every Domain Name corresponds to an IP address in the form of a series of digits, such as These addresses are allocated and maintained by a network of registrars overseen by a central authority, ICANN.
Domain An area in the Internet specified by a URL address. The top-level domain is at the end after the dot and the second-level domain comes before it, and shows where in the top-level domain the address can be found. For example in www.johnlewis.com, ".com" is the top-level domain and "johnlewis" is the second level domain.
Domain Name A unique name given to every website. It is used to physically locate a website over the internet. A domain name consists of three different parts with each separated by a dot, for example www.johnlewis.com. These signify host server type, the unique name of the website and the purpose/type/country location.
Download The process of making a copy of digital data over a network, i.e. transferring it from one computer to another. See also Upload.
Downtime Period during which a computer system or network is not functioning due to a power, hardware or software failure.
DRAM Dynamic random-access memory chips, typically used for temporary storage in a PC. RAMs lose their memory information when the power is switched off.
DSL Digital Subscriber Line. A DSL circuit uses standard telephone subscriber cabling, but in addition to voice information, transmit digital pulses at inaudible high frequencies that are capable of providing broadband-speed internet access to the home. DSL systems are the basis of today’s broadband revolution. See also ADSL.
DTI Department of Trade and Industry. UK government body that regulates national business operations, including e-commerce.
E-Book A book that's been condensed into a special text format and available to download, usually at low cost. A special reader may be required to view e-books.
EBPP Electronic Bill Presentment and Payment. EBPP is the process by which companies bill customers and receive payments electronically over the internet.
eBusiness / E-Business / Ebusiness See eCommerce.
ECN Electronic Communications Network. Electronic trading systems that automatically match buyers' and sellers' orders.
eCommerce / E-commerce / Ecommerce The act of selling goods and services online via a standalone site or through an online auction centre.
EDI Electronic Data Interchange. Transfer of data between different companies using private networks or the internet. EDI is becoming increasingly important as an easy mechanism for companies to buy, sell, and trade information. ANSI has approved a set of EDI standards known as the X.12 standards.
Electronic Purse A means of storing electronic funds locally, for use in ecommerce transactions.
Email Electronic mail, a means to send messages and files across the internet from one computer to another.
Email Bounce The number of emails that were sent but never reach the intended receiver.
Emoticons Otherwise known as smileys. These are shorthand ways of expressing emotion in email messages by using punctuation marks such as :) for I am happy and :( for I am sad.
Encryption A method of using complex mathematical algorithms to scramble data so that only the intended recipient can decode it.
End-To-End Verification A payment scheme in which credit card information is passed from the customer directly to the bank for verification, i.e. bypassing the retailer.
Entry Page See Landing Page.
EPoS Electronic Point of Sale. A smart till or other device for processing card payments.
e-Retailer Individual or business selling goods or providing paid-for services online.
ERP Enterprise Resource Planning. ERP is a business management system that integrates all facets of the business, including planning, manufacturing, sales, and marketing.
Ethernet The most common protocol used to network computers in a LAN. Ethernet can transfer about 10,000,000 bits-per-second and is compatible with almost all computer systems. See also LAN.
ETSI European Telecommunications Standards Institute, the governing body of telecoms standards within Europe.
EVA Electronic Virtual Assistant, like MS Word’s paperclip or XP’s search dog – an avatar-like creature that helps a user to understand an application.
Exit Page The last page viewed on a visitor's path through a site.
Extranet An extension of an organisation's internal network to other locations or users external to the enterprise.
E-zine / eZine An electronically-published magazine, available on the web.
FAQ Frequently Asked Questions, a listing of common enquiries and responses on a particular subject, typically as a section of a website.
Favorite A means of creating an index of local and internet documents, files and websites so that they are easily accessible.
File Any named collection of data stored in a physical location on a PC or the web. Can be text, graphic, sound, video etc.
Filters Filters are a system of rules that can be set up to automatically handle incoming electronic data, for example to channel email messages to a particular location or user.
Filtering A means of narrowing the scope of a report or view by specifying ranges or types of data to include or exclude.
Firewall An electronic security measure that can prevents unauthorised users from gaining entry to a private network.
First Party Cookies For most business models, first-party cookies are regarded as the most reliable method to measure visitor activity. Whereas a third-party cookie is usually set by an analytics vendor, (an entity with whom the user does not have a relationship), a first-party cookie is set by the business, an organization with whom the website visitor has specifically chosen to do business. Because of this relationship, first-party cookies are deemed more secure by the user. Also see Cookies and Third Party Cookies.
Floor Limit A limit agreed between the merchant and acquiring bank for each sale, above which authorisation must be obtained by the merchant.
