Chitika review

Posted on Feb 18, 2009 in AdvertisingBlogging
Chitika – sounds like a banana, but stands for one of the best CPC programs out there. We’ll give you a nice Chitika review here, one thing to start, sign up for Chitika, you’ll not regret it. Finishing our Chitika review you’ll understand why…There are good and bad advertising programs in terms of revenue for the publisher. Good ones in general are Google AdSense, YPN, Adsdaq and ….. Hmm well, can’t think of any other good advertising programs. I have been testing a couple of programs and most of them are just crap. They try to copy Google AdSense and fail greatly because they will never be able to have more advertisers than AdSense. They aren’t innovative. Good news, Chitika is a new, innovative and good CPC program.

What’s special about Chitika?

Local Pizza ads

Relevancy for local Pizza ads

To understand why Chitika is a good advertising program you need to understand in which particular situations Google AdSense is unable to bring the publisher good revenue. Google AdSense puts everything into displaying content relevant ads, which is a good idea hence that way both publisher and advertiser earn more money. Less relevant ads means less conversions after clicking on the ad resulting in less revenue for the advertiser and consequently less money for the publisher. Now comes the part what makes Chitika special: Chitika does not scan the content of the page to display relevant ads, they scan the search strings which were used to enter the website.By just looking at for example “Pizza in New York” compared to thousands of lines of unnecessary code Chitika is able to display extremely relevant ads. Sometimes even more relevant than Google AdSense (more at the end of this review)…..By displaying relevant ads they are able to pay the publisher top CPC rates because the Return of Investment for the advertiser is very high (advantage of content relevant ads). One example: Dating ads on a website about insurance will most likely result in absolutely no conversions. It’s very easy to test how relevant your Chitika ads will be. Go to a website who runs Chitika ads and append “#chitikatest=New York Pizza” to the end of the URL, press enter and reload the website. You should then see advertisements about whatever you entered, in my case New York Pizza. If you are looking for a URL then just go to Wikihow. One special example I would like to point out is this url. The drink “New York Egg cream” is something special for New York. Have a look on the link and then compare the relevancy of the AdSense ads with the relevancy of the Chitika ads. Google only shows general new york ads whereas Chitika shows ads of local stores. Amazing isn’t it?

Chitika’s Ad Layout

Chitika ads

Psychologically optimized ads

When I first had a look on the default layout of Chitika’s ads I was amazed. I previously made a post about psychological AdSense optimization where I talked about colors and all that. The layout is extremely important as it decides whether the user clicks on the ad  or doesn’t.Chitika offers all methods of optimizing your ads, changing the title color, text color, border color and URL color. That’s of course what Google offers as well but there is one significant difference. Google’s TOS disallows placing images next to your advertisements because they think that that could somehow encourage the user to click the ads. What’s the big deal? That only means more money. The visitor sees the image and then automatically focuses the ad unit next to it resulting in more clicks. That’s a clever trick which Chitika automatically implements. Check out the picture, Chitika automatically displays relevant images next to the ads! Amazing, I was stunned when I saw that the first time. That of course means more revenue for you.

How much revenue can the Chitika publisher expect?

First thing we talked about was the relevancy of the ads. The relevancy is the main factor for high CPC. Chitika is able to display relevant ads as I showed you above. The result is a CPC as high as together with AdSense. I even have a higher CPC on my gaming site with Chitika than with AdSense. That’s because AdSense performs really poor for everyone in the Gaming niche. The CPC you can expect lays anywhere between 75 and 125 percent of your AdSense CPC.Next factor is the Click Through Rate (CTR), by allowing major customizations and placing images next to the ads the Chitika CTR lays somewhere between 100 and even up to 250 percent of your AdSense CTR. Please keep in mind that most people don’t use Chitika to replace AdSense but as an additional ad on the website. Look at Wikihow above, they are using 3 AdSense content units and 1 Chitika unit near the footer. The footer is a relatively bad placement (see the heat map), but still the owner reported a CTR of above 1 percent, which is tremendous! By using Chitika as additional source of income you are able to increase your total earnings by 10-20 percent. Do you want to miss that?

