Welcome to the Rakuten Affiliate Network - Publisher Help Center! Find hundreds of instructive articles and video tutorials for immediate self-service assistance 24/7. START HERE if you are new to affiliate marketing.

>>NEW! Choose your preferred language for automatic translation by clicking the Tx button at the lower right.<<

You must SIGN IN (below right) with your publisher account credentials to see all help articles and to make full use of Search. You can log in to your Publisher Account Dashboard here and select "Affiliate". If you are not already registered as a publisher SIGN UP now -- it's free!

Glossary of Terms

 
  • 1x1 pixel

    A pixel (short for Picture Element) is a single point in a graphic image. A 1x1 pixel is a tracking device that is one pixel long by one pixel wide and records the number of impressions generated by a particular site. The Rakuten Affiliate Network uses 1x1 pixels to track all text link impressions and banners not served by the Rakuten Affiliate Network.
  • ACH

    Automated Clearing House (ACH) is the name of an electronic network for financial transactions in the United States. Rakuten Affiliate Network uses the ACH service for its direct deposit transactions. Therefore, ACH is synonymous with Direct Deposit on the Rakuten Affiliate Network.
  • Active publisher

    The Rakuten Affiliate Network defines an active publisher as one who has had a click in the network in the past 30 days. Each affiliate program may chose to define active using their own criteria.
  • Actual commissions

    The net commissions earned by a publisher after adjustments such as cancellation and returns.
  • Ad Network/Sub Affiliate Network

    A publisher with its own network of distribution partners.
  • Adjusted Commissions

    Commissions that are revised due to cancellations, returns, manual bonuses, paid placement fees or other reasons.
  • Ad tracking

    Calculating the number of impressions and click-throughs generated by ads, typically banner ads. Companies like DoubleClick that serve ads on thousands of Web sites track those ads and then provide that information to their clients. The Rakuten Affiliate Network also tracks ads through to a sale so that advertisers can determine their customer-acquisition cost.
  • Advertiser

    Within the Rakuten Affiliate Network, this is a company or organization selling products or services online that participates in affiliate marketing. Formerly known as merchant or brand.
  • Advertiser Dashboard

    The Rakuten Affiliate Network interface that advertisers see when they sign into their account. Advertisers use the dashboard to manage every aspect of their affiliate program.
  • Affiliate

    A person or organization running a website that partners with one or more online advertisers. The affiliate places links on its site to promote the advertiser's products or services. In exchange, the affiliate receives a commission for all valid transactions it has referred. Also referred to as a publisher in the Rakuten Affiliate Network.
  • Affiliate ID

    The 11-character alphanumeric code unique to a publisher. This can be found in your Rakuten Affiliate Network linking code, following “id=” and before “&offerid=”. Also known as the encrypted ID or tracking ID Please note: the tracking code is not your Rakuten Affiliate Network user name or SID.
  • Affiliate link

    A special URL in the Rakuten Affiliate Network that contains a publisher's tracking information. When a consumer clicks on a link on a publisher's site it directs the user to an advertiser's site. It may be represented as a text link, banner or product image.
  • All products offer

    A commission structure in which all referred orders are paid out at the same rate. Formerly know as an All Goods offer.
  • Amount

    The sum of the transaction.
  • Approval

    The acceptance of a publisher into an advertiser's affiliate program. Once a publisher has been accepted into an advertiser's program, the publisher will have access to links and can start placing links on the publisher's site. In the Publisher Dashboard that advertiser’s name appears on the publisher’s Links and My Programs pages. Advertiser may choose to either automatically accept a publisher's application or manually review it before approval.
  • Auto-approve

    A method of allowing publishers to join an advertiser's affiliate program without waiting for site review and manual acceptance.
  • Auto-Redirect

    A method of sending a user or redirecting the user through another website or link without the user's consent. This is often associated with downloadable software applications (DSAs). This practice is not acceptable in the Rakuten Affiliate Network.
  • Automatic Approval

    "See Auto-Approve"
  • Average Order Size or Average Order Value (AOV)

    A reporting metric that represents the sum of sales divided by the number of orders.
  • Banner

    A Rakuten Affiliate Network link type in the form of a digital ad that is available in many sizes, that publishers place on their site to promote an advertisers product or brand.
  • Baseline Commissions

    Baseline Commissions represents commissions you’ve earned from advertiser’s baseline programs. These do not include special offers, and other adjustments such as cancellations and returns.
  • Black Hat Tactics

    Techniques for violating eCommerce processes or internet security, including cookie stuffing and bidding on keyword search terms against a company's policy.
  • Brick and mortar

