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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)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

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]


9:11 am on Apr 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Can't say much about payouts as I've only been with them for four weeks. I have many pages where adsense could not serve up a good ad so I switched to the new Chitika RPU. CTR is great but the CPC is about 1/3 of an adsense ad...It almost becomes a wash but at least I see targeted ads instead of the lousy repititous adsense ads. Could also be adsense advertisers are opting out of the content network in my niche.

Not sure if they have contextural. They apparently audit reports due to same IP clicks and so forth but I haven't seen it yet.

[edited by: LostOne at 9:12 am (utc) on April 10, 2008]


12:11 pm on Apr 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

LostOne: Have you had any further interactions with this company? It would appear that hardly anybody is using this outfit, which makes any data you might have all the more valuable!

Thank you! *smile*



2:31 pm on Apr 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

I'm using it and really a waste of time. No income from eminimalls reccomended by them, it is easy to sign up and set up (the advantages) and almost impossible to get a coin from those ads (at least for me).


11:23 am on May 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I've been using their Emini malls (graphic) and Premium Related Products Units (text) for some time. They fit in and work well on my site (it is not a blog). Unlike silverbytes, I'm making a decent income from them!

However, Chitika is in the process of changing their ad formats. If I understand correctly, the ads I use will be merged into one type. They will all look something like the emini malls. I'm not thrilled about this because I use their text ads too.

I will no longer be able to type in key words and gear an ad to the content of a page (which I like because it does not conflict with google terms of service).

This may not affect people new to using their products, but it's going to cause me considerable tweaking of a large number of pages in my site.

They say the new format will be higher paying. However, the performance is yet unproven. Also, an alternative URL will have to be used because the ads are not viewable in all countries.

As for the company itself, I have nothing but good to say about them. I have a personal representative, who is only a phone call or email away. All payments have been timely.

As mentioned, their current ads have worked well for me.

[edited by: shallow at 11:27 am (utc) on May 20, 2008]


11:26 am on May 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

>> Not sure if they have contextural.

Yes they do. With their current ads, you have the option of contextural or non-contextural. I like that a lot because I could run their ads along side of Adsense.

I'm not sure about the new ad format though. I think they are targeted.


6:20 pm on Jun 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member annej is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

I just got the second mailing. I must have deleted the first as spam. Well I guess it is spam as I never asked for it.

Anyway I'm curious about how you can set your topic. Most of my pages do well with AdSense but some pages get off topic stuff. I could just go for my general site topic on them with Chitika it seems

The problem is if they are changing it so that is no longer possible. Shallow, Do you know when the change will occur?


6:59 pm on Jun 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I think most of their changes have gone through already.

For their premium ads, you can no longer set the topic since they are targeted to content on a page. They say this doesn't interfere with Google and YPN TOS because the ads look different. I haven't verified this because I don't plan to use the ads.

Since the ads show primarily in the US, you must set up an alternate URL. According to the person I've been working with at Chitka, their non-premium ads won't pay as well.

I've removed *all* their premium ads from my site and, except for some non-premium small ads, have replaced them with AdSense or YPN. The Chitika ads no longer fit in with my site, they don;t target well and, personally, I no longer like the way they look. I mean, imagine designing your site for a text ad, and "poof" now they are not.

It was suggested I use their ads in the premium spot where I now have adsense. Quite frankly, I'm not ready to do so. How do I know they're not going to switch the ads again down the road?!?! Don't misunderstand me, I've enjoyed working with this company. They have to do what they have to do, and so do it.

Sayinf that, I've spent a huge amount of time trying to get this sorted out.

The ads may work well on your site; they no longer do on mine. You'll be in a different position because, I've been using Chitika for a long time, and you'll be starting from scratch.


2:27 pm on Jun 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

I got an email from Chitika as well inviting me to join their "Premium" program. The email claimed sites like mine earning as much as $31 eCPM. Seem to be an exaggerated and bold claim... They provided a link to a very weak page describing the product with a link to signup. I emailed back asking for information on or a link to their TOS and if possible access to a demo publisher control panel. I have not received a response. A few days ago I received an email from another individual claiming that they are trying to catch up with everybody that signed up for the mini-malls. This email seems to be a marketing bait technique to me. I emailed back indicating that the mini-malls where not a good fit and requested access again to the TOS and if possible access to a demo publisher control panel.

