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Affiliate marketing glossary with the 150 must-know terms and jargon

Affiliate marketing glossary with the 150 must-know terms and jargon

Affiliate marketing is full of abbreviations and specific expressions and for new affiliates, this can sometimes be frustrating and confusing. That’s why we collected and explained the most used terms in affiliate marketing, media buying, and SEO, especially for you. 

301 redirect

A 301 redirect is a permanent redirect that passes full link equity (ranking power) to the redirected page. 301 refers to the HTTP status code for this type of redirect. Most often, the 301 redirect method is the best for implementing redirects on a website and/or landing page.

302 redirect

Use 302 redirects when the URL of a resource is changed temporarily. For cases in which the redirect truly is temporary, a 302 may be the most appropriate.

307 redirect

A 307 redirect is the HTTP 1.1 successor of the 302 redirect. While the major crawlers will treat it like a 302 in some cases, it is best to use a 301 for almost all cases. The exception to this is when content is moved only temporarily (such as during maintenance) AND the server has already been identified by the search engines as 1.1 compatible.

A/B Test

See Split Testing

AD Copy

this is the combination of headline, main text, and CTA written to form an ad

AD Exchange

An ad exchange is a technology platform (DSP) that facilitates the buying and selling of media advertising inventory from multiple ad networks. Prices for the inventory are determined through real-time bidding (RTB). Please see RTB

AD Network

An online advertising network or ad network is a company that connects advertisers to websites that want to host advertisements. The key function of an ad network is an aggregation of ad supply from publishers and matching it with the advertiser's demand. Ad Networks are used by media buyers (affiliates) to drive traffic to different affiliate offers.

Adult Dating

Adult dating is allowed to use nude creatives and nude images on landing pages. Usually, the funnel is very aggressive and adult dating offers are allowed for promotion only on porn sites.


An advertiser in the affiliate world is the owner of an offer/product. They pay their affiliates for every lead or sale. When a traffic network speaks about “Advertisers”, they refer to people who buy traffic from their inventory.


Adware, often called advertising-supported software, is software that generates revenue for its developer by automatically generating online advertisements in the user interface of the software or on a screen presented to the user during the installation process. Adware is usually forbidden in every AD Network, so don’t use even think to use it

Affiliate Link

It is unique for every offer you promote. It enables the advertiser and/or the network to track any activity. 

Affiliate Manager

The person responsible for managing an online affiliate program for an affiliate merchant. In one ideal world, your Affiliate Manager (AM) should be your new best friend because his job is to help you make money.

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is a type of performance-based marketing in which an advertiser pays one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought by the affiliate's own marketing efforts.

Affiliate Marketing Forum

An online community where users can get access to information or/and help on various topics related to the affiliate marketing industry. Free forums are the best you can start learn affiliate marketing and receive some free information about the affiliate business

Affiliate Program

An arrangement through which the advertiser pays a fee to an affiliate for the action of generating clicks, sales, or leads from links located on that affiliate’s website. These can also be known as partner, associate, revenue sharing, or referral programs.

Alexa Rank

Alexa rank is a measure of website popularity. It ranks millions of websites in order of popularity, with an Alexa Rank of 1 being the most popular. If you can rank your website in Alexa top 100 we will make a lot of money

Anchor Text

The anchor text, link label, or link text is the visible, clickable text in an HTML hyperlink.


Think about your angle like a “story” to tell with your creatives. If you promote a dating site you can use different angles like: 1) beautiful women near to your place; 2) your friend will be jealous when they see what kind of woman you are dating; 3)are you tired to be alone?  So this is the angle – the approach you use to reach your audience. 


Application Programming Interface (API) is an interface that defines interactions between multiple software applications or mixed hardware-software intermediaries.


The APK extension stands for Android Package Kit and is the file format used for installing Android applications.

Auto-Download Offers

Once the final user clicks the creative, the content is automatically downloaded without his consent. These offers usually are forbidden and they are considered for blackhat offers so better don’t promote them!


A backlink for a given web resource is a link from some other website to that web resource. A web resource maybe a website, web page, or web directory.

Bait & Switch Content

This involves getting a page to rank in search engines with relevant content and then once it's ranking, switch out the content with something else (ads, Clickbank offers, affiliate links, etc). 