Form An HTML page which passes variables back to the server. These pages are used to gather information from users.
Forward To send on or redirect an incoming message to another location or recipient.
Frames Separate areas of a webpage that can be manipulated individually via scroll buttons.
Freeware A software application that can be downloaded, used and distributed free of charge. See also Shareware.
Frequency The number of times a visitor has visited a site during a reporting period. Average Frequency is the average of frequencies of all the visitors during the reporting period. Frequency is a retention metric and is part of RFM (Recency, Frequency, Monetary) analysis. See also Recency and Latency.
FTP File Transfer Protocol. A set of standards for transferring files from one computer to another computer across a network.
Funnel See Conversion Funnel.
Gateway Hardware or software that acts as a mediator between two distinct protocols and helps in the transfer of information between systems.
GIF A Graphics Interchange Format is a bitmap format for images with up to 256 distinct colours. Commonly used on the web for animated banner ads.
Gigabyte 1024 Megabytes.
GIS Geographic Information Systems, applications and data related to transport, postcode and geo-demographic information.
GRP Gross Rating Point is the percentage of the target audience reached by an ad.
gTLDs Generic Top Level Domains, refer to the part of an internet domain name to the extreme right, which denotes a business (.com), a non-profit organisation (.org), a network provider (.net), or a country code (.uk, .es, .ie etc.) New gTLDs are being added all the time – .gov, .biz, .tv and so on.
Hacker An individual who intentionally breaks into someone else's computer system or network, to bypass security measures and access private data.
Hardware Computer machinery and equipment such as hard disks, printers, monitors, network cards etc. See also Software.
HDSL High Speed Digital Subscriber Line, similar to ADSL, but operating at higher transfer speeds in both directions. See also DSL.
Header Identifying information that precedes and describes the attached content. Emails messages contain an automatically-generated header that describes the when the message was sent, to whom, from whom, and which path it took through the Internet.
History A record of a user’s progress while using an application. Web browsers track the history of sites visited, pages viewed etc.
Hit A hit is a unit of measure of a visit to a webpage. In fact each element of a page (each image, banner, frame etc) generates a hit as the page is accessed, so page hits are an unreliable measure of visitor traffic. websites often display a hit count on their pages, but rarely how this count is calculated.
Hit Counter A piece of web server software that racks up the number of file requests relating to a webpage or site.
Home Page / Homepage Either the page your web browser automatically loads when you launch it, or the initial welcome page of a website.
Home Page URL The local path or Internet URL to the default page of the website.
Host A network computer that is a repository for services available to other computers on the network.
Hosting The activity of housing, serving and maintaining files for one or more internet resources. Hosting is part of the core business of ISPs.
HTML HyperText Markup Language. The code that underlies every webpage. Your browser reads the HTML and then generates the page on your screen.
HTML Editors Word processor-like software applications that are used to design and construct web documents.
HTTP HyperText Transfer Protocol. The protocol used for communication between a web browser and a website.
HTTPS HyperText Transfer Protocol secure. A secure protocol that uses SSL to, for example, encrypt payment card data traffic between the browser and web server. See also SSL.
Hypertext Text that contains links to other documents by means of clicking on a hot spot to load and view the related document.
IAB Interactive Advertising Bureau, found at www.iab.net.
IHCF Industry Hot Card File. List of lost or stolen cards, available for checking by merchants.
Impression The exact number of times a specific webpage (or webpage element such as an online advertisement) displayed to a user, using a counter by which site owners can monitor traffic. See Hits.
Information Security All-encompassing term that refers to the security of the information systems that are used and the data that is processed.
Intelligent Detection Systems Computer systems developed by the banking industry to help identify fraudulent card use. Also known as knowledge-based systems and neural networks.
Interactive TV Interactive TV gives the viewer more control over their television viewing in a variety of ways, by sending information to the broadcaster, to order a pay-per-view programme, buy or bid for sale items, select a different camera viewpoint, place a bet on a sports event etc.
Internet The worldwide collection of linked networks that uses the TCP/IP suite of protocols to communicate with one another. At the heart of the internet is a backbone of high speed communication lines between major nodes or host computers, consisting of thousands of commercial, government, educational, personal and other computer systems.
IE Internet Explorer. Microsoft’s web browser application, currently the market leader.
Intranet A private network inside a company or organisation generally using the same kinds of software found on the public internet, but for internal use only.
IP Internet Protocol is a standard used for communicating data.
IP Address A unique number used to identify a computer connected to the Internet consisting of 4 parts separated by dots, e.g., where each part is in the range 0-255. Every computer on the internet has a unique IP address.