    A store that exists in physical reality as opposed to an e-commerce Web site, which exists in virtual reality. A retail store is constructed of brick and mortar.
  • Browser

    A software application such as Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome or Safari that is used to view websites.
  • Cache

    An area of space on a computer that temporarily stores web pages for display. This speeds up page viewing because pages are downloaded from a local computer instead of from the Web.
  • CAN SPAM Act of 2003

    The CAN SPAM (Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing) Act of 2003 makes it legal to send certain unsolicited commercial email communications, provided that they meet all the criteria of the Act. Unsolicited commercial email must include certain information of the sender's, include an “opt out” mechanism, not be deceptive or misleading, and meet other criteria.
  • Cancellation

    Reversal of a processed transaction in the Rakuten Affiliate Network. Advertisers can either send these via their tracking method or manually through the Advertiser Dashboard. Cancellation reasons vary by advertiser.
  • Channel email

    Email address associated with a publisher's Marketing Channel
  • Click-through

    When a website user clicks on a link on a publisher site and is taken to an advertiser's site.
  • Click-through rate

    The number of visitors who click an ad on a publisher's Web page (click-throughs) divided by the number of times the ad is delivered to them (impressions). For example, if a banner ad is delivered 100 times and one person clicks on it, the CTR is 1 percent. This is a common performance metric. Also known as CTR.
  • Clickstream

    The electronic path a user takes while navigating from site to site, and within a site, from page to page.
  • Commission

    The amount of compensation paid to a publisher participating in an advertiser's affilaite program for referring leads or generating sales.
  • Commissionable Transaction

    A customer action, generated by a publisher, that meets an advertiser's affiliate offer terms.
  • Consumer promotion

    Promotions that are ultimately directed to the consumer--coupons, free shipping, and so on.
  • Conversion rate

    The number of orders divided by the number of clicks. For example, if you received 1000 clicks and 10 orders, the conversion rate is 1 percent. This metric is found in several of the Rakuten Affiliate Network reports and is a good way to measure program performance. Also known as Orders/Click.
  • Cookie

    A small file on a consumer's computer that records information such as where the user has been on the Web. The Rakuten Affiliate Network uses cookies to track a customer's purchase and identify the publisher involved in a specific transaction in order to receive the commision, as well as determine whether the action occurred during the return day window.
  • Cookie Stuffing

    The action of publishers setting tracking cookies on a site causing the web browser to produce a click on a link and set a return day cookie on the computer regardless of the (known or unknown) action taken by the user to generate fraudulent affiliate transactions. Also known as Forced Clicks. This activity may be cause for removal from the Rakuten Affiliate Network.
  • Cost per action (CPA)

    A commission structure in which an advertiser pays a publisher every time one of their site's visitors makes a purchase, signs up for a service, or completes some other commissionable action on the advertiser's site. Also known as CPA.
  • Cost per click (CPC)

    A commission structure that compensates a publisher whenever their referred customer clicks on a link for an advertiser's offer. CPC is also an Internet-marketing formula used to price banner ads. Some advertisers will pay publishers based on the number of clicks a banner gets. Also known as CPC.
  • Cost per form (CPF)

    A commission structure in which publishers are paid a set amount every time a customer fills out a form, essentially paying them for a qualified lead. Also known as CPF
  • Cost per lead (CPL)

    A commission structure in which an advertiser pays a publisher for every qualified lead delivered to the advertiser. Typically, commission is set as a flat fee for each lead delivered. Also known as CPL.
  • Cost per mille (CPM)

    Cost per mille (mille is the Latin word meaning thousand) is a commission structure in which an advertiser pays a publisher for banner impressions . The amount paid per impression is calculated by dividing the CPM by 1,000. For example, a $10 CPM equals $.01 per impression. Also known as CPT or CPM.
  • Cost per sale (CPS)

    A commission structure in which an advertiser pays a publisher by giving them a percentage of each sale that they drive to the advertiser's site. Also known as CPS.
  • Cost per thousand impressions

    A commission structure in which an advertiser pays a publisher for banner impressions . The amount paid per impression is calculated by dividing the CPM by 1,000. For example, a $10 CPM equals $.01 per impression. Also known as CPT or CPM (mille is the Latin word meaning thousand).
  • CPA

    A commission structure in which an advertiser pays a publisher every time one of their site's visitors makes a purchase, signs up for a service, or completes some other commissionable action on the advertiser's site. Also known as cost per action.
  • CPC

