The Zeta tag informs our system that an event occurred. Each tag we create is given a specific meaning in our platform. For example, we would typically define a tag to indicate that a user has reached the 'thank-you' page of your site.

Our tag also assigns a random/anonymous ID to the browser/device, and stores it in a cookie. The random ID enables us to link media impressions, site landings, and conversions for a browser/device over time.

This is a key component of how we optimize a campaign.

How does the tag work technically?

The JavaScript tag is placed on the client pages and executes when a user loads the page. The tag constructs a simple iFrame that loads from the Zeta servers.
Each tag has a unique ID embedded in the request in the which indicates its purpose. For example, Tag ID 99999999 might mean that a conversion occurred.


<iFrame src='//p.rfihub.com/ca.html?ca=99999999' style='display:none;padding:0;margin:0' width='0' height='0'>

When the browser sends the request, it includes the cookie containing the anonymous browser/device ID.
By the fact that a page loaded from our servers, we know key information about the event:

  • Which browser/device, based on the anonymous Zeta ID sent with the request

  • Which event occurred, based on the unique Tag ID in the request

  • Other information in the header of the request, such as the URL of the page.

We use this info to optimize the campaign and inform reporting.

Will the Zeta tag impact my site's page load time?

The Zeta tag will not impact your site's page load time. Here is why:

  • The Zeta JavaScript itself has loaded asynchronously so that the browser can continue loading/rending other assets in parallel while the iFrame is being constructed.

  • We host the JavaScript on a top-tier CDN so that it is highly available and physically near the end-user to minimize load time/latency.

  • Any partner cookie matching activity (described in more detail below) is done asynchronously (in parallel) as well. This means that if a cookie matching partner happens to be temporarily slow, then it wouldn't impact the other partners from completing the match process.

  • We defer any partner matching until after the core page is done loading (after the window.onload event which is fired by the browser) to ensure that the end-user experience is prioritized over the marketing data.

What are the other requests I see loading immediately after the Zeta tag?

The additional requests are called cookie match requests. Zeta bids across numerous exchanges to bring the best available ad inventory for our clients. Each exchange partner creates its own anonymous identifier/cookie for a given device/browser.

For Example:


Exchange A

Exchange B

Random ID: 1234

Random ID: 4567

Random ID 8888

Because each exchange refers to the same browser/device with a different random number, we need to know that Exchange A's 4567 is the same as Zeta's 1234 in order to have the appropriate information to calculate the optimal bid for an impression. The process of exchanging anonymous/random IDs is called cookie matching. Each time a Zeta tag loads, we match with exchange partners so that we will have the greatest chance of later recognizing a user and buying optimally on the client's behalf.

What is Cookie Matching?

The process of exchanging anonymous/random user IDs with publishers and exchange partners is called cookie matching.

Each time a Zeta tag loads, we match with exchange partners so that we will have the greatest chance of later recognizing a user and buying optimally on the client's behalf. The better our cookie match rate, the better our ability to track individual users.

What are your match partners able to see about my site?

Zeta loads match partner requests in an iFrame. One of the benefits of this approach is that partners can't access the parent page (your site) directly.

For example, built-in browser security ensures they can't access your site's JavaScript variables or page content. Match partners will be able to see details of our iFrame request such as the Tag ID and other headers and parameters (query strings).

What data does the Zeta tag collect?

Zeta collects anonymous information in order to inform our bidding on our clients' behalf, including:

  • Zeta anonymous/random user ID

  • The Tag ID, which has a special meaning in our system (e.g., a conversion)

  • Data from the request headers (e.g., URL of the current page)

  • Optionally, the client can pass extra data such as order ID, order total, and products purchased to help further optimize the campaign.

Learn how to implement JavaScript Pixels for your Advertiser via the Managing Pixels article.