Chitika Reviews – eMiniMalls, RPU and Chitika Lynx

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I’ve been using Chitika advertising units for around 18 months. Chitika are another one of those networks that like Adsense pays you per click but they also offer more visitor engaging ad units. So visitors can search and compare product prices on your site.

Currently Chitika offer 3 distinct different types of ads. These can be used multiple times on the same page (if appropriate).


eMiniMalls
eMiniMalls

The eMiniMalls were Chitika’s first and now probably flagship product, it comes in multiple unit sizes (180×150 right up to 728×90) and gives your visitors the opportunity to search and browse through a few products actually on your site (though you only get paid when they leave). You can choose relevant keywords that you want adverts to be displayed about or rely on the Chitika contextual engine to choose ads for you, both methods can be used alongside Google Adsense (this wasn’t always the case but Google changed the rules recently though you should always check stuff like that your self).

I find eMiniMalls work pretty well, if prominently positioned have a nice CTR and the CPC was comparable (but slightly lower) than Adsense but as they can be used together they do make a nice complimentary income.

Chitika RPU – Related Product Units
RPU
When it comes to integrating adverts into your site the RPU (Related Product Units) are one of the best units I’ve come across. They are designed to be positioned at the end of blog posts where they will display links to related products (I don’t think I really needed to say that). You can use CSS to make the links and/or the list to match your sites style, even to the level of the bullets. Like with the eMiniMalls, you get paid per click, though surprisingly I found the CPC of the RPU was higher than that of the eMiniMalls.

Chitika Linx Review
Chitika Linx
I must admit I have mixed feelings about this format as it may annoy some visiotrs. Chitika Linx are like the content link ads offered by Kontera, where they highlight relevant words in your content and when the reader hovers over them an advert is displayed, click of said advert results in you being paid. I’ve been running Chitika Linx on a subset of my pages (so as not to annoy regular visitors) and so far they have out performed the Kontera ads by ~50%. This program is currently in beta but if you have the traffic and a suitable site it’s worth asking about.

Downside – Auditing
One of the downsides with Chitika is you don’t know how much you’ve earned in real time. They update the stats every 24 hours but before payment they audit all clicks and remove any that they consider inappropriate (this could be fraudulent clicks or unsupported countries). From experience I’ve found I lose about 10% after each audit.

Referral Program
I’d of written this review whether Chitika had a referal program or not, but they do so it’s an added bonus :) . They pay 10% (out of Chitika’s share not the publishers) of all revenue that a publisher that you introduce makes in their first 18 months.

Customer Service
They reply to emails and have also been known to review sites and give optimisation tips. I had about a dozen emails back and forth when integrating the RPU onto my site (Ryan is a star), now if they could just make those units available in RSS feeds I’d be very happy.

You can get further information and sign up for Chitika here, I am affiliated with Chitika but that hasn’t influenced this write up in any way, well apart from using more links than normal :) .

About Al Carlton

Al quit the 9 to 5 rat race in January of 2007, before then he was a software engineer and systems architect of financial system. Nowadays Al spends the days running his various businesses and experimenting with different ideas and opportunities.
Al can be found on twitter at AlCarlton.

Comments

  1. I applied a while back but was rejected. I am going to try again on the off chance they will let me in now :) $11k for 18 months isnt bad at all when it’s all added up. Thats like adding a 13th month to the years pay.

    • I’d suggest re-applying Matthew, looking at your site I can’t see any reason why they wouldn’t accept you (unless it’s an inventory issue), if they do reject you again let me know and I’ll ask my rep if there is anything that can be done.

      I should be hitting ~2.5K$ a month with them now which makes them my third highest earner so it’s a very nice addition indeed.

      • I tried through your aff link and it says I already have submitted a request. I am guessing it’s my old request from last year. I will contact them and see if they can re evaluate the site.

        $2.5k isnt bad at all!!! Its good to see your other revenue streams picking up. It ads more security just in case the worse should happen.

  2. The related products seems like a fantastic ad unit to run on a blog, especially a product based blog as they blend in so well and theres not really much to give away that they are ads, infact, I’ve seen them on your site and just thought they were normal links.

    • Yeah as blending goes they are hard to beat and just as importantly you aren’t trying to over blend to trick your visitors into clicking, they are what they say, Related products.

  3. Chitika rocks.. Apart from one thing. It’s product based.

    I used it when I used own a computer forum and displayed a wide range of “computer” related products. It was great becuase I made much more out of it than adsense.

    I am thinking of integrating Chitika Linx but I am a bit hesitant about it. I do show the ads on http://www.99adz.com/ , though its not related I think it is doing OK. I made $11.62 in 4 months.

    OK this might not be as much as you make but I think this is good for someone who doesn’t know much about what they are doing

    BTW when I registered I used your refferal link. ;)

  4. Hello Al,
    I’m very mad at Chitika ! I own a Satellite TV Discussion forum which is really active. It gets about 2000 – 3000 uniques a day and I just make 1 or 2 bucks.
    I don’t know what is the problem, The ads are relevant to my niche.
    Can you help me ?

  5. Very cool. I have a question though. Did your adsense CTR decrease at all when you added these minimalls?

  6. I just stumbled upon this page and wanted to mention that Chitika works great for me! Over the last year I compiled some statistics of my earnings and I actually earned twice as more with Chitika compared to AdSense. For those of you considering Chitika – try them! You can check out this Chitika review for some more info.

  7. Chitika Premium is one of the biggest frauds when we compare it with other pay-per-click programs. The ads don’t display for all visitors and even AdBrite performs better than it. A lot of sites receive plenty of international visitors but the visits don’t count as page views because the ads don’t display. AdBrite displays better ads and generates a lot of page views, so as a publisher you will earn some money even if the ads have not been clicked.

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