Google AdSense Glossary Terms

Google AdSense Wiki – A Guide to Understand AdSense Jargons

Here is the glossary of various terms used in AdSense and Pay Per Click advertising world. Every phrase with the dictionary meaning in the advertising world is explained for the benefit of webmasters.

Term Used in AdSenseDetailed Description
A/B TestingThis is a method to test the performance of two different advertisements or two variations of the same advertisement. For example, you can display the ad with and without border. At the end of the experiment, AdSense will show the winner which can be chosen to increase the revenue.
Above the FoldAbove the fold is the part of a web page which can be seen without scrolling down further. Above the fold content is most important for site owners to provide eye-catching information to users. The term is derived from the newspaper usage where important information is offered on the first half of the paper which can be seen when the paper is folded half. This has the same literal meaning for a web page with the content seen without scrolling down is called as “above the fold” content.
Account TypeGoogle offers AdSense account for Business and Individuals. Both type of accounts have same payment structure whereas business accounts are paid on the name of the company and individual accounts are paid on account holder name.
Ad CodeAd Code is the HTML code generated from AdSense account for any formats of ads. The ad code is placed on a web page of any approved website to receive and display ads from Google servers. Below is an example of AdSense ad code generated for the ad size 336x280 large rectangle:

AdSense Ad Code
Ad CoverageAd coverage is the ratio of ad requests received to the ads returned to the site.
Ad CTRAd click through rate is the number of clicks on an ad divided by the number of ad impressions expressed as a percentage. For example, if an Link Ad is delivered 100 times and received one click, then the click through rate for that advertisement would be 1%.

Ad CTR = (Number of Clicks / Number of Ad Impressions) * 100 %
Ad ImpressionWhen an individual ad is successfully displayed on a webpage then an ad impression is accounted in your AdSense report. Important point here is that different ad types are accounted for different count in the report, for example a vertical banner ad displayed on a site will be counted as two ad impressions in the AdSense report.
Ad PlacementAd Placement is classified into two types - one from the advertiser's perspective and other from publisher's perspective. Every approved site is automatically available for advertisers for the purpose of ad placement and publishers can place the advertiser's ad in any place on their site.
Ad RequestCount of requests received from a site to display ads, each ad script placed on a site sends a request every time to Google's server to display ad units. The count is increased when the ad request is received from an ad script even though no ads were returned or backup ads were displayed.
Ad Request CTRAd request Click Through Rate is the number of ads clicked divided by the number of ad requests.
Ad Request RPMAd request revenue per thousand impressions is calculated by dividing the estimated earnings by number of ad requests made then multiplying by 1000.

Ad Request RPM = (Estimated Earnings / Number of Ad Requests) * 1000
Ad RPMAd revenue per thousand impression (RPM) is calculated by dividing the estimated earnings by number ad impression received and multiplied by 1000.

Ad RPM = (Estimated Earnings / Number of Ad Impressions) * 1000
Ad Size or Ad FormatVarious sizes of ad units that you use with AdSense for content ads. Only ad units that have been created and saved to your account appear in your AdSense report.
Ad TypeThe ad types are - text, image, animated image, Flash, rich media, video, and link units. If a particular ad type is not displayed on your pages, you may not see it listed in your AdSense report.
Ad UnitAn ad unit is a single ad (Example - Display Ads) or a set of ads (Example - Link Unit) displayed as a result of one piece of AdSense code. You can use the same piece of ad code more than once to show an ad unit with the same settings on multiple pages or sites.
AdSenseAdSense is a popular and reliable pay per click advertising program offered by Google for web publishers to earn revenue from their online content.
AdSense CrawlerCrawler is a piece of software code used to collect the information of each web pages available in the internet and index in the database. AdSense crawler is used to collect the page content in order to serve relevant ads on that page. Note AdSense crawler is different than the web crawler used by Google for search engine indexing.
AdWordsAdWords is a pay per click advertising program for advertisers offered by Google. It is one of the major sources of income for Google and part of the revenue coming from AdWords is shared with publishers through AdSense program. The original advertising model of sponsored pay per click ads on search results was used by Bill Gross in his site Google’s attempt of buying that idea was failed and Google launched its own solution in 2005 with the name AdWords similar to Bill Gross’s model. This resulted in legal dispute and Google settled this outside the court.
Backup AdBackup ad is displayed when Google does not display any targeted ads for any particular ad request. This is set by the publishers in their AdSense account as a color, image or URL.
Bid TypeDetermines how advertisers will pay you for your ad space - for click on ads (cost-per-click: CPC) or for number of times an ad gets displayed (cost-per-thousand impressions: CPM).
Blank AdWhen there is no ad to display and no backup ad is setup then the blank ad is displayed. Blank ad is blend with the background of the site and hence not visible to the visitors.
Click Through Rate (CTR)CTR stands for Click Through Rate and is calculated by dividing number of click with the number of page views or ad impressions and is generally measured as a percentage value.
ClicksClicks is the number of times an AdSense ad displaying on a page is being clicked by users. If the advertiser has chosen to pay for a click then the publisher will accrue the earning for each click after the portion of amount deducted by Google as a revenue sharing. Since the publisher earns for each click, this advertising model is referred as Pay Per Click model.