Banner AD

Banner Ad or Display Ad is one of the main forms of online advertising. The most used banner formats are 300x250 and 728x90 for desktop and 320x50 & 250x250 for mobile.

Black Hat SEO

Black hat SEO are tactics that are used to rank a website that violates search engine guidelines. Black hat SEO techniques attempt to manipulate search engine algorithms to increase a site's rankings on the SERPs. Better don’t use it if you don’t have a lot of experience in SEO! See SEPR & SEO


If you have a RON campaign but you realize you need to stop buying traffic from unprofitable spots, you’ll create a filter – Black List (BL) – containing those “bad” websites/placements.

Bot Traffic

Bot traffic describes any non-human traffic to a website or an app. The term bot traffic often carries negative feelings, but in reality, bot traffic isn't necessarily good or bad; it all depends on the purpose of the bots. For example, Google bots can be good for SEO affiliates

CC Submit Offer

CC Submit (Credit Card) Submit offer – you will earn a commission only if the user enters his credit card information. CC Submit offers are not recommended for new affiliates.


A chargeback is a return of money to a payer of some transaction, especially a credit card transaction. The chargeback reverses a money transfer from the consumer's bank account, line of credit, or credit card

Click Fraud

Click fraud is a type of fraud that occurs on the Internet in pay-per-click (PPC) online advertising. Click Fraud can be caused by humans or bots. If you are sending a lot of fake /bot clicks there is a chance that the affiliate network and or the advertiser will ban you and you will not receive any money from them. 

Click ID

It’s the user’s identification code. It contains info about the country, city, browser, hour, day, etc. It essentially contains data of where and when the user performed an action. You will see this in every tracker used in affiliate marketing.

Click-Through Rate

Click-through rate (CTR) is the ratio of users who click on a specific link to the number of total users who view a page, email, or advertisement. It is commonly used to measure the success of an online advertising campaign for a particular website as well as the effectiveness of email campaigns, but good CTR doesn’t mean profit automatically!


Cloaking is a blackhat search engine optimization technique in which the content presented to the search engine spider is different from that presented to the user's browser. Using cloaking is against the rules of all traffic networks, social media, and search engines!

Content Farm

The content farm generates a large amount of textual web content which is specifically designed to satisfy algorithms for maximal retrieval by automated search engines. 

Contextual Link

A contextual link is any link to a relevant site within a body of text. Used in SEO practice.


When your visitors make the desired action – most often – sale or lead. 

Conversion Rate

Conversion Rate (CR) is one of the most important metrics in affiliate marketing and media buying. It shows the percentage of visitors to your website/offer’s landing page who complete the desired action (sale or lead) out of the total number of visitors. 


Cookies are small files that hold data specific to a particular visitor and website or landing page. This can be accessed either by the web server or the user’s computer

Cookie stuffing

Cookie stuffing creates wrongful attribution. It’s essentially stealing the credit for someone else’s attribution. Strongly forbidden! Don’t use it because nowadays it is easily detectable!

CPA – Cost Per Action

Advertiser or Affiliate network pays you only for an action which can be a sale, lead, subscription, etc. 

CPC – Cost Per Click

You pay to the advertising network for every click you receive from it.

CPL – Cost Per Lead

The Advertiser or the affiliate network pays you CPL price every time when the visitor sent by you fills a form with personal data – e-mail, name, phone, etc.

CPM – Cost Per One Thousand Impressions

CPM comes from Cost Per Mile. If the CPM price is $1 you pay 1$ whenever visitors see your creative 1000 times. 

CPS – Cost Per Sale

A payment model where you receive your affiliate commission only if the visitor you sent via your affiliate link makes a purchase (buy something) from the advertiser. 

CPV – Cost Per View

This price model usually is used when you buy pop traffic or redirect traffic and you pay whenever the end-user sees your ad (landing page).


Any promo which is used by affiliates and media buyers to grab the user’s attention. It can be a banner, landing page, email copy, short video clip, etc. 

CSV file

CSV file is a type of Excel file. It’s used in databases

CTA Button

Call-to-action (CTA) buttons are those big (usually) buttons you use on your pre-landing page to forward the visitors to the offer’s page where they will do a particular action – buy a product, register to a dating site, or something else.

