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Recent experience with Chitika ad services?

Recently received e-mail solicitiation from them....

1:24 am on Apr 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I recently received two e-mails from Chitika, which bills itself as "A Blog Advertising Company". (Note: I don't have a blog.) I've read about some suspected sketchy stuff in the past but much of this information is from two or three years ago.

I'm happy enough with the ads I have running now (AdSense, plus contracted ads), but I was wondering if anybody had recent information on Chitika. Are they reputable? Do they pay comparatively well? Do they offer contextual ads? (I've read conflicting information on this point.) If so, do the contextual ads seem a good match, or is their algorithm "dumb"? Do they "play games" with clicks and statistics to lower payouts? And so forth.

I would like to make an informed decision. Thank you.


[edited by: eljefe3 at 3:36 am (utc) on April 10, 2008]

10:11 pm on Dec 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

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To be honest with you I think hardly anybody uses their service which I suppose would answer your question. So if I were you I would have continued with adsense. I mean, I only use adsense as the only income for my site and I am making acceptable money from it. So I would continue with adsense and other affiliates (e.g. clickbank) in your situation.

[edited by: coopster at 10:20 pm (utc) on Dec. 29, 2008]
[edit reason] no personal urls please TOS [webmasterworld.com] [/edit]

3:01 am on Feb 13, 2009 (gmt 0)

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They just contacted me and said that I'd make more if I used them in conjunction with adsense.

Should I believe him?

[edited by: eljefe3 at 4:06 am (utc) on Feb. 13, 2009]
[edit reason] no email quotes please [/edit]

5:45 pm on Apr 23, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Chitika are contextual and in our opinion the best alternative to Adsense. Over all our 200 sites on various topics Adsense gave average eCPM (ad impressions) of $2.85 in Dec 2008 whereas after switching to Chitika we are now getting for Apr 2009 eCPM (ad impressions) of $2.59. On that basis Chitika looks almost equal to Adsense.

However, eCPM for ad impressions is not very meaningful if ads are only served for a small proportion of total server page impressions. Chitika only serves ads to a few countries for example and in our tests this came to 50% of total page impressions. So if Adsense served to 100% of total page impressions then it would give about twice the total revenue of Chitika.

So Chitika looks between equality and half as good as Adsense.

Chitika do allow an alternate url for unserved cases so that could shift it more towards equality.

3:53 pm on Apr 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Hi, I thought I should jump in to this conversation and try to answer a few questions:

We do work well in conjunction with AdSense. Our ads tend to be better targeted than AdSense ones, because they're targeted to the search keyword that drove an individual visitor to your site rather than a contextual mix of all keywords from your content.

That said, we don't serve ads to every visitor - essentially Chitika ads are served only to people who arrive at your site via search engines (from the US/Canada primarily).

As plexos mentioned, we allow an alternate URL for non-qualifying traffic, so it's not like you're losing the ability to serve ads to 100% of your traffic - what we end up doing is improving the revenue on a portion of your traffic.

We're pretty big and growing fast, and try to be innovative with our advertising. Let me know if you have any other questions, I'm happy to answer them!

Dan Ruby
Chitika Director of Marketing

4:47 am on May 16, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Chitika hasn't evolved a lot in the last year or two, but its most recent developments are:

1) 550 x 250 *New!* MEGA-Unit

2) Posting the search string above the ads.

e.g: You searched on Google for red widgets.

3) Discrete ads - only show when visitor arrives on page from a search engine.

I believe Chitika is ahead of Google with the new ad size. Although Google doesn't notify users of their search string above its AdSense ads, I think they have been using the search string information to choose text ads. The discretion feature is a good idea that Google hasn't implemented yet. Again, I think Chitika is more innovative than Google in this respect. Google is very slow to realize the power of hybrid ads - text and image combined.

How does Chitika compare with YPN and MSN? Those two have evolved even more slowly IMO and one or both are still in Beta! There is no doubt about how much ad revenue is going onto the internet, yet the big networks seem to be so ridiculously incapable of becoming powerful. They also have so few new ideas. Yahoo hasn't even figured out yet how to go international. MSN hasn't figured out how to buy YPN.

How can there be such immense opportunity out there in online advertising yet so little talent to compete with Google? What are the elite colleges and universities teaching their students today!?

I respect Chitika for stating the network-publisher revenue split: 60-40. But I still have a problem with its failure to put "Advertisements" above their ads. They are ALL at the bottom, in gray, and in the corner/on the side!

Why is that, Dan?


3:48 pm on June 2, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Good question... the marketer in me wants to say it's to blur the line a bit between content and ad copy. I know one thing we as an ad network want to do is make ads relevant enough that people view them as something they want, rather than something we want them to want. Not sure I have a better answer than that, but I'll take it up with the techies and designers and see if there's anything better I can tell you.


Dan Ruby
Director of Marketing, Chitika, Inc.

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