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How Banner Ads Work

The Future of Internet Advertising

Web experts have been predicting the end of traditional banner advertising for years, noting dwindling click-through rates. They have several different ideas of what will replace it as the dominant means of advertising. Pop-up ads, advertisements that appear in their own, small browser window, have been growing in popularity. Many Web users­ find them extremely annoying because you have to close each browser window, and if there are enough of them, they can overload some browsers' capacity. Some Internet research shows that text links are more effective than banner ads. This is probably because so many Web users are automatically aware of banner ads and so can easily ignore them while text links are less obvious -- they appear to be part of the site's content.

Advertisers have also found some success with interstitial ads. Like Pop-up ads, these ads appear in their own browser window. When a visitor clicks on a link, the interstitial ad appears before the browser brings up the linking page. Most interstitial ads close automatically, so they are less annoying than pop-up ads, but they briefly fill the user's screen, so they definitely make an impression.

If you keep an eye on Internet news, you will continually see stories on the death of the banner ad, as well as stories about upturns in banner ad success. Banner ads will most likely be around for some time, but it's a good bet they will take new, interesting forms. As we've all read in recent years, the Internet is in its infancy, and webmasters have only begun to tap its potential. The same can certainly be said for Internet advertisers, and since advertising is the main source of revenue the keeps Web sites going, you can be sure it will continue to evolve at an accelerated rate.