You can be at the right place at the right time and still fail. For MIVA (NASDAQ:MIVA), choice seats for the paid-search revolution have proven to be an obstructed view. Yesterday, the company posted second-quarter results that once again failed to inspire investors.

For the period, MIVA posted a wider loss over last year's showing, even after accounting for a massive impairment charge. Revenues checked in 15% lower at $41.4 million. Ouch.

We've already seen how the paid-search bellwethers performed during those same three months. Yahoo! (NASDAQ:YHOO) grew respectably. Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) hit it out of the park.

So MIVA can't blame the sector. It's just a small struggling fish in what appears to be a big lucrative pond.

Taking a closer look at MIVA's numbers, there's little reason to hope that it can hop on the Google coattails. The number of active advertisers using MIVA's networks has dipped by 2% over the past year, and 6% since the March quarter. It's the first time the company has suffered a dip in sponsors since it cleaned up its ad accounts.

Making matters worse for MIVA, it's serving more ads -- who isn't? -- but earning less per lead from its advertisers. Remember that 15% top-line slide? That comes despite an 18% gain in paid clicks for the quarter. It's not getting any cheaper to advertise through Yahoo! or Google, so one has to wonder why MIVA can't keep its sponsor count growing, or why those sponsors are paying so much less.

Reaching for a silver lining? You'll find one in the company's cash-rich balance sheet. Nearly half of its market cap is backed by cold hard cashola. That's comforting, but won't be much of a factor if MIVA keeps losing money in an environment that has been so ripe for its larger rivals.

We've sought out further Foolishness:

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz still believes in the paid-search sector. He does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this story.The Fool has a disclosure policy. Rick is also part of theRule Breakersnewsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.