IRC Internet Relay Chat. A system whereby users can connect via the internet to an IRC server to exchange real-time text messages and files.
ISDN Integrated Services Digital Network. An early method of dial-up digital network access. ISDN provides two 64bps data channels and a 16bps control channel for voice and data communications over a telephone line.
ISP Internet Service Provider. A company that provides access to the internet over a telephone, DSL, cable or leased line connection. ISPs have permanent connections to the net and banks of servers to handle the exchange of high volumes of data.
ISPA The UK Association of Internet Service Providers.
iTV See Interactive TV.
JavaScript / Java A powerful programming language developed by Sun Microsystems, used extensively in web applications to do relatively advanced things on webpages – for example, changing the colour of an image whenever the cursor moves over it.
JavaScript Tag See Page Tag.
JDK Java Development Kit. A software development package that implements the basic set of tools needed to write, test and debug Java applications and applets.
JPEG Joint Photographic Experts Group file format; a format with advanced compressed that significantly reduces the file size for faster transfer and onscreen display.
Keyword A word or phrase that is entered into a search system to bring up a list of alternative webpages. Also a web addressing system that uses plain English input into the browser line to access web resources. AOL uses a keyword system. See also Organic Search and PPC.
Kilobyte 1024 bytes.
KEI Keyword Effectiveness Index. The higher the KEI, the more popular the keywords are and the less competition they have, which means they have a better chance of getting to the top of organic searches. Various different formulae are used to calculate KEI, although the most common is KEI=S2/C where ‘S’ is “the number of Searches for that keyword in a given period” and ‘C’ is “the number of individual webpages Competing for that keyword” (i.e. the number of pages returned when searching for the keyword on a nominated Search Engine).
KPI Key Performance Indicators. Key Performance Indicators are typically kept in dashboards and provide customers with an understanding of how the site is performing.
LAN Local Area Network. A computer network limited to the immediate area, usually contained in the same building.
Landing Page The first viewed page on a visitor's path through a site. Often, the website's home page will be the page that most visitors land on, but specially built landing pages for advertising campaigns can be more effective in helping the conversion process. Landing pages can be stand-alone with no connections to your main website. They can also be specialised micro-sites that are focussed on a particular audience and desired outcome. See also Conversion and Conversion Funnel.
Latency The average number of days between visits for a given visitor during a reporting period. For example, those who visit on average every seven days. See also Recency and Frequency.
L-Commerce Location-based commerce, relating to business conducted at a physical location.
Leased Line A high-speed data line that is rented for exclusive 24/7 use between fixed locations.
Link A hot-spot on a webpage, indicated by your cursor changing shape. Clicking a link will take you to another webpage.
LINX The London Internet Exchange, a non-profit organization owned by national ISPs.
Live Support Technology that allows businesses to communicate in real time with visitors to their website. Live support applications are commonly used to provide telephone or chat support and information to customers.
Location bar The box at the top of your browser window where you type in the address of a website.
Log File A file created by a web or proxy server which contains all of the access information regarding the activity on that server.
Login A predefined account name, or the action of entering an account name, that accesses a private computer system. Logging in usually also requires the input of a valid password.
LTV Long-Term Value or Life-Time Value. Life-Time Value is a metric used to describe the value a specific customer has over the life of their relationship with you.
Mac An abbreviation for Apple Macintosh or Apple Mac. A popular type of computer with an easy-to-use graphical interface. Macs are often used by designers, video editors and music producers.
Mail Server The hardware and software used by your Internet Service Provider to send and receive your email.
Mailbox The place where your messages are saved by your ISP until you decide to download them. When they arrive on your computer, they are downloaded to your inbox.
Mailing List Subject-based forums whose messages are distributed by email. You send your email address to a central point from which broadcast messages are received.
MPM Marketing Performance Management. Drives stronger customer relationships and higher lifetime value, based on a framework of established goals, consistent metrics, constant optimization across the entire marketing organization and across every customer touch point.
M-Commerce The equivalent of e-commerce in the mobile environment.
Megabyte 1024 kilobytes.
Merchant A person or enterprise that buys and sells products and services to businesses or consumers.
Merchant Account A bank account required by a shop to receive payments through electronic media such as credit cards. It can be considered as a virtual bank account in that receives electronic money.
Merchant ID A number issued to a merchant by their acquiring bank. The bank uses the Merchant ID to identify a specific merchant in credit card transactions. Each store must have its own Merchant ID.
Metadata Data that describes data. Metadata describes how and when and by whom a particular set of data was collected, and how the data is formatted. Metadata is essential for understanding information stored in information repositories.
