One only need look at the spectrum "crises" to know that people sure do spend a lot of time online. People also buy stuff. As a result, businesses clamor for the opportunity to get in front of Web surfers by advertising on popular sites. Those sites' owners are only too happy to cash in on the craze. Claiming that ad space on their pages sell out months in advance, Yahoo, MSN, AOL and other sites jack up the rates for prime, 24-hour ad spots[source: Angwin].
The "shortage" is mostly confined to home pages, however. There remains a nearly endless array of advertising opportunities available on other, interior pages. In fact, some experts say that ads on these pages are better for marketing purposes because they allow companies to tailor their message to niche markets. Google, for example, links ads to keywords -- meaning that they are customized to reflect whatever it is that a consumer may be searching for online -- and charges advertisers largely based on what users actually click on. A recent shift to less costly (or free) mobile ads and marketing ventures via social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, has helped bring down the price for "traditional" Web ads [sources: Angwin, Jarvis, Efrati].