Because Chitika has changed a lot over the years, this review has been completely rewritten on the 21st of March. 2016.
Chitika is an established display advertising network that provides its services to both publishers and advertisers alike.
So what exactly is display advertising? It boils down to online advertisements that rely primarily on images, audio, and video. They most often come in the form of banner ads and rich media. They allow businesses to directly communicate their brand image and advertising message to customers.
Display advertising benefits both publishers and advertisers. Publishers place a third party advertiser’s ads on their website to make extra revenue by monetizing their web traffic. Advertisers, on the other hand, place their ads on a publisher’s website to advertise their company/product/service and hopefully expand their audience.
The relationship between publishers and advertisers goes hand in hand when it comes to display advertising. Yet without a service like Chitika, scalability is difficult.
Chitika simply allows both publishers and advertisers to more easily incorporate display advertising into their overall business plans. It also takes context into account, so that advertisements are matched up with websites promoting similar content.
Chitika provides much the same service as Google AdSense. In fact, it’s one of the most popular alternatives. Though it’s hard to beat such an established front runner as AdSense, Chitika gives it their best shot.
So what makes Chitika stand out from the pack? In addition to its ease of use and excellent customer support, their ads are driven by each visitor’s search queries. Most display advertising networks, including Google AdSense, display ads driven by the content on each given webpage.
Chitika gives you several distinct advertising options to choose from. These include display/text ad units, list units, and mobile ads. Though this doesn’t give you a whole lot of variety, it does provide the staples for a successful campaign.
Sound like a service that could benefit your business? Chances are it can. Use it alone or complement it with another advertising display network (like AdSense) to monetize your web content and make some extra money.
Chitika Tech Implementation Rating: 3 out of 5.
Creating an ad unit with Chitika is easy. All you need to do is select “Code Creator” from under the “Ad Setup” menu in the publisher control panel. On the next page you’re able to select from various ad options including colors for the link, text, background, and border. You’re also able to pick ad unit size, type, and tracking channel. Chitika includes a feature that allows you to create a custom channel. This then allows you to track individual ad performance.
It’s also important to note that Chitika is compatible with Google AdSense as long as the ad units are not created to look like AdSense units. Chitika also provides mobile ad units as well as a WordPress plugin.
Chitika Publisher Reporting & Admin Control Panel Rating: 4 out of 5.
Chitika Payment Rating: 4 out of 5.
Chitika Account Help Rating: 5 out of 5.
Excellent customer support is one of the factors that helps Chitika stand out from the pack. It’s much easier to get ahold of a support member than most other display advertising networks, including Google AdSense.
Chitika is one of the most popular display advertising networks in the world. While it might not compete with Google AdSense’s overall popularity, that doesn’t mean you should disregard it altogether.
Many people, both publishers and advertisers alike, use Chitika to supplement Google AdSense. Others, although they’re in the minority, use it as their sole display advertising service, in place of AdSense.
Chitika provides several different types of ad units for customers to choose from. The most popular of these are their traditional display/text ads as well as in-text ads.
The biggest downfall to using Chitika is that, like most AdSense alternatives, they only provide a handful of advertisers to choose from. This makes both fill rate and ad relevancy big issues. In fact, Chitika’s poor ad relevancy is one of the biggest cons of using their service.
With that said, Chitika is still a huge step ahead of almost all other AdSense alternatives. It’s worth giving it a shot, especially if you want to supplement your AdSense earnings.
Luckily, Chitika isn’t all negatives. Far from it, in fact. Other than their poor ad relevancy, the service holds up remarkably well. Of particular note is just how easy Chitika is to use.
All you have to do to create an ad unit is click “Code Creator” from under “Ad Setup.” Then you select your preferred settings for link, text, background, and border colors. Next you select ad unit format, size, channel, and username. When you’re finished with that, simply click “Get Code” and you’ll be presented with an HTML code. Copy and paste this into your website to get things going straight away.
Unfortunately, once ads are installed on your website, you’ll notice that they likely don’t have much to do with your content. In our experience, Chitika displayed ads for the same companies, no matter the website. Examples of these were for insurance, landscape lighting, and blog proprietary programs.
Simply put, the display algorithm needs some fine tuning. Part of its weirdness might be attributed to the fact that ads are based on search results not your web content. In other words, they’re selected based on the search terms visitors used to get to your website.
In addition to their traditional advertising, Chitika offers in-text advertising. Once again, these ads are generally irrelevant to your website. When this option is activated, a small ad unit pops up when certain words are hovered over. Not only does this look tacky and spammy, the words highlighted usually aren’t keywords that have much of anything to do with your content.
But, back once again, to the good stuff. Chitika’s control panel is extremely user friendly. Despite the ad relevancy problems, it’s very quick and simple to set up ads for your website. The control panel works just as well for setting up ads on mobile devices including smartphones and tablets.
Chitika includes robust reporting to ensure you can measure your success. The saved reports, mentioned above, are very helpful. The feature helps you check revenue and click metrics on a regular basis.
Payments are made on a regular basis via check or PayPal. The $10 minimum threshold should be in easy reach for almost all publishers. Chitika also offers a referral program. Send a new customer their way and you’ll receive a small boost to your revenue.
The pros of using Chitika are numerous. They include its ease of use, intuitive interface, customized color scheme and ad placement, low minimum payment, and excellent customer support. We look at each of these pros in more detail below:
There aren’t many cons to using Chitika. Yet the display advertising network does have a few. These include its low earning potential and poor ad relevancy. We look at each of these cons in greater detail below:
There isn’t any reason not to give Chitika a chance. It can be very effective when used by the right person on the right website. Yet don’t expect it to be your savior if you were booted off of AdSense.
Chitika is a smart ad network to use to complement other ad networks or to use while waiting to get approved by them. It’s quick and easy to set up so you don’t have to invest a lot of time upfront. Approval is likewise quick and just about every website will be accepted.
All in all, Chitika is worth checking out. It’s one of the better alternatives to Google AdSense, although it still has a long way to go to catch up. It will be interesting to see how this particular ad network evolves in the future as its popularity increases. Click here to get started.
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