The banner ad doesn't get a whole lot of love. It was an effective format when it first rolled out -- with one in every 50 served generating a click -- but that deteriorated quickly as Internet users grew used to the graphical intrusions.
As the industry got more intrusive with pop-ups and rich-media pitches, the viewer became flat-out annoyed. Yet while companies such as Google
Each company is sporting more than $3 a share in cash on the balance sheet. Each company has made recent acquisitions to help beef up offerings. And now with Google beginning to serve up graphic ads on its popular AdSense text-based platform for publishers, perhaps we've come full circle and a picture really is worth about a thousand words.
That doesn't mean that it will be a breeze for the Click surnamed companies to thrive in the quarters to come. However, part of the art of uncovering potential winners is digging and dusting in gold mines that many have written off as minefields.
Our Hidden Gems newsletter relishes in stumbling across the undiscovered victors of tomorrow. DoubleClick and ValueClick may not have a lock on the Web-enabled future, but their vaults are green enough to put up a sizeable down payment.
Are rich-media ads ready to give text ads a run for their money? Will the pop-up ever find vindication? All this and more in the Webmaster's Corner discussion board. Only on Fool.com.
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Aristotle Munarriz is ready to set his Click clock to ticktock. He does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this story.