Daily Budget

When you start a paid advertising campaign you can limit your daily budget and when it is reached the campaign will stop automatically and restarts on the next day. A very useful tool for new media buyers. Use it whenever you start a new campaign!


You can target only specific days and/or hours when you start a campaign but most affiliates run their campaigns 24/7 first for a week or two and after enough data is collected they start the dayparting campaigns. If you want to do dayparting always use a tracker before take any decisions!

Demand-Side Platforms

A demand-side platform (DSP) is a system that allows advertisers and media buyers to manage multiple ad exchanges in one interface. Not recommended for new media buyers!

Direct Billing Flow

Used in mobile affiliate marketing, pin-submits vertical. This means the billing is made directly from the visitor’s cell phone balance through to the MSISDN detection.

Direct Buy

This means you are buying traffic directly from the website’s owner. The main pro is you can buy it cheaper because there is no middle man. The main con – you cant target specific browsers, OS, carriers because you have a deal to buy the whole traffic. Recommended only for experienced media buyers!

Domain Authority

Domain Authority (DA) is Moz’s way of telling us how well a website should rank, using a 0 to 100 scale. The higher the DA, the better chance it has to rank.

Double Opt-In 

Double-Opt-In (DOI) means the subscriber needs to confirm the subscription. Usually, DOI leads are of higher quality because the user confirms they are interested in the offer. If you have good traffic you can send it to DOI offers.

Dynamic Tracking

This is crucial for media buyers! Almost all traffic sources offer a lot of tracking tokens (macros) that you can use on your offer’s link and gather all the data you need – country, city, OS, OS Version, device type, used browser, etc.

Earnings Per Click

Earnings Per Click (EPC) is one of the most important metrics in affiliate marketing. It means how much money you can earn from every 100 clicks on your ad. How to calculate it? Take your total earnings for a campaign (let’s say $240), divide this amount by the number of clicks received (let’s say 1200 clicks), and multiple by 100. 240/1200=0.2*100=20. In our example, EPC is 20 or in other words, we will receive $20 for every 100 clicks

External Linking

MOZ says: External Links are hyperlinks that point at (target) any domain other than the domain the link exists on (source).

Fired Pixel

This is an expression in affiliate marketing, which means that the Click ID was generated. See Click ID for more info. The pixel can be also fired when there is a conversion (lead, sale, or subscription). 

Flat Deal 

This is similar to direct buy but in a flat deal, you can buy also from the middle man (traffic network). Again you can buy the whole traffic from a website or placement but you can’t target closely.

Frequency Capping

How many times one user see every ad for some time period (usually 24 hours) If you have frequency capping 1/24 this ad will be shown only 1 time, if you have 3/24 it will be shown 3 times for 24, and so on. 

GEO Target

Target a specific country when you start an ad campaign.


HTML is the standard markup language for creating Web pages. Here you can read the HTML basics.


A link from a hypertext document to another location, activated by clicking on a highlighted word or image.


Whenever a site’s visitors see one ad, we have an impression.

In-House offers

In-house offers mean an advertiser or an affiliate network owns these offers.

Incentive traffic

Incentive traffic means visitors will receive some rewards for their interaction. This reward can be money, free stuff, coupons, or something else. Usually, affiliate networks don’t like incentive traffic.

Indie Program

Independent Affiliate Program – an advertiser who runs his own affiliate program without using the affiliate network’s services. 

Internal Linking

According to MOZ Internal Links are hyperlinks that point at (target) the same domain as the domain that the link exists on (source).


Keywords are the words and phrases that people type into search engines to find what they’re looking for.

Keyword Density

Keyword density is the percentage of times a keyword or phrase appears on a web page compared to the total number of words on the page.

Keyword Research

If you are an SEO affiliate the keyword research is the main thing you need to start your campaign. Keyword research is what your future visitors and clients are searching for and what will take to rank these keywords in search engines. If you want to know more about this topic, please read this article from Neil Patel.

Keyword Stuffing

Adding your keyword into an article an unnatural amount of times in order to appear in the searches for that keyword. Blackhat SEO technique!

Link Building

Link Building is when you are getting hyperlinks from websites other than your own (for example different social media or forums)

Link Juice

The value of authority passed on from one website to another through a hyperlink.

