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).
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
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
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.
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.
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 .