Every freaking Internet site out there has a rotating banner system. Advertising on the Internet is becoming a huge business, and is expected to continue its incredible growth. So, just how do all those sites implement a rotating banner system? Who knows? Who cares! ASP provides you with a very easy way to rotate banners on your site by using the Ad Rotator.
The Ad Rotator is an ActiveX DLL component that ships with ASP. To use it, all you need to do is create a small text file with the banner rotation information you want, and then add a few lines of ASP code to the ASP pages you want to have a banner displayed in. It's really painfully simple. In fact, I've already written a useful article on how to use the Ad Rotator, aptly named, Using the Ad Rotator.
Unfortunately the Ad Rotator can't do everything most banner rotation systems need. The Ad Rotator is very good at doing what it claims it can do: rotating ads. What it can't nearly as well is track statistics, such as the number of impressions and the number of click throughs. To track these stats (which are often important statistics to track), we need to implement our own banner rotation system.
This is not too difficult to do. I have implemented such a system using text files (although you could use a database if you'd like, but I figured that all I really wanted to track was impressions and clickthroughs, so why muck around with the overhead of using a database?). Anyway, I am happy to share my banner rotation system used here and on ASP MessageBoard.
I've authored an article on the system. It can be read here:
Creating a Banner Rotation System
I think we'd all agree that the ultimate banner rotating system would somehow be able to know what the current web user was interested in, and display ads that tailored this particular user. Well, Bart Silverstein seems to agree, and he shows us how to do the next best thing. Bart wrote a wonderful article on creating an rotating advertisement system that tailors ads based on the results of a user's search on a web page, similar to the way the major search engines customize their ads. Bart's article is titled Automatically Configured Advertisement Display.