How is online advertising sounds to you? If you search the internet for the term "Online ads", it will return over a billion search results. Do you think online advertisement is still a workable and viable online business model?
Let's look at some of the common online ads business model.

1. Free for all online ads

This type of ads portal allow almost anyone to create an account online and you're good to go. You can advertise anything you want as long as its conforming to the Term Of Services. Most, if not all, I would said doesn't allow out bound link as this type of facilities that once, seem like a good feature has long been exploit by link spammers.

So long as the service and putting an ads online is free, there seem to have some attraction for a niche market. I wonder how many people or business nowadays still pay to get advertise on the internet.

2. Moderated ads portal

A good conversion from the good old paper based advertisement e.g Yellow pages. You pay a fee and they advertised for you on their portal. Seem more like a sunset business model or perhaps its still alive for the next 10 years or so. One things is for certain, it not a growing business model.

3. Header banner ads

When Web2.0 and blogs became a hit, most people though of renting out banner ads in their website and blogs as a mean to generate additional income. But this type of ads failed to make it big. As some webmaster have been over doing with these ads, that people have long been blind to banner ads.
Further more, when images were used to link to external website, has also been abused that it irritate search engine as people are selling links that obviously violate the TOS of top search engine.

4. Social media based ads

The current trend of social media, namely Facebook. As I've mentioned in one of my post, Facebook is heading for public listing on the US market in the second quarter of 2012, but is the social media which claimed to have over 800 millions users account a viable place for ads placement?

As some of the online advertiser have put it, most of the attraction in social media are free games and keeping in touch for group of people. People logon to social media to relax, marketing people trying to do some marketing, people looking for long lost friends and almost anything else except intended online shopping and searching for information, just like what search engine were doing.

Unless they think of new way to make social media more readily as a huge library or as information provider, people will fall back to search engine for information searching especially when shopping online for products and services.

5. Ads by local media going online

Many newspaper are migrating or have migrated (in developed countries) to online media. Local ads also appear in these online media. At the moment, from what I know, non of these online media are reporting a profit from their online activities as a huge portion of their annual profits are still derived from their news print.
Due to these facts, is online ads still a viable online business model? Perhaps time will tell how things is turning out. Nonetheless, the monies in ads is what makes the internet alive.