Online Advertising

February 2017

Introduction to Online Advertising

Online advertising is an advertising method that allows webmasters to make their website financially profitable and cover the costs of hosting and domain names. It is also a special way of ensuring that the services and/or products that your website offers will be promoted. Online advertising is aimed of course at Internet users, i.e. the ideal audience for such an advertising campaign.

Online advertising generally takes the form of an advertising campaign through the posting of graphic advertising banners or sponsored links in text form.

Specialized companies called "advertising firms" are generally the recommended channel for advertising campaign management. These companies are an intermediary between the advertisers (who want to run an advertising campaign) and the publishers (the owners of the websites that agree to reserve part of their advertising space for the posting of advertising banners). The advertising firms receive a percentage of the revenue earned in advertising campaigns, or "firm costs". Firm costs are generally between 30% and 60% of revenue.

Method of Payment

There are different methods of payment:

  • CPC (cost per click) means that payment for advertising is proportional to the number of unique clicks on advertising banners
  • CPM (cost per milli or cost per impression) means that the method of payment is based on the number of views. This advertising model is generally reserved for websites with high traffic volume (more than one million pages viewed per month).
  • CPS (cost per sale) means that payment for advertising is based on the number of visitor clicks that lead to a sale

Legal Steps

In order to be able to collect advertising revenues earned this way, both freelance workers and companies must be registered at the chamber of commerce (at least in France).

Banner Formats

There are many banner formats that have been standardized by the IAB (Internet Advertising Bureau). The table below lists the main formats and their names:

Name Width Height
Banner 468 60
Navigation Banner 392 72
Half Banner 234 60
Vertical Banner 120 240
Button 1 120 90
Button 2 120 60
Square Button 125 125
Micro Button 88 31
Square 250 250
Rectangle 180 150
Vertical Rectangle 240 400
Medium Rectangle 300 250
Large Rectangle 336 280
Skyscraper 120 600
Wide Skyscraper 160 600
16/9 320 180
Half Skyscraper 160 320

Several other related technologies exist:

  • A pop-up is an advertisement that opens in a new browsing window after a banner is clicked. This advertising method is increasingly being blocked by browsers because Internet users find it to be annoying.
  • A pop-under is an advertisement that opens under the current browsing window after the mouse is moved over a banner. This advertising method can give disseminate information to users without being as intrusive as pop-ups.
  • Rich media means the use of JavaScript, layers, Flash, sound and/or video in advertising banners.

The Concept of Capping

In order to keep Internet users from constantly seeing the same ad, advertising firms generally use a technique involving cookies that help to limit a campaign to a certain number of ads per visitor. This system is called "capping".

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This document, titled "Online Advertising," is available under the Creative Commons license. Any copy, reuse, or modification of the content should be sufficiently credited to CCM (