If you simply must use banners, save them for the products that you don't feel absolutely great about recommending. That way, you don't hurt your credibility -after all, it's "only advertising."
Save your "in-context" text links for super companies with wonderful products that deliver true value to your reader.
Beside the obvious futility of banners, I've spotted another major point. This one is more subtle, but it's important...
Extremely important. After banner advertising, it's the second most common error. And it's an even bigger shame because this boo-boo involves a lot of work... misplaced work. I mean, if you're going to fail, the best thing would be not to spend much time at it, right?
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