    A commission structure that compensates a publisher whenever their referred customer clicks on a link for an advertiser's offer. CPC is also an Internet-marketing formula used to price banner ads. Some advertisers will pay publishers based on the number of clicks a banner gets. Also known as cost per click.
  • CPF

    A commission structure in which publishers are paid a set amount every time a customer fills out a form, essentially paying them for a qualified lead. Also known as cost per form.
  • CPL

    A commission structure in which an advertiser pays a publisher for every qualified lead delivered to the advertiser. Typically, commission is set as a flat fee for each lead delivered. Also known as cost per lead.
  • CPM

    A commission structure in which an advertiser pays a publisher for banner impressions . The amount paid per impression is calculated by dividing the CPM by 1,000. For example, a $10 CPM equals $.01 per impression. Also known as CPT or cost per thousand.
  • CPT

    A commission structure in which an advertiser pays a publisher for banner impressions . The amount paid per impression is calculated by dividing the CPM by 1,000. For example, a $10 CPM equals $.01 per impression. Also known as CPM or cost per thousand.
  • Creative categories

    Groupings created by advertisers to help publishers better find banners, text link and other creative in both the Publisher Dashboard and through the Merchandiser data feed.
  • Credit Card Fraud

    Any theft or fraud implemented using a credit card or any other payment method that is not approved by the true user. Advertisers are responsible for implementing measures to verify transactions. Rakuten Affiliate Network immediately terminates any publisher that it identifies as being a conduit for credit card fraud.
  • CTR

    The number of visitors who click an ad on a publisher's Web page (click-throughs) divided by the number of times the ad is delivered to them (impressions). For example, if a banner ad is delivered 100 times and one person clicks on it, the CTR is 1 percent. This is a common performance metric. Also known as click through rate.
  • Deep Link

    Links that direct visitors of a publisher's site to a specific page on an advertiser's site beyond the advertiser's homepage. An advertiser must enable this feature for a publisher to be able to build deep links.
  • Default creative

    Creative that is displayed if an advertiser's links expires in order to avoid a poor user experience. The Rakuten Affiliate Network requires advertisers to have one text link and one banner in place.
  • Direct Deposit

    Direct deposit is a method of payment allowing publishers to receive their commission through a direct transfer into their banking account.
  • Downloadable Software Application (DSA)

    A program that is downloaded onto a user's computer and is designed to help promote an advertiser’s offers to the user. This can include a toolbar, a bookmarklet, or a browser plug-in that is installed on a users’ computer to remind the user to take a specific action when arriving at a website.
  • Dynamic Rich Media (DRM)

    A link type that supports advanced technologies such as HTML JavaScript, video and more. Advertisers can automatically update this link across all publisher sites as often as needed.
  • Email Link

    Text links with special tracking code that allows publishers to place unique links in their email communications to consumers. From a user experience perspective, there is no difference between a text link and an email link.
  • Encrypted ID

    The 11-character alphanumeric code unique to a publisher. This can be found in your Rakuten Affiliate Network linking code, following “id=” and before “&offerid=”. Also known as the affiliate ID or tracking ID Please note: the tracking code is not your Rakuten Affiliate Network user name or SID.
  • Encryption

    The encoding of data in order to prevent anyone but the intended recipient from reading it. The Rakuten Affiliate Network encrypts all sensitive transmitted data, such as the numeric string of the site ID.
  • EPC

    A metric that is used for measuring the revenue potential and link conversion. It is calculated by dividing the commissions earned by the number of clicks (click-throughs) that generated these commissions. The Rakuten Affiliate Network uses Earnings per Hundred Clicks as it is easier to read. For example, if a link received 1000 clicks, and generated $5.00 in commissions, EPC would be shown as $0.50. Also known as Earnings per Click.
  • Forced Clicks

    The action of publishers setting tracking cookies on a site causing the web browser to produce a click on a link and set a return day cookie on the computer regardless of the (known or unknown) action taken by the user to generate fraudulent affiliate transactions. Also known as Cookie Stuffing. This activity may be cause for removal from the Rakuten Affiliate Network.
  • GIF

    Graphic Interchange Format, a common format for image files, especially suitable for images containing large areas of the same color. GIF is the most common file compression format for banner ads and most other pictures on the Web. Most graphic images on the Rakuten Affiliate Network Web site are in GIF (or ".gif") format.
  • Hosting / Hosted

    The business of housing, serving, and maintaining files for one or more websites. In the Rakuten Affiliate Network banners may be hosted by either the Rakuten Affiliate Network or on the advertiser’s servers. Also known as website hosting, web hosting, and webhosting.
  • HTML

