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I saw this a couple of weeks ago when there was a lot more blank space on the page.
I thought about the price, thought about the eyeball competition on the same page, thought about the targeting, thought about how much one-time and repeat traffic the page is going to get and thought about the lack of on-page text on or near the link.
Then I decided it would take me something like ten years to make any return on investment.
So I concluded it would never work.
Clearly a lot of people think otherwise.
Seems mostly like a PR opportunity for the advertisers. For instance, I did notice that one of the bigger ads on the page was for the same entity that once purchased a rather famous grilled-cheese sandwich . . . ;)
What's astonishing - and inspiring - is that it's working. The page is probably about half full. Does that really mean it's generated a half-million dollars? wow.
BTW, I did not click on any of the ads. But I did spend more time looking at them than I ever would have if they were five hundred times the size and popped up in my face. I even took the time to look at the really tiny 10x10 ones to see who was hiding in there behind those tiny $100 icons.
I saw this when there was only about 2,000 pixels sold... then forgot about it.
I bet the owner is kicking themselves for not making the price $5/pixel ;)
if i had made over $500,000 from a website in less then 2 months I don't think i'd be kicking myself over anything. he had a great idea, and the copy cats will never ammount to what his, the first, has done.