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Chitika answers Audit Questions.

Posted By Darren Rowse 3rd of December 2005 Chitika eMiniMalls 0 Comments

Chitika have responded to the many questions being asked of them by publishers after the recent audit over at the Chitika Blog. I won’t rehash it all here as I spent most of the day yesterday responding to people’s questions, frustrations, hurts and anger on the topic via IM and email – but if you’ve got questions I recommend going for a read.

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.
  • yeah..have read that off their RSS feed and they definitely did a pretty job clarifying lots of stuff as well as by giving some insight into Chitika’s future plans.
    btw..apparently Chitika seems to be running off of a VPS @ servint. Any idea why they cannot afford to run their own dedicated server?

    — An avid Internet browser

  • Darren,

    Have you implemented Chitika alternate urls yet?

    I’m not quite sure how they are supposed to work. Are there any detailed explanations or examples that you know of on how to deploy the technique?



  • Michael read my mind…how exactly do you use alternate URLs?

  • Stephen

    I have a question on alternate urls – what do people suggest running?

    Right now, on both my sites, all my primary ad spaces (there are either one or two 468x60s and a skyscraper) are adsense ads by default. I still make more per impression with adsense than Chitika. So Chitika is set as my adsense alternative channel. (Plus I have a couple of small chitika’s dotted about here and there). Before audit my Chitika revenue for October was about $120, after it was about $90. I can live with that.

    (I suspect it was not too bad for me because I was running Chitika via an adserver – phpadsnew – which was programmed to only deliver them to English browsers, but I’ve recently eliminated the adserver as it kept crashing under heavy load)

    So now, I need another ad network to fill in as alternates for Chitika, which in turn may be alternates for Google. (It’s like dominos…)

    My initial reaction was to use amazon affiliate banners to try to pick up some sales, but I’m not sure they will pay out if all the traffic is coming from countries that chitika don’t cover. I’m approved by Interclick, so could run some of those as CPM ads, but their rate is attrocious.

    What I really need is “bizarro chitika” – that is, an ad program that’s non-contextual (so it doesn’t break adsense TOS) that will either pay regardless of country origin, or has products aimed specifically at the markets Chitika doesn’t cover.

    So, anyone got any ideas? Does such an ad program exist?

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  • no one has explanied how the alternate url work.
    I have to use a alternate ‘url’, not alternate ‘script’. Can I use it to show adsense instead of chitika.

  • Stephen

    here’s one suggestion. Create a html page on your server, with a simple html header and footer, and body tags. Inbetween the body tags, put the code for your alternate banner – so the html for an image or flash banner, or the javascript to call a javascript banner (like Google). Name it something like “468×60.html”. Save it on the server. Then use the full url of the that html page as your alternate. (I use Moveable Type for my blogs, and I actually created that page as a special index template.)

    Here’s an example. I set this url as my adsense alternative, and then when no adsense is available, it shows a chitika, themed to the site (which is video iPod related):×60.html

    Take a look at the source. Should be easy to understand. One caveat – I’m not using these chitika as contextual, as that would break adsense TOS. If you do this the other way around, and use Google as an alternative to chitika, that MAY break Google TOS, because technically the Google ad itself would be on a non-content page, even though it only ever appears in the context of a content page. Also, it seems like Google would have nothing to contexualize against. So I’d be tempted to find a non-contextual system for chitika alternatives, such as a CPM ad network (hence my question a couple of comments above).

    Another caveat: I’m no expert, so all the above could be wrong :)

  • Stephen

    The url in the above comment won’t work because Darren has some weird NO FOLLOW script in place, so you’ll have to type it in manually. The “x” between 468×60 changes if you click it directly. Sigh.

  • Hey Stephan thanks for the answer. Now its clear.
    Now have to worry about if chitika is replaced by adsense then it should not be more than 3 adsense. else google will ban me.

  • we definetly need alternate script feature, rather than alternate url so adsense will work

  • does anyone know of any banner ad network that doesn’t require 3000 pageloads a day.

  • Stephen

    Maybe I wasn’t clear. The above method should WORK for Adsense, I just don’t know if it breaks Google TOS.

  • I just checked and my Chikita revenues have been reduced by about 10% across the board. Quite honestly, it seems like these guys just aren’t ready to play in the big leagues — These sort of kinks should have been worked out in extensive limited beta tests, along with their awkward keyword rotation scheme. It boggles my mind that they didn’t anticipate “illegitimate” clicks from countries other than their target markets. Given the global nature of the Internet, that concern should have come up in their first brainstorming session. [In case this sounds a bit too harsh, I’ve worked for software startups and sandboxed these sort of issues. It’s hard work, but it needs to be done before going live or you end up with bad PR and a massive support headache].

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  • spud

    “discount potentially fradulent clicks (i.e., clicks generated by bots, automated scripts etc) and clicks from countries currently not supported”

    This is the point that concerns me most.

    My Chitika test site has 100% US traffic. There is no traffic from any other region. I monitor user behaviour closely as I undertake a lot of split/run testing to determine optimal layouts. In short, I know a lot about the quality of my traffic – where it comes from, and where it exits. If there are any bots, they are very, very clever. I think it’s safe to say there are no bots.

    I’m down 30% on the October audit.

    Needless to say, I’m concerned about the November audit.

    For me, the figures do not add up.

  • John

    I agree with the comments above that this basic functionality (alternate URLs) should have been there from the start. Their system is much inferior to the other networks, and if they really want to compete with the big boys, they need to have a quality system. Their system is more like what a 5-year old would conjure.

    I’m sick of reading FAQs on their blog that don’t actually offer any answers, but are filled with marketing and PR rubbish instead. They are off my sites till I hear something — anything — good about them, not from them.

  • Good point Spud – that is odd. Only explanation I can think of is a lot of people clicking two or more ads pretty quickly… it’s odd though.

  • I lost nothing from my meager earnings in the October audit, so I’m going to keep their ads on and wait and see what November brings me — but if it takes too long, and if they dally on fixing that horrible interface of 20 days per page with no month view, and they don’t speed up the whole filtering process, I’m out of there by the turn of next year. That’s being generous.

  • Bob

    Apparently have been getting alot of complaints from advertisers about chikita, they are

    1)They are not getting the conversion rates for there advertising like they did before chikita came along.
    2)fraud is rampant as the chikta site has accepted all soughts of sites with low traffic and qualtiy and it is hard to determine if the clicks are fraud or not

    3)The advertisers seem to be disallusioned with for letting this happen and they are dashing to pricegrabber as we speak and thus revenues will be smaller.

  • Bob,

    Site your source…

  • spud

    “Only explanation I can think of is a lot of people clicking two or more ads pretty quickly”

    Quite possibly, I do run multiple Chitika ad units.

    While I understand that multiple clicks from the same person might be flagged as fraud, there are situations where this isn’t the case. For example, the same person may click multiple units that display different products as they browse a site.

    If the timeout is too long (i.e longer thna the average site visit) then we are only getting paid for the first Chitika click per visitor?

    I hope that isn’t the case.

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