    HyperText Markup Language - the coding language used to create webpages. In the Rakuten Affiliate Network, the advertiser recruitment page, home page and newsletters support HTML.
  • IAB standard sizes

    The sizes for banners and other creative that have been standardized by the Internet Advertising Bureau. See the IAB Web site for a list of sizes. The Rakuten Affiliate Network supports all IAB-size creative as well as creative that is nonstandard in size.
  • Image URL

    Web address of any image. In the Rakuten Affiliate Network, this can be found in the affiliate link code. This is usually different from the URL of the webpage where the image is found. Publishers have the ability to replace the advertiser's image URL with their own hosted banner.
  • Impression

    An impression is a single instance of a link shown to a user.
  • JPEG

    Joint Photographic Experts Group - JPEG is most commonly mentioned as a format for image files. JPEG format is preferred to the GIF format for photographic images.
  • Landing page URL

    The web address of a specific webpage a visitor reaches after clicking on an affiliate link.
  • Marketing Channel

    A method for publishers to manage multiple sites as independent publisher programs. Each channel has a unique SID as well as unique website attributes, reports, and user permissions.
  • MID

    Merchant Identification Number, a unique ID that the Rakuten Affiliate Network assigns to each advertiser in the network.
  • Nexus laws

    Laws passed in a number of states that require advertisers to charge a tax on Internet retail sales. Though the law differs by state, typically they require advertisers to collect sales tax when sales from publishers reach a certain level. For more information visit the Performance Marketing Association's (http://thepma.org/internet-sales-tax-reform/) website .  Also known as Affiliate Tax Laws and Internet Tax Laws. .
  • Non-Commissionable Transaction

    A transaction which is inelligible to earn a commission. This may occur for a number of reasons, including, but not limited to: a transaction that is not associated with an offer, an invalid affiliate ID is detected, or if return days have been exceeded.
  • Offer

    An offer represents the terms of an advertiser program available to publishers. Advertisers on the Rakuten Affiliate Network set their own offers, and these offers vary from one advertiser to the next. Offers can include commissions based on a set percentage of sales, on the number of impressions or click-throughs, or on a combination of these. You can review advertiser’s offer terms by clicking on an advertiser’s name, from the Programs or Links area.
  • Order ID

    The unique identifier used to refer to a specific order. It is usually an alphanumeric value. Each advertiser uses their own order ID format.
  • Orders per click

    The number of orders divided by the number of clicks. For example, if you received 1000 clicks and 10 orders, the conversion rate is 1 percent. This metric is found in several of the Rakuten Affiliate Network reports and is a good way to measure program performance. Also known as conversion rate.
  • Organic Search Results

    Links that appear on a search results page because of their relevance to the terms searched (placement varies by search engine), as opposed to Paid Search (or Pay-Per-Click) ads.
  • Paid Search Ads

    Links that appear on a search engine results page because an advertiser paid for placement in those spaces, as opposed to appearing organically.
  • Pay per call

    A form of performance-based advertising that tracks calls like clicks.
  • Pixel

    A pixel (short for Picture Element) is a single point in a graphic image. A 1x1 pixel is a tracking device that is one pixel long by one pixel wide and records the number of impressions generated by a particular site. The Rakuten Affiliate Network uses 1x1 pixels to track all text link impressions and banners not served by the Rakuten Affiliate Network.
  • Pixel tracking

    A browser-to-server tracking method using a 1x1 pixel.
  • PNG

    Portable Network Graphics - PNG, like GIF and JPEG, is a file format for images. PNGs are used in a similar manner as GIFs (eg, banners), but offer greater color precision than GIFs. Older browsers, notably IE6, offer limited support for PNG files.
  • Premium Advertiser

    Advertisers who satisfy a set of best practice benchmarks set by Rakuten Affiliate Network and are denoted with a star symbol next to their name throughout the publisher interface.
  • Private Offer

    An offer that is available only to a select publisher or group of publishers in an advertiser program. Typically, a Private Offer includes a higher percentage of sale or CPC, or other more favorable terms than the Baseline Offer.
  • Process Date

    The date a transaction is received by the Rakuten Affiliate Network.
  • Product image URL

    The Web address where the image of a product is located.
  • Product Link

    A type of creative which features a product in an advertiser's inventory and takes a user to the page on which it is featured on an advertiser's site.
  • Public offer

    An offer that is available to all the publishers in an advertiser's program.
  • Publisher

    A site managed either by an individual or organization that partners with one or more online advertisers and earns a commission for all valid clicks, leads or sales it has referred. Also known as an affiliate.
  • Report