Meta Tags Meta Tags are information inserted into the Header area of a webpage. Other than the Title Tag, information in the Header area of a webpage is not seen by those viewing the page with a Browser. Instead, Meta information in this area is used to communicate information that a human visitor may not be concerned with. Meta Tags, for example, can tell a browser what "character set" to use or help to identify a site in a search engine's indexing process.
Metrics Metrics are a system of parameters or ways of quantitative assessment of a process that is to be measured, along with the processes to carry out such measurement. Metrics define what is to be measured.
MIME Multi-purpose Internet Mail Extensions. A standard for attaching non-text files to standard internet mail messages. Non-text files include graphics, spreadsheets, formatted word-processor documents, sound files, etc.
MODEM Modulator-Demodulator. Hardware required to access computer networks via a telephone line. The modem converts digital data into analogue audio pulses that travel across telephone networks, and vice versa.
MP3 MPEG-1 Audio Layer-3. A standard technology and format for compression of audio information into a smaller, digital file while preserving the original quality and level of sound.
Navigation The act of moving from location to location within a website, or between websites, accomplished by clicking on links. Navigation can also refer to the overall structure of the links on the site, comprising the paths available to the visitor.
N-dimensional Unlimited dimensions.
Network Group of computers or digital devices connected to each other in order to transfer data.
Newsgroups Public discussions areas where people can read messages posted by others, contribute their own ideas and talk to other users. There are thousands of such groups, covering a wide range of subjects.
NIC Network Interface Card. A piece of hardware which plugs into a computer and provides a network interface to the appropriate protocol, usually Ethernet.
NNTP Network News Transport Protocol. A protocol used to transfer information to and from newsgroups.
Node A single computer connected to a network.
Non-referrals Visitors who arrive at a site by typing a domain into an address bar, using a bookmark, or clicking on an emailed URL. See also Referrals.
OCR Organic Click Rate. See also PPC.
ODBC Open Database Connectivity. This interface standard provides a common application programming interface (API) for accessing databases. This gives users access to data that is created with other software.
Offline The state of being disconnected from a network.
Online Connected to a network.
Opt-In Email This permission-based email communication requires customers to verify the opt-in method before their e-mail addresses can be used to communicate with them. The opposite of Spam.
Order A record of a request for goods or services by a customer.
Order Confirmation Number A unique identifier for this particular purchase transaction from this particular user. This number is generated and then stored as part of the permanent record of the purchase.
Order ID A unique identifier assigned to a customer order.
Order Tracking The process of tracing the status of particular order placed by a customer with an online store.
Organic Search A type of search in which web users find sites having unpaid listings, as opposed to using the pay-per-click (PPC) advertisement listings displayed among the search results.
Output Controls Section of the application code that provides the user with a direct report on the status of an order.
P2P Peer-To-Peer. A network scheme in which individual computers communicate directly with each other to share files.
Packet Switching The method used to move data around on TCP/IP networks. Data coming out of a machine is broken up into chunks, each chunk includes the address of where it came from, and where it is going. This enables chunks of data from many different sources to co-mingle on the same lines, and be sorted and directed to different routes by special machines along the way. This way many people can use the same lines at the same time.
Page A document provided by the server, including HTML, scripts, and text files. Images, sound files and video are not considered pages. Documents are defined by the system administrator, but generally include all static content, such as complete html pages. Dynamic pages are created with variables and do not exist anywhere in a static form. Forms are scripted pages which get information from a visitor that gets passed back to the server.
Page Impression See Impression.
Page Tag A piece of JavaScript code embedded on a webpage and executed by the browser when the page is viewed. See also Log Files.
Page View This is generally defined as a request to load a single page of a website. On the web, a page request would result from a web surfer clicking on a link on another page that points to the page in question. See also Hit.
Paid Inclusion Marketing model in which a website pays a fee to a search engine, which guarantees that the website will be displayed in the returned search results for specifically-named search terms.
Parameters These are located in the URL immediately after a question mark and followed by an equal sign and a return value, known as name=value.
Partial Shipment A process in which a store ships / provides only some of the goods / services in a single order. Therefore, the PostAuth amount would be less than the amount of the approved PreAuth for the order.
Password A secret word or unique combination of characters, usually alpha-numerical, that permits access to an application or system. Passwords enhance the security of a network by ensuring that only authorised users have access to specific files or data.
Password Maintenance Procedures and processes used to establish and maintain the password portion of the authentication service that allows access to application systems.
Path A path is the click pattern a visitor uses as they traverse through multiple pages.
Payment Gateway Computer system that acts as a mediator between a merchant account and an online shop. The payment gateway authenticates payment card information and manages real-time charging from a payment card.
PDA Personal Digital Assistant. A kind of electronic Filofax with email capability.
