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The Rise and Fall of the Banner Ad

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Oh, how simple it all was a decade ago: Just slap clickable banners all over the right Web pages, it was believed, and the world of potential customers would beat a mouse trail to your door.

But that balloon burst long ago and click-through rates for banner ads have continued to plummet. Consider this new data, supplied exclusively to Adweek by online ad solution provider MediaMind.

Even while the data—compiled from the performance of 200 billion banner ads served up over the course of 2010—show that you can raise your click-through rate by several hundred percent by choosing the “right” Web site, even on kids’ sites, the best performers, less than 0.4 percent of impressions garnered a response.

Of course, display advertising is not just a quest for clicks anymore. Unsurprisingly, that has not been the goal since response rates fell below 1 percent.