Research shows that Chitika may have had ethics challenges a couple of years ago.

Communication from Chitika is not good so far…


2:25 pm on Jun 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I'm not using their premium ads, so I can't speak to how well they do.

My experience with Chitika has been a very good one. I made a lot of money with them, though the pay per click consistently has gone down, much more than I would have expected. I think that has more to do with advertiser spending than Chitika itself.

My only disappointment is that they changed ads on me. I wish they had just added a new product, not change the look and functioning of ads I've used for almost two years. A lot of work went into setting up access to them in the CMS.

It cost nothing to try Chitika. Maybe the ads will look and work better at your site than mine.


9:05 pm on Jun 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

LostOne: Have you had any further interactions with this company?

The tables have turned. Something happened for the worse. Their new targeting thing is worthless IMO, and impressions have declined for some strange reason. Earnings are down about 75% from the last I wrote.

Their response to my displeasure:

Me: "I started seeing mortgage ads where they should not be. I don't want mortgage ads."

Them: "The ads are not based in any particular "category" - they will be tailored to specific behaviors of your users, so it will show ads relevant to what they want to see, how they got to your site, etc."

Another note:

*Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)*

1. Are all Chitika ads compatible with Google AdSense?

Yes! We are 100% compatible with AdSense and can be used on the same page.


4:54 pm on Jun 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

"The tables have turned. Something happened for the worse. Their new targeting thing is worthless IMO, and impressions have declined for some strange reason. Earnings are down about 75% from the last I wrote."

This is exactly my experience too.

An alternate url is required and my only viable choice at this time is Amazon because of the way ad space was set up at my site. Amazon has never worked at my site so I'm just using it to bide time.

Within the next few days, I'm going to make a decision whether or not to remove Chitika completely from my site. I've given them significant real estate based on past performance. Now they're hardly performing at all.


3:46 pm on Jun 11, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I too got the invitations a few days ago (and deleted them as spam). I Googled a bit on Chitika but the general pattern seems to be that they first perform OK for a short while, and after that income goes downhill very quickly. Maybe they apply a bit of psychology in that clients tend to stick longer with them after they have tasted some early success, and later they make money on dirt cheap ad space or something.


1:27 am on Jun 12, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

I got the emails and found them a bit worrying, because they didn't come from a Chikita person, but some kind of consultant. There was a link that didn't seem entirely legit, so I didn't use it.

When I replied to the email instead, which ostensibly was from support (at) etc, I received an automated response that I would need to fill out a ticket. And I wasn't about to do that!

I'm sticking with AdSense....


4:16 pm on Jun 12, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Ok, after two unanswered emails I wrote asking for more information, I gave up and just signed up for the Premium Publisher thing. I got accepted overnight; however I only have access to code for the mini-malls ads. The premium contextual ad code generator is inactive or disabled on my publisher panel. Now, I am currently consulting in the UK for three weeks, however my site is primarily US traffic, where I live and work most of the time. So far, I don’t seem to be able to get any communications from Chitika and I do not have access to the ads I was invited to publish. The mini malls ads will not work on my website as the content is not a fit at all.

I’ll try my publisher panel when I return to the US, maybe this is a location issue.

BTW, there is a commission program prominently displayed on my panel to recruit other publishers..

Not impressed so far….

[edited by: Edge at 4:17 pm (utc) on June 12, 2008]


4:37 pm on Jun 12, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

My experience thus far is that the Premium Ads primarily display whatever is in the alternate url, not the Chitika ads themselves.

Chitka minimalls pay worse then ever. Since implementing the new premium ads, income in DOWN 70-90%!

I'll give them a few more weeks to sort things out and see if anything improves at my site. If not, I'll drop the program.


1:12 am on Jun 13, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I don't think you guys have the same understanding I do with their "new" premium product.

It is based on users coming to your site from search engines. If they don't enter your site from a search engine they will get no ad (or your alternate).

The reason it is compatible with AdSense is that it isn't contextually based, it is based on the search engine query in your user's referrer string.

That's my understanding, anyway.