PEF Personal Experience Factor is the customer's interaction with your website, advertising, or brand.
Performance Indicators See KPI.
PIE Persistent Identification Element is a type of tag that is attached a user's browser, providing a unique ID similar to traditional cookie coding.
PIN A unique number used to authorise a bank or credit card.
PKI Public Key Infrastructure. A mechanism for secure communications over a network or the internet.
Platform The operating system (such as Microsoft Windows) used by a visitor to the site.
Plug-In A plug-in is a piece of software that enhances the capabilities of an application.
POA Point of Action is the location of a conversion event.
POC Percentage of Completion or Proof of Concept.
Point-Of-Sale A facility, such as a web form, through which an online merchant accepts new customer orders.
POP3 Post Office Protocol 3. A protocol used by email systems to retrieve messages from a mail server.
Portal A website which serves as a gateway or point of access for a user to access other sites. A portal gathers together on a single site a set of thematically arranged links to a range of other resources.
POS Point of sale, the physical or virtual checkout.
PostAuth A transaction that converts a PreAuth transaction into a Captured state for settlement. In the case of partial shipments, the PostAuth amount may be less than the PreAuth amount. PostAuths are usually initiated after purchased goods have been shipped. See also Auth and PreAuth.
Postmaster The person at an ISP, or company, in charge of email services.
PPC Pay Per Click or paid search uses search keywords that cost a certain amount for each customer click on that term in order to get to your site. See also Organic Search.
PPP Pay-Per-Performance. A method of remuneration in online advertising.
PPP Point to Point Protocol. A protocol that allows a computer to use a modem connection to make a TCP/IP connection to the internet.
PreAuth A transaction type in which a cardholder's account is verified to be in good standing, that is, the card is valid, is within its limit, and any applicable Address Verification Service checks have been performed and approved. If the verifications are approved, the total amount of the order is reserved against the cardholder's account balance. PreAuths are used if goods are to be physically shipped or in other cases for which the merchant must first verify whether the order can be fulfilled. An approved PreAuth is followed by a PostAuth, which prepares it for settlement. See also Auth and PostAuth.
Processing Controls And Edits Processing controls and edits are sections of application or operating system code that focus on ensuring the integrity of the "interaction" with the user. An example of this type of code would be code that would ensure that all required changes to a set of databases were made as part of a transaction.
Protocol A set of rules governing the transmission and reception of data.
Psychographics Data used to build customer segments based on attitudes, values, beliefs and opinions as opposed to the factual characteristics. See also Demographics.
Public Domain Signifies that copyright holders have either donated their products to the public, or copyright has expired. If something is in a public domain, you can use it without infringing any rights.
Query A question or inquiry used to find answers about certain metrics.
Query Parameter An individual piece of a query string consisting of a parameter name and a value for the parameter.
Reach The size of the audience reading, viewing, hearing, or interacting with a message in a given period of time. Reach can be understood as either an absolute number, or a fraction of a population.
Rear-View Mirror Metrics Metrics that measure what has occurred. For example campaign response metrics are such metrics that tell you how a campaign performed.
Recency The number of days since a visitor's most recent visit during a reporting period. See also Frequency and Latency.
Referrals The location that visitors come from, particularly the sites, search engines or directories. See also Non-Referrals.
Relationship Marketing Relationship marketing is a type of marketing that traces its roots to direct response marketing. It emphasizes building long-term relationships with customers rather than individual transactions. It requires understanding customer needs as they go through life cycles of interacting and purchasing from organizations, and requires that marketers accurately determine customer intent in order to provide them the right message at the right time.
Retailer An organisation selling goods or services.
Retention A corporate strategy to maintain a customer base by any cost-effective means.
Return Code The return status of the request which specifies whether the transfer was successful and why. Numbers are three digits long and fall into the following groups:
100s - Information
200s - Success
300s - Redirection
400s - Client Error
500s - Server Error
RF-ID tags Radio Frequency Identity Tags. Smart tags on stock items that can be read by handheld devices for monitoring stock movements.
RFM Analysis Recency, Frequency, Monetary analysis.
Right Of Withdrawal The period within which a consumer can legally withdraw, or change their mind, about a purchase made or contract entered into. A new European directive defines this period as seven days.
ROAS Return on Advertising Spending.
Robot A robot program designed to perform pre-selected task over a network, for example to seek out and store certain types of information. Search engines typically use robots to scour the internet for new websites and appropriate keywords to include in their databases. Also known as Bots.
ROI Return on Investment.
ROMI Return on Marketing Investment.
Router A device that routes a network connection to multiple computers on a network, and vice versa.
