Because Chitika has changed a lot over the years, this review has been completely rewritten on the 21st of March. 2016.
Introduction to Chitika
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.
Overall Rating: 4 out of 5.
Chitika Company Stats
Chitika Support & Contact Information
- Address: 1800 West Park Drive, Suite 300, Westborough, Massachusetts, 01581
- Phone Number: +91 40 646 26227
- Support Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- What We Like: Easy to use, intuitive interface, customized color scheme and ad placement, low minimum payment, excellent customer support.
- What We Don’t Like: Mediocre earning potential, poor ad relevancy.
- Publisher Terms: http://chitika.com/publishers/terms_conditions
- Traffic Minimum: None.
- Publisher Language Requirement: Primarily English, though ads can be used on pages in other languages with prior written consent from Chitika.
- Prohibited Publisher Content: Chitika reserves the right to refuse service to any website. Though most legal websites are excepted, those with excessive profanity, illicit drugs, pornography, gambling, and hacking/cracking are not. Furthermore, use is restricted for sites that sell alcohol, counterfeit/stolen items, prescription drugs, tobacco, body parts/fluids, hazardous substances, weaponry, explosives, ammunition, and fireworks. Websites that contain offensive propaganda or promote hate, violence, and racial intolerance are also banned. Finally, websites that contain manipulative content or construction to improve search engine rankings are also not allowed.
Advertisers & Offers
- Advertising Types: Display, In-line Text.
- Offer Types: CPC
- Verticals: All.
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.
- Display Ad Unit Sizes Available: 550×250, 500×250, 728×90, 120×600, 160×600, 468×250, 468×180, 468×120, 468×90, 468×60, 550×120, 550×90, 450×90, 430×90, 400×90, 300×250, 300×150, 300×125, 300×70, 250×250, 200×200, 160×160, 336×280, 336×160, 334×100.
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.
Publisher Reporting & Admin Control Panel
Chitika Publisher Reporting & Admin Control Panel Rating: 4 out of 5.
- Control Panel: The Chitika control panel is simple and straightforward. It’s easy for even beginners to learn to use. Top navigation provides quick access to Dashboard, Reports, Ad Setup, Domains & Apps, Account, and Support. For the most part, it’s very easy to find the information you need. Chitika also provides a handy 7-day Quick Earnings Report. It displays impressions, clicks, CTR, and CPM as well as revenue across all your channels. The Saved Reports section is another useful feature. It contains links to your previous user-customized reports.
- Reporting: Thorough and informative reporting is one of the best things about Chitika. Publishers can create customer reports for any date range. The results can be grouped by date, month, channel, or channel and date. As mentioned above, you can save these reports to your Saved Reports section for easy access at a later date.
Chitika Payment Rating: 4 out of 5.
- Payment Methods Available: Check and PayPal.
- Payment Terms: Net-30.
- Minimum Payout Threshold: $10.
Chitika Account Help Rating: 5 out of 5.
- Knowledge Base URL: http://support.chitika.com/
- Personal Account Manager: No.
- Easy to Contact Support: Contact by email at email@example.com for around-the-clock assistance. Live phone support is also available.
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.
Editor’s Chitika Review
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.
Pros of Using Chitika
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:
- Easy to Use: Chitika was created with the beginner in mind. The entire service, from start to finish, is intuitive. There is no learning curve. You’ll make the most of the service the first time you use it.
- Intuitive Interface: The entire design of Chitika is pleasing. It’s easy to navigate and find the tools/information you’re looking for. The control panel is especially intuitive, allowing you to create great ads in no time at all.
- Customized Color Scheme and Ad Placement: Most displaying advertising networks don’t give many options when it comes to placing ads. Not so with Chitika. The service allows you to customize each ads color scheme as well as its placement on your website.
- Low Minimum Payment: Chitika makes making money easy. A minimum payment of $10 is backed up by regular processing.
- Excellent Customer Support: Our favorite aspect of Chitika is their excellent customer support. We really can’t understand why more companies don’t follow suit. Have a question? It’s easy to contact a live representative by email or phone. And when you do reach them, they actually know what they’re talking about.
Cons of Using Chitika
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:
- Mediocre Earning Potential: The fact is that the earnings per click on Chitika are fairly low. You must have a lot of traffic or a very high click-through ratio to realize solid earnings. Unfortunately, this seems to be the case with almost every program that isn’t AdSense. So you just have to take it with a grain of salt.
- Poor Ad Relevancy: We complained about it enough above that you probably get the point – Chitika boasts relatively mediocre ad relevancy. The ads they display on your website likely won’t match what your content is about. On top of this, they look sort of “cookie cutter” in nature and don’t do much to catch the eye.
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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