    A document showing the performance of various data points such as impressions, clicks, sales, and earnings, used to identify trends and patterns, and to improve campaigns effectiveness.
  • Return Days

    Return Days are the number of days that can elapse between a referred customer's initial visit and a return visit in which they make a purchase. If a customer makes a purchase within the Return Days period, the referring publisher receives a commission on the sale, even if the visitor returns directly to the advertiser’s site.
  • RSS Feeds

    RSS stands for Real Simple Syndication, which is a computer readable format for syndicating information on the web. The feed itself is written using XML, which can be read by a RSS reader or application server (e.g. a PHP server) and parsed into a user readable form or database.
  • Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

    Also known as Paid Search. The process by which advertisers increase their visibility in search engine results. This includes bidding on and winning placement for the links that appear on the top or right-hand side of a search results page.
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

    Also known as organic search. The process by which website owners improve their ranking in a search engine's unpaid search results.
  • Search Overlay

    Icons on a search engine results page (SERP) that are designed to flag and present offers on search results. Often this feature is activated by a publisher's downloadable software.
  • SEM

    Acronymn for Search Engine Marketing. Also known as Paid Search. The process by which advertisers improve their visibility in search engine results. This includes bidding on and winning top placement for the links that appear in the paid ad sections of a search results page.
  • SEO

    Abbreviation for Search Engine Optimization. Also known as organic search. The process by which advertisers improve their ranking in a search engine's unpaid search results--the links that appear in the center of a search page.
  • Signature

    Rakuten Affiliate Network Signature allows publishers to track and generate detailed reports on the commerce activity generated by its site down to the transaction level of each individual member, organization, or sub site. Using Signature makes tracking, managing, and optimizing internal programs efficient and cost-effective for publishers.
  • Site ID

    The site ID (SID) is a unique number used in the Rakuten Affiliate Network to identify different marketing channels. Our support team can use your site ID to locate your record, so please include it in any communications you send us.
  • SKU List

    A list of product SKU numbers in text format that a merchant uploads to Rakuten Affiliate Network, so that we can keep track of publisher referrals, products and commissions. publishers should be sure to study the SKU list that's linked to product-specific offers and become aware of which products are included.
  • SKU number

    Stock Keeping Unit (SKU) number is a unique identifier, used most commonly in online business to refer to a specific product in inventory. It is usually an alphanumeric number set by advertisers.
  • Special Offer

    Special offers can be public or private offers that are available for a limited time, or at increased commission, or for a particular product, or some combination of these.
  • Terms & Conditions

    The agreement between an advertiser and its publishers will differ from advertiser to advertiser. publishers are bound by each advertiser’s terms when they enter into the agreement, so it is important to review these terms in each instance when joining an advertiser’s program.
  • Text Link

    A text link is a hot link that is not accompanied by a graphical image. publishers can use text links rather than graphical links on their sites. They are easy to use, they save download time, and they are the best performing type of link available.
  • Tiered Offer

    Tiered Offer (or Progressive Tier) is a commission structure where commission rate increases as total transaction amount increases. Only the portion that is over the threshold of each tier is subject to higher commission rate.
  • Tracking Code

    The 11-character alphanumeric code unique to a publisher. This can be found in your Rakuten Affiliate Network linking code, following “id=” and before “&offerid=”. Also known as the affiliate ID or encrypted ID Please note: the tracking code is not your Rakuten Affiliate Network user name or SID.
  • Trademark Bidding

    When publishers attempt to gain revenue by bidding on specific words or phrases via search engine marketing that are protected by an advertiser’s trademark.
  • Transaction

    An agreement between a buyer and a seller to exchange a product or service for a payment. Usually, this refers to placing an online order or performing a qualifying event, such as registering or completing a form.
  • Transaction Date

    The date the customer purchased the product or service.
  • Typo-squatting

    Purchasing misspelled domain names of an advertiser to redirect traffic. This is dependent upon a hand-typed URL being misspelled.
  • Web Service or API

    An application program interface (API) that can be accessed over a network, such as the Internet, and executed on a remote system hosting the requested services. Web Services typically communicate using XML messages that follow the SOAP standard.

Still have more questions? Use the SUPPORT tab at the top of the page or this link to find the email or phone Customer Support contacts for your location.



Was this article helpful?
9 out of 9 found this helpful

Leave us a comment on this article.

  • Avatar
    SallyAnne - Senior Education Strategist & Customer Success Champion

    If you have further questions, please contact Customer Support (click on the SUPPORT tab at the top of the page for the appropriate contact information for your country) and they'll be happy to help you.

Powered by Zendesk