RSA Encryption A public-key encryption technology developed by RSA Data Security, Inc, based on the fact that there is no efficient way to factor very large numbers. Deducing an RSA key, therefore, requires an extraordinary amount of computer processing power and time. The RSA algorithm has become the de facto standard for industrial-strength encryption, especially for data sent over the internet. It is built into many software products, including web browsers.
RSS Really Simple Syndication. A type of web syndication used by news sites and blogs which provides summaries of information with links to the complete content.
Sampling In statistics, the selection of individual observations intended to yield knowledge about a population, especially for the purposes of statistical inference.
Scalability The ability of a computer application or product - or indeed a website - to continue to function well (or even better) as it is altered in size to meet customers’ needs.
Scenario Analysis A report showing the amount of activity at each step of a defined scenario, plus conversion rates for each transition from step to step as well as for the whole process. Examples of scenarios are check-out, registration, or application sequences.
Script See JavaScript.
Search Engine A search engine is a program that helps you find information on the web.
Secure Server A computer that handles encrypted data for secure transactions so any communications are kept private, e.g. when sending credit card details to an e-retailer.
Segment A grouping of customers, defined by website activity or other data, which can be used to target them effectively.
SEM Search Engine Marketing. A means to increase the visibility of a website in search engine results pages.
SEO Search Engine Optimization. The improvement of rankings for relevant keywords in search results by adjusting website structure and content to make them more easily read and understood by a search engine's software programs.
Server A large and powerful computer which provides other computers with information. websites are stored on web servers, email is handled by mail servers and newsgroups are handled by news servers.
Server Error A fault occurring at the computer hosting information. See also Return Code.
Service Provider See ISP.
Session A session is a record of one visitor browsing through a site.
Sessionisation This is the process for creating a session. Sessionisation methods are ways in which you can define a session. Web Analytics solutions have multiple sessionisation methods such as cookies, IP Address, IP+ Agent and so on. These methods tell the Web Analytics system how they should count a series of page requests from the same individual or browsing machine.
SET Secure Electronic Transaction. A standard that enables secure credit card transactions on the internet. SET has been endorsed by virtually all the major players in the electronic commerce arena, including Microsoft, Netscape, Visa, and MasterCard. SET provides secure communication of credit card numbers to card issuers.
Settlement The process by which money is transferred between a merchant and a cardholder.
Shareware A shareware program is one you can try free of charge, though often for a limited period, or with certain features disabled. A registration fee is usually payable to continue using it. See also Freeware.
(Carrier / Transporter)
Organisation that handles all aspects of the delivery of physical goods.
Shop Window Site A site that advertises a company's business and provides information about its products and services, but does not have payment facilities to sell products directly.
Shopping Basket See Shopping Cart.
Shopping Cart Software that accepts, manages and organises online orders. The interface between a company's website and its deeper infrastructure, that allows consumers to select merchandise, review selections, make modifications or additions, and purchase.
Signature A few lines of text that are automatically added to the end of your email program.
SIM Subscriber Identification Module. Code that identifies a user to a mobile network.
Skimming Form of counterfeit fraud whereby a card's magnetic stripe details are electronically copied on to another card.
SKU Stock Keeping Units.
SLA Service level agreement,.
Smart Card A credit-card-sized device that contains an electronic chip that can be read by another device to authorise transactions.
SME Small/medium sized enterprise.
S-MIME Encryption Secure/MIME, a version of the MIME protocol that supports encryption of messages. S/MIME is based on RSA public key encryption technology. See also MIME.
SMM Social Media Marketing. Describes the use of social networks, online communities, blogs, wikis or any other online collaborative media for marketing, sales, public relations and customer service.
SMS Short Message Service. Enables text messaging on mobile phones.
SMTP Simple Mail Transfer Protocol. A standard protocol for exchanging email.
SOAP Simple Object Access Protocol. Microsoft's open standards-based interoperability protocol that uses XML to provide a common messaging format to link together applications and services anywhere on the internet regardless of operating system, object model, or programming language.
Software As opposed to the hardware or equipment associated with computers, software is the instructions needed to make the system work. It provides a series of instructions that performs a particular task. These are also known as programs. See also Hardware.
SOHO Small office, home office.
Spam Unsolicited email, the electronic equivalent of junk mail.
Spamglish Keyword-rich content which is often meaningless. Spamglish includes keyword repetition purely in an attempt to increase the page's position in the webpage.
Spamming (1) The act of sending Spam.
(2) Abusing the normal search engine ranking techniques, such as using hidden text, excessive repetition of a keyword, over submission of webpages, and creating many pages or sites with the same content. Search engines penalize or ban pages and sites using these techniques.