LSI Keyword

LSI keywords are search terms related to the main keyword you are targeting. This is for SEO affiliates

Mainstream Dating

In mainstream dating, nude images are not allowed so you can advertise them in different traffic sources – push, native, and even search engine. The main rule here: be sure your creatives match traffic source’s requirements and you don’t violate any policies!

Manual Approval

It can mean 2 things: 1) manual approval of your ad campaign – when it is reviewed by humans and 2) when you want to be accepted in affiliate network you will pass some form of “interview” by phone, mail, or chat.

Maximum Budget

The maximum amount of money you can or you want to spend on a campaign. When the maximum budget is reached the campaign will stop automatically. You can combine it with a Daily budget.

Media Buyer

A person who buys traffic from different traffic sources like social media, search engines, or native advertising networks.

Meta description

The meta description is an HTML attribute that provides a brief summary of a web page. It is very important for SEO affiliates, not so important for media buyers.

Meta Tag

Meta tags provide information about the webpage in the HTML of the document. Again it is mainly used for SEO purposes

Meta Title

Another important site attribute: The title tag is the title element of a web page that summarizes the content found on this page.

Mobile affiliates

They run only mobile phone campaigns and target mobile phone users. 

Mobile billing

This is also known as carrier billing – the user pays for a service or software via his mobile device. 

Niche Marketing

A promoting and selling a product or service to a specialized segment of a market.


One of the main verticals related to health, weight loss, etc. products

Off-Page SEO

Off-page SEO  refers to links and other external signals 

On-Page SEO

On-page SEO is the practice of optimizing web pages in order to rank higher in search engines. On-page refers to both the content and HTML source code of a page that can be optimized.

Opt-In Email 

Opt-in email is a term used when someone is not initially added to an emailing list and is instead given the option to join the emailing list.

Outbound Link

link from your own website to another website.


PageRank is one of the algorithms used by Google Search to rank web pages in their search engine results. PageRank is a way of measuring the importance of website pages. Extremely important if you drive traffic from search engines (Google).

Paid Search

This is when big search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo show paid ads on their search engine result pages. Here you pay only if the users click on your ad, that is why this traffic often is called PPC (Pay Per Click)

Pay Bump

This is when the payout for an offer is increased from the affiliate network side

Payment Threshold

The minimum amount of commissions you need to have before withdrawing your money. In the different affiliate networks the payment threshold is different but most often is somewhere between $50 and $500.


This is what you will earn for one conversion. It depends on too many factors – offer’s type, GEO, the vertical, etc. 

Postback URL

This is every new affiliate’s nightmare. A Click ID value is generated and sent to your affiliate network via a withdrawn HTTP request. Later, when a conversion happens, the affiliate network passes this value right back to your tracker. Once this action is completed, you see a conversion in your reports. Postback URL Tracking is also known as server-side or Server-to-Server (S2S) tracking.


Pay Per Click Model. If you use it you will pay only when the final user clicks on your ad.


Pay Per Lead – affiliate receives a commission every time when a lead is generated.


Pay Per Sale – affiliate receives a commission only there is a confirmed sale


The pre-landing page is a bridge between the traffic source you are using and the offer’s landing page where you are sending this (cold) traffic.

Premium Targeting

Target only a specific zone or spot of a desired website. Usually, the competition here is big.

Private Blog Network

A Private Blog Network (PBN), which is a collection of websites that all point to each other in order to pass on the authority to a money website. It is a Blackhat SEO technique! Use it carefully because search engines will penalize your site if they detect you are using PBN.


A proxy is essentially used to mask your IP address and allow you to send & transmit information without revealing your real location. You can use proxies to spy on your competition manually for example.


A person who sells his traffic to an affiliate network.


Your website's position in search engines within one or more pages for a keyword. Usually used in SEO.

Raw Clicks

Raw clicks show every click on your offer link. Raw clicks for example are our own clicks when we test the offer and tracker’s setup.

Real-Time Bidding

Real-Time Bidding (RTB) - Each impression is dynamically bid on based on different criteria such as placement, category, device, carrier, etc. Usually, if you offer the highest bid you will receive the best part of the available traffic.