3:00 am on Jun 13, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

"It is based on users coming to your site from search engines. If they don't enter your site from a search engine they will get no ad (or your alternate). "

I'm very aware of that. Pray tell, what is the advantage of that for publishers? I sign up for a advertising product, it dramatically changes after years of use, and then other ads show most of the time in it's place?


8:33 am on Jun 13, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

What is the advantage of that? Someone searches for widgets and comes to your page and finds ads for widgets? I can't possibly imagine what would be the advantage of that.

I'm sorry they changed their layout and that screwed you, but some people have websites that have US traffic from search engines. Why they don't keep both formats is unknown to me. I was merely chiming in with my understanding of how it works, since nowhere did I read anyone correctly talking about how the premium product works.

Do you serve cheese with that whine? ;)


11:09 am on Jun 13, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

For some publishers, there is no advantage at all.

"Do you serve cheese with that whine?"

Why don't you do an, err, search and find out all the other web site owners who are in the same boat and the headaches this type of change has caused them. Your question implies that there is nothing to whine about. Forum participants have asked Chitka users to share their experiences and some of us have. If you want to call that whining, you're entitled to that opinion.


3:58 pm on Jun 13, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Once is a complaint. ;)

The best wine I ever had in my life was a nice Château Lafite Rothschild '67 that I bought for about ten bucks at a local liquor store in 1980. Neither one of us knew what a treasure it was until after I had already shared it with a friend, n'est-ce pas?


1:46 pm on Jul 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Ok, I tried Chitika Premium for one and a half weeks. My eCPM average was 0.32. This is almost the worst ROI I have ever seen. The ads only show when a visitor comes to your site with a referal search term in thier browser header. It seems I would have done better than I did. I used AdSense as a backfill for when the Chitika ads did not show and I got a minimum of 20X higher performance on eCPM.

I have dropped them from my site even (no-brainer) though I only made $15. I have a very high traffic technical site with over 18,000 documents. I might try them later, but I will realy have to be bored and curious to do so.

I hope the best for others...

[edited by: Edge at 1:47 pm (utc) on July 19, 2008]


8:29 pm on Jul 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

A report after 1 month.

I have been running Chitika for one month on a very low volume site that I didn't have any ads on whatsoever.

If I take out one day that had a bunch of clicks my eCPM is about $0.25, with that day it is about $1.00.

This is based on a very low number (just under 1000) of what they call impressions (visitors arriving via search engine).

Let's put this another way: I don't have enough earnings to pay for the cup of coffee I drank while installing the ad code, and it may have been instant.

I doubt I'll be giving them my TIN to collect on my bounty.

In all fairness however, I didn't think that site would do much with AdSense either.


12:15 pm on Jul 22, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

>> In all fairness however, I didn't think that site would do much with AdSense either.

Why not? My site does well with AdSense and did will with Chitika before the changes.


8:44 pm on Jul 24, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

My understanding is that Chitika lost some of their former advertisers and this is why they had to make a change.

I believe I have noticed YPN ads coded into the eMini Mall ads. These are served to US traffic only, of course.

Thanks to Chitika, now I am serving YPN ads next to Adsense ads. (And my Chitika income has risen nicely since they made the change).


kamikaze Optimizer

4:47 am on Jul 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Has anyone been through the audit process on the premium program yet?


2:59 pm on Aug 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Not here. But I'd like to comment on my personal experience in Chitika: I'm making no money and loosing some in space where before I used to show adsense ads. My income went down and I'm removing it.


5:00 pm on Aug 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

syberbytes, why don't you use an alternate URL. I use an adsense ad at the alternate.


3:55 pm on Nov 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

The chitika people have been literally spamming me for months and this week I received another 3 emails from them, including one in my webmasterworld account.

I am doing pretty good with AdSense so I am reluctant to change. Does anyone have any updates since the last post here on August 5?


11:54 pm on Nov 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

I will reiterate here what I replied to Jeff from Chikita after he stickymailed me at WebmasterWorld:

Since my experience with the older "legacy" minmalls, I have now deployed the new premium units. However their performance is identical to the 'swapped' legacy units which I previously ended up displaying, despite Chitika's promise of higher performance (by using Premium) . Prior to all the changes the returns were reasonable (half the epc of adsense, but still reasonable) when all the changes beagan I started seeing a lot of lowball advertisers, irrelevant ads and junk ads. I tried twice to contact support and nobody replied.

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