First things first:

What do we mean by “curiosity clicks”? So called “curiosity clicks” are those clicks generated by users more interested in checking out the eMiniMalls interface, or just curious about the products being promoted, etc., as opposed to clicks on merchant links leading to the respective merchant sites where users can directly purchase the product if they choose to.

So, does this mean we are now filtering and/or discounting “curiosity clicks”? No. We are not filtering or rejecting any curiosity clicks. To help minimize (please note, not filter or reject) potential curiosity clicks we recently updated the eMiniMalls units by removing the link from the product title in the eMiniMalls interface. Why? Because initial data on the resulting sales conversions suggested that clicks on product titles and product images are leading to very low sales conversions when compared to the clicks on the merchant listings.

If the service is based on a cost-per-click model why are “tweaking” the system to increase the “sales” on the merchants’ side? Our goal is to make this impulse-merchandising model based eMiniMalls program the leading source of revenue for publishers and also the most effective channel for merchants to promote merchandise online. Merchants who see good return on investment (in the form of sales conversions) will be motivated to add additional product inventory to the eMiniMalls service and will help expand the program enabling us to in turn better help our publisher clients monetize the traffic to their respective websites.

That’s all fine, but what are we doing NOW to address the resulting dip in click-through rates and hence revenue? We already completed updating the units to promote the revenue-earning merchant links more prominently resulting in significant improvements in the CTR (after the initial dip due to the first round of optimizations to minimize “curiosity clicks”). We are monitoring the effects of each and every update to the service and we will continue to explore ways in which we can help maximize the revenue to our clients.

Does this mean we are not interested in encouraging “curiosity clicks”? No. We are very much interested in giving the users as much information as possible about the product being promoted. However, our goal is to leverage the interactive nature of our eMiniMalls to help summarize as much information about the product as possible to the end users (i.e., the visitors to your website). To start with, we are working on optimizing eMiniMalls layout such that users will be able to access product related information directly within our interactive eMiniMalls units.