Spider A spider is a program that visits websites and reads their pages and other information in order to create entries for a search engine index. See also Robot.
Spyware User-installed applications that may have hidden, malicious functions. These can include launching popup ads, tracking usage, capturing keystrokes and passwords and, sending this information over the internet – all without the owners consent or knowledge. Spyware is often concealed in free software, for example in security applications.
SQL Structured Query Language. A specialised programming language for sending queries to databases.
SSL Secure Socket Layer. Software built into a web browser application that encrypts data sent over the internet, designed to keep credit card numbers confidential. When a webpage URL starts with "https:", it is using SSL to encrypt both the web request and the response you see on your browser.
SSL Encryption A system that uses two keys to encrypt data - a public key known to everyone and a private or secret key known only to the recipient of the message. Browsers support SSL, and websites use the protocol to receive confidential user information, such as credit card numbers.
Sticky Sites So-called 'sticky' sites are those sites with enough attractive information, services or retail facilities to encourage visitors to return to that site.
Store An merchant enterprise that offers products for sale and accepts and processes credit payments.
Suffix The last part of a domain that can be used to identify the type of organization or location of a site.
Surf To browse the web, searching for interesting pages, often in a random manner.
System Security Patches Security updates in the form of digital code that are periodically downloaded to upgrade server and operating systems.
Tag See Page Tag.
TAT Time, attention and trust, a customer relations term.
TCP / IP Transmission Control Protocol / Internet Protocol. A set of rules that govern communication over the internet.
Temporary internet files A temporary storage area on a PC where copies of visited webpages are listed.
Third Party Transaction Fees A percentage or per-transaction fee that is deducted from the merchant’s gross credit card receipts and paid to a third party credit card processor.
Third-Party Cookie Hosted Web Analytics services track visitor behaviour by inserting a small piece of tracking code onto each page of a site. Because the cookie is served by an analytics vendor rather than your own site, the cookie is considered third-party.
Thumbnail A term used by graphic designers and photographers for a small representation of a larger image.
TID Terminal ID. A number assigned by an acquiring bank to identify a specific point -of-sale terminal. For online transactions, one TID is typically assigned to each merchant website or business unit.
Tracking Facility A process which allows customers to track their order remotely.
Traffic (1) The load on a communications device or system. One of the principal jobs of a system administrator is to monitor traffic levels and take appropriate action when traffic becomes heavy.
(2) A measurement of the amount of users that visit a website.
Transaction A record of each action that is taken on an order. An order may have multiple transactions, e.g., a Sale and a Credit.
Transaction Type A label identifying the nature of the transaction that determines how the transaction will be handled. For example, a PreAuth transaction reserves funds. The most common transaction types are Auth, PreAuth, PostAuth, Credit, and Void.
Transporter Carrier or Shipper. Organisation that handles delivery of physical goods to specified address.
Trojan A program which appears harmless, but contains malicious code that can be used to attack a system.
Turnkey solution An ‘out of the box’ solution, usually a combination of hardware, software and training.
UDDI Universal Description, Discovery and Integration protocol. A common language for online businesses to find each other and conduct transactions over the internet, similar to traditional yellow and white pages.
UDP Uniform Datagram Protocol. A network format for sending information.
UMTS Universal Mobile Telecommunications Standard. Third generation mobile digital telephony supporting voice and data – supports fast data rates of 384Kbps and 2 Mbps.
Unique Visitors Unique Visitors represent the number of unduplicated (counted only once) visitors to your website over the course of a specified time period. A Unique Visitor is determined using cookies or the Visitor’s IP Address and so can only be considered to be an accurate estimate of the true number of different Visitors to the site.
UNIX A computer operating system designed to be used by many people at the same time. It is the most common operating system for servers on the Internet.
Update Access Signifies that a user may update and delete data.
Upload The process of copying files from one location to another. See also Download.
URL Uniform Resource Locator. The technical name for a web address.
Usability The degree to which a site as a whole, or specific features on it are attractive and comprehensible to a visitor.
Usenet A network of internet newsgroups.
User The end-user of a product or device. User typically refers to the end user of software.
User Agent Fields in an extended web server log file identifying the browser and platform used by a visitor.
User Session (1) A session of activity that a user with a unique IP address spends on a website during a specified period of time. The number of user sessions on a site is used in measuring the amount of traffic a website gets. The site administrator determines what the time frame of a user session will be (e.g., 30 minutes). If the visitor comes back to the site within that time period, it is considered part of the same user session. If the visitor returns to the site after the allotted time period has expired, it is counted as a separate user session. Unique visitor, hit, click-through and page view, are all other methods that site administrators use to measure traffic.