For AdSense link units ads, the clicks on the ads are received through the clicks from the link unit.
Cost Per Click (CPC)Cost Per Click is the amount earned by a publisher each time a user clicks on an ad. In AdSense reports, CPC is calculated by dividing the estimated earnings by the number of clicks received.

CPC = Estimated Earnings / Number of Clicks Received
CPMCost-per-Mile (CPM) - M in Roman numeral is equal to 1000. CPM also stands for Cost Per Thousand impressions. The amount paid by an advertiser for accruing 1000 impressions of an ad.
Effective CPM (eCPM)Also called as Revenue per thousand impressions (RPM). AdSense RPM of a page (or an ad unit) is the estimated earnings a publisher will be paid for every 1000 impressions received. For example, if an advertiser pays $1 for a click for an Banner Ad and the ad received 2000 visitors per week then eCPM is calculated as below:

Ad TypeCPCVisitorsClicksDuration
Banner$12000101 Week
eCPM = $1 * (10 / 2000) * 1000 = $5
Estimated EarningsEstimated earnings is the close estimates of your recent account activity which will be finalized at the end of the month. This is just to show you instantly the estimated earnings for the activities happened on your account and may not be the actual amount you will ultimately be paid.
EventEvents are changes made to your ad units, custom channels, blocking options etc., since the creation of your account.
Finalized EarningsFinalized earnings are accurate earnings amounts after the accrued clicks and impressions are validated by Google. After Google process and verify the earnings records by 10th of the month, finalized earnings from the previous month will be displyed in your AdSense account.
Matched CTRThe matched request click through rate (CTR) is the percentage of matched requests that led to a click.

Matched CTR = Number of Clicks / Number of Matched Requests
Matched RequestsCount of each ad request that returned at least one ad to the site. It is the number of ad units (for content ads) or search queries (for search ads) that showed ads.
Matched RPMThe matched request revenue per thousand impressions (RPM) is the average earnings per 1000 matched requests.

Matched RPM = (Estimated Earnings / Matched Requests) * 1000
Page Clcik Through Rate (Page CTR)Page Click through rate is the number of ad clicks divided by the number of page views.

Page CTR = Number of Clicks / Number of Page Views
Page RPMPage Revenue Per 1000 Impression signifies the estimated earnings accrued by a publisher for every 1000 impressions received.

Page RPM = (Estimated Earnings / Number of Page Views) * 1000
PageViewsPage views is the number of times a web page displaying AdSense ad is being viewed by a visitor. It is an important metric used in performance reporting. For example, page RPM is the amount a publisher will earn when a page is viewed 1000 times. Also advertisers can choose a CPM model in AdWords where they can pay for 1000 page views.

Google accounts a page view in reporting when a page is viewed each time regardless of how many ads are being displayed on that page.
PlatformsEnables you to see if your ad units were viewed on a desktop computer, a high-end mobile device or another mobile device.
Publisher IDPublisher ID is a unique identification number linked with each AdSense account and is part of each ad unit generated under the specified account. Publisher ID can be found in every ad codes showing as: "Pub-xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx"
Query CTRQuery CTR is a reporting term used in AdSense for measuring performance of an ad based on search queries. It is calculated as number of clicks divided by number of search queries and expressed in percentage.
RPMRPM is the estimated earnings a publisher will earn for thousand page views or impressions.
Targetting TypeThe way an advertiser targets ads on a publisher's website. AdSense offers the following targeting types:

  • Contextual targeting, based on keywords that Google finds on your site.

  • Placement targeting, where an advertiser specifically requests to place ads on your site.

  • Interest-based advertising, targeting users based on the kinds of websites that they visit.
Unpaid EarningsUnpaid finalized earnings are accurate earnings amounts that include all revenue you will be paid for validated clicks and impressions.

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