Redirection is the process of forwarding a URL to a different URL.

Referral Fee

A referral fee is a commission paid to the person or entity that facilitated a deal by linking up a potential customer with an opportunity (sale or lead)

Referring Domain

Referring domain is this domain from which a unique user arrives at your landing page and/or offer page.

Referring URL

Referring URL is a URL from which a unique user arrives at your landing page and/or offer page.


Retargeting is a very useful technique in affiliate marketing – it allows you to show specific ads to users who already are interested in your products or services.


Robots.txt is a text file webmasters create to instruct web robots (typically search engine robots) how to crawl pages on their website. You don’t need a robots.txt file if you have only landing pages and don’t own any websites.


Return Of Investment (ROI) is the main indicator that shows your success. Subtract your traffic’s cost from the affiliate commissions you have. If the received number is positive then you have a profitable ad campaign.

Run Of Network

Run Of Network (RON) – an ad campaign where you will receive traffic from all websites which are in a traffic source’s inventory.

Search Engine

We all know Google and it is the best example of a search engine – you can search text, video, images using keywords.

Search Engine Optimization

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) - In simple terms, it means the process of improving your site to increase its visibility for relevant searches in search engines like Google and Bing.

The better visibility your pages have in these searches, the more likely you are to garner attention and attract visitors to your affiliate site.


A group of elements that define a user’s path. This term combines such elements as Device, Browser, Operating System (OS), Country, City. An example of a segment can be Google Chrome – Android – London.

SEO affiliates

Usually, they don’t buy traffic for their websites but put efforts to rank them in search engines. 


Search Engine Results Pages

Single Offer

An offer designed only for a specific segment like UK – Vodafone – iOS

Single Opt-In

Single Opt-In (SOI) – you will get your commission after the user makes a single action – usually submitting an email. You will find a lot of SOI offers in dating and sweepstakes verticals


Offers rotator (at least 2 in every vertical and GEO) which uses an algorithm for optimizing the offers.

SMS Billing Flow

Users need to send or insert their mobile phone numbers. It works well with both carrier and wi-fi traffic.


Split-Testing is also known as A/B testing. With simple words, this is when you test two or more different (versions) of creatives, ad copies, landing pages, or even offers against the other to find the one that earns more money for you.


Depending on the traffic source you can have different spots – for example, banner 300x250


A domain that is part of your main domain. For example

Supply-Side Platforms (SSP)

Web-based places that connect publishers and/or webmasters and ad exchanges.

Sweepstakes Offer

The user will have a chance to win something –  a new iPhone or a $500 Amazon voucher – if he fills a short form with his name and email. Sweepstakes can be SOI or DOI or CC Submit.

Targeted marketing

Targeted marketing is an approach to raise awareness for a product or service among a specific (targeted) group of audiences that might be interested in this product. For example, you can target dog owners if you sell dog food or dog grooming services.


A tracking token is a dynamically generated variable provided by a paid traffic sources. In offer URLs, tokens are used to track specific info in an ad campaign.  You should add multiple tokens to your tracking software in order to help you optimize your campaigns. If you need help with tokens you always can ask your tracker’s support.

Tracking Platform

This type of platform allows you to track paid ad campaigns. Tracking platforms can be cloud hosted or self-hosted. Usually, the new affiliates choose cloud-hosted tracking software.

Tracking URL

The URL of a website with a specific code attached to it. All visitors that arrive at the website will be tracked through this code


Website traffic refers to web users who visit a website. Web traffic is measured in visits or sessions

Unique click

The opposite of the raw click. Here the rule is: 1  user = 1 unique click


URL or Uniform Resource Locator is an acronym. Basically, it means a website’s address.

Web Crawler

Web Crawlers sometimes called a spider or bot and often shortened to crawler, is an Internet bot that systematically browses the Internet. Typical examples are Google or Bing crawlers. Some affiliates hide their landing pages from this type of bots.

Web Host

You can use a web host to store your landing pages

White Hat SEO

White Hat SEO is when you are playing by the Search Engine’s rules and strictly follow their policies.

White Label

A white-label product is a product or service produced by one company that other companies rebrand to make it appear as if they had made it. 


A list of the sites which have quality traffic for your offers or that you are targeting exclusively in your campaign.

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