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In early days of the Internet, online advertising was mostly prohibited.

For example, two of the predecessor networks to the Internet, ARPANET and NSFNet, had "acceptable use policies" that banned network "use for commercial activities by for-profit institutions".

Commercial online service Prodigy displayed banners at the bottom of the screen to promote Sears products.

The first clickable web ad was sold by Global Network Navigator in 1993 to a Silicon Valley law firm.

It includes email marketing, search engine marketing (SEM), social media marketing, many types of display advertising (including web banner advertising), and mobile advertising.

As advertisers collect data across multiple external websites about a user's online activity, they can create a detailed profile of the user's interests to deliver even more targeted advertising.

This aggregation of data is called behavioral targeting.

A floating ad, or overlay ad, is a type of rich media advertisement that appears superimposed over the requested website's content.

Floating ads may disappear or become less obtrusive after a preset time period.

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