Web beacon

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A web beacon, also known as a web bug, 1 by 1 GIF, invisible GIF, and tracking pixel, is a tiny image referenced by a line of HTML or a block of JavaScript code embedded into a web site or third party ad server to track activity.

The image used is generally a single pixel that is delivered to the web browser with HTML instructions that keep it from affecting the web site layout. The web beacon will typically include user information like cookies on the HTTP headers, and web site information on the query string.

Web beacons are used to collect data for web site and ad delivery analytics, and also specific events such as a registration or conversion:

  • Ad Creative Pixel - A web beacon embedded in an ad tag which calls a web server for the purpose of tracking that a user has viewed a particular ad.
  • Conversion Pixel - A web beacon that transmits to a third-party server that a user has successfully completed a process such as purchase or registration.
  • Piggyback Pixel – A web beacon that embeds additional web beacons not directly placed on the publisher page.
  • Secure Pixel - A web beacon that is delivered over HTTPS.
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