For which sites does Chitika perform best?


No text content?

Chitika performs very good for all websites. The sites AdSense performs bad for are the sites Chitika performs very good for. Poor text-content websites for example.The AdSense crawler is unable to find any content to display AdSense ads on video sites for example. They are not able analyze the video, they can only check out the description of the video, the title, the tags or the comments. In a lot of cases those aren’t however that relevant. Chitika is able to display relevant ads for the visitor by just analyzing the tiny search string which reveals what the visitor was actually looking for!All websites work well together with Chitika, the best websites are in my opinion video sites and also local sites (see the Pizza example above).In terms of CPC the same niches as with AdSense peform best. That’s simply because the ROI for the advertiser is high (the advertiser earns a lot if someone purchases something) and resulting in spending more money into ad-campaigns. Car sites, Insurance sites, medical sites, foreclosure sites, lawyer sites, local sites and a lot more perform really good. Low paying niches are the same as together with AdSense, but that’s not the fault of the advertising program, it’s the problem of the niche. My niche is relatively low paying but still I am earning more than before.

Interview with Chitika Account Manager

I was so stunned by Chitika that I immediately started writing on this blog post and thought “Hey! Why not talk to someone from the Chitika company?”. Two days later Vik Chhabra (@vikc) joined me in an interview overviewing and explaining Chitika. Of course also all the benefits Chitika has were subject of the talk. Thanks again to you for the informative interview!The video is in HD by default, you can turn it off in the player if your internet connection is too poor performing (I have a friend who still downloads at 30 kb / second LOL). Feel free to contact Vik in case you are interested in joining Chitika, he will assists you with all the questions you have and setting up your Chitika account. Make sure to mention that you came from us and he will put you on his top priority list!We found another nice interview with Alden DoRosario (@adorosario) on the SESNY. Worth watching, good information:

Others on Chitika

There are a lot of positive and of course negative comments from other people on Chitika. Here are some found on the Chitika site itself:
Brandon from said: I had heard good things about Chitika, but it was just one of those things that I never quite got around to checking out. Finally, I went to the website, had the code installed in minutes, and Chitika instantly became one of my top revenue sources in the first month! There was literally no learning curve or optimization, so I’m sure my results will be even better once I delve deeper. I simply input the code in the appropriate spot, and I was done. One of the best things about the ads is that they are only shown to visitors who arrive at my site via search engines, so the “regular readers” aren’t bogged down by more ads, even though Chitika is earning nearly as much as the ads that are always visible!
Arnold Alting from said: Chitika | Premium works great for us. A good Google Adsense alternative with very well targeted ads.
Carl from said: The best part of Chitika has to be the support! I have Ryan from Chitika on my MSN list and he’s always ready to chat. I’m a small publisher, this gives a very personal feeling.

@TomRoyce from House Meets Owner said: I use Chitika on a hobby site and it earns 3x more than adsense does for the same # impressions.

@trentiles from Dubs in the Buff said: Only have been using Chitika for a few days. So far good experience but I wish I could customize the ads more such as borders, etc.

We recently placed a thread on our forum about removing the borders from Chitika ads.

Own Experience

I have been using Chitika for almost a month now, mainly to get away from AdSense as only source of income. My website is in the gaming niche not a that good niche in terms of advertising because of the young audience and no really expensive products. Nonetheless my Chitika CPC is 30 percent higher than my AdSense CPC, which stunned me at first because AdSense was priorly the program that got me the highest CPC. Looking at my monthly revenue now around 20 percent comes from Chitika which is not that much of course. But considering that only 10 percent of my search engine visitor see the ads and generate 20 percent of my total income then yes, that’s a nice in earnings. I am really satisfied.

Signup for Chitika

We hope that we were able to bring Chitika a littler closer to you. You probably still have lots of unanswered questions but don’t wonder, every advertising program is like a unique new world. We can only recommend you to sign up for Chitika and test it yourself, it’s free of course.