(2) The period of time over which a user interfaces with an application. The user session begins when the user accesses the application and ends when the user quits the application.
Video Conferencing A direct video link over a digital network allowing several parties to speak together. Users' screens usually display all parties.
View Access Signifies that a user can only view the data being stored. The data cannot be changed.
Viewer Application that permits viewing of a specific type of file, eg text, graphics.
Virus A virus is a piece of software usually disguised as something else that causes some unexpected and usually undesirable event. Often propagated by being concealed in email attachments.
Virus Protection The use of anti-virus software to detect, trap and disable viruses before they activate.
Visit A Visit is an interaction a Unique Visitor has with a website over a specified period of time or activity. In most cases, if a Visitor has left a site or has not executed a click within 30 minutes, the Visit session will terminate.
Visitor A Visitor is a construct designed to come as close as possible to defining the number of actual, distinct people who visited a website. If a single individual makes multiple Visits these would be counted as separate Visitors. See also Unique Visitor.
VOD Video on demand, the ability to request and download stored TV programming.
VoIP Voice-over-internet protocol, allowing voice conversations over packet-switched internet connections. VOIP calls avoid expensive international telephone rates.
VPNs Virtual private networks, networks that appear to be a closed corporate system, but in fact use the internet for external communication.
W3 Alternative way to describe the World Wide Web.
W3C World Wide Web Consortium develops interoperable technologies (specifications, guidelines, software, and tools) to lead the Web to its full potential.
WAN Wide Area Network. A private network of computers spread over a large geographical area.
WAP Wireless Application Protocol. Packaged internet content for handheld wireless devices, such as mobile phones, pagers, two-way radios, smartphones and PDAs.
Web Analytics The measurement, analysis and interpretation of the behaviour of visitors to a website or web application in order to provide the necessary management insight to enable informed action to be taken to optimise the site’s performance in meeting its objectives. E-commerce companies often use Web Analytics software to measure such concrete details as how many people visited their site, how many of those visitors were unique visitors, how they came to the site (i.e., if they followed a link to get to the site or came there directly), what keywords were used to search for the site, how long spent viewing a given page or on the entire site, and what links were clicked to leave. Web Analytics software can also be used to monitor whether or not a site's navigation scheme is working properly. With this information, website administrators can determine which areas of the site are popular and which areas of the site do not get traffic and can then use this data to streamline the design to improve user experience.
Web Browser See Browser.
Webpage A single HTML document. Websites consist of a series of such pages.
Web Space Hard disk space on a server dedicated to hosting websites. Internet Service Providers rent facilities for customers to build individual sites.
Webmaster A person who maintains the information on a website.
Website A website is a collection of webpages, on particular domain name or sub-domain on the World Wide Web on the Internet. Usually it is made up of a set of webpages created using HTML and accessible via HTTP.
Website Traffic The number of visitors to a website.
What If A type of analysis that allows an end-user to pose hypothetical situations against their data to model or predict outcomes.
Wizard A helper utility within a software application that performs a particular task. For example, a letter wizard within a word processing program would guide you through the necessary steps to write different types of correspondence.
WML Wireless mark-up language, the equivalent of HTML in the wireless environment.
World Wide Web (WWW) A network of web servers connected by the Internet,that support specially formatted documents. The documents are formatted in a markup language called HTML (HyperText Markup Language) that supports links to other documents, as well as graphics, audio, and video files, permitting jumps from one document to another simply by clicking on hot spots. Some people use "internet" and "the web" interchangeably, even though the web is a service that operates over the internet.
WYSIWYG ‘What You See is What You Get’ is a feature of a computer application. Such applications are designed to display on screen the exact appearance of the desired output.
XAML XAML is a vendor-neutral standard developed jointly by Bowstreet, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Oracle and Sun, used to coordinate and process online business transactions. Based on XML, XAML uses a set of XML message formats and interaction models that web services can use to provide business-level transactions that span multiple parties across the internet.
XML XML is a pared-down version of the SGML markup language, and offers a powerful set of commands used by web designers to create customised webpages.
YOY Year On Year / Year Over Year. A means of comparing data from one year to the next. For example, to compare online holiday retail revenue from last year to this year.
YSM Yahoo! Search Marketing.
Zero Latency Latency is a time delay between the moment something is started, and the moment one of the effects of that event begins. When there is no time lapse between the event and the effect, it's called zero latency. In analytics, this term is used to describe instantaneous receipt of data and the ability to analyse and act on that data.
Zero-page Visit A visit that included no page views. This is possible if a visit consisted of at least one request for a non-page file (such as a graphic) but no page files (such as .html, asp, .jsp, or .cfm.).
Zip A popular compression program for compacting files before moving them across a network.