Answers to some of the most frequently asked questions addressing the following topics: audited reports, alternate url option, click rejection for international traffic, curiosity clicks, etc.

Q: Why did I see a significant difference in the number of clicks after audits?

The daily reports only summarize the data from the raw click logs. On a monthly basis we run our audited process to remove and discount potentially fradulent clicks (i.e., clicks generated by bots, automated scripts etc) and clicks from countries currently not supported. For example, currently we do not have offers and promotions from merchants who are willing to accept and pay for clicks from regions other than US, Canada, Australia and Western Europe. In turn we don’t get paid for clicks from Asia and other regions as well.

Q: If it is the case that you are not getting paid (and hence not paying us) for clicks from certain countries, why are you not giving us the option to not show eMiniMalls for that traffic?

That is exactly what we worked on during the last couple of weeks. Please check out our new Alternate URL service. You can now set up the eMiniMalls code such that an ad unit of your choice will be displayed for traffic that we do not support.

Q: Why didn’t you give us the alternate URL feature two months back? Did you plan on keeping that extra cash and not pay us?

That is not the case. We don’t get paid for those clicks as well. Why the delay in releasing this feature? We just launched eMiniMalls a few months back and we are aggressively working on introducing and releasing as many options and features. Over the last month we completed releasing the following:

  1. Ability to customize colors and settings.
  2. Ability to set and track up to 1000 channels
  3. Geo targeting so that we can kick start eMiniMalls UK
  4. And just this week we completed releasing the Alternate URL

Q: That is all fine but since you are filtering clicks, why can’t you disclose the filtered results on a daily basis and let us know exactly what we can expect so that we can avoid this suspense till the end of the month? 

Our goal is to move away from the current process where we are just reporting the raw click data on a daily basis but not the audited stats. We are working on this so that we can address the problem.

Q: So until you actually complete releasing the daily filtered process we the publishers are stuck with this guessing game?

In the short term to address this issue we released the Alternate URL option. This it self will go a long way in reducing the difference between the daily raw clicks logs and the monthly audited numbers.

Q: Does this mean there will be no need to audit the stats at the end of the month?

We still need to run our fraud detection algorithms so that we can filter out fraudulent clicks and bad quality traffic. But our goal is to put in place processes so that we can reduce the difference between the daily raw click stats and the final monthly audited stats.

Q: Why not clicks from Asia and other regions? Does this mean those leads are not worth it? Does it matter where the clicks are coming from as long as there are sales at the other end? Are you keeping the resulting sales commissions but not paying us for those clicks because those clicks came from unsupported regions?

Our program is based on CPC (cost per click) and not based on a sales commission basis. We do not get paid for resulting sales. That said, needless to say, it is extremely important for the merchants to see the “bang for the buck” resulting from the clicks. Due to this, our merchants have chosen not to accept and pay for traffic from certain countries.

Q: Even if there are no sales, don’t you think there is a value associated to the branding? Technically we are sending leads to the merchants, but just because those leads came from certain regions it doesn’t mean that we should not get compensated.

We totally agree. Every lead (even if there is no resulting sale) has certain branding value. However, since this is a new program, to start with, we have merchants who are only interested in paying for leads from selected regions. As we continue to expand the program and establish this as a valuable marketing/sales channel to merchants, we believe that in the future we will be able to bring on board merchants who are interested in accepting and paying for clicks from all regions. Our goal is to be able to cater to leads from all over the world so that we can best help you monetize your website traffic from all regions. We are working on overcoming this challenge in a couple of ways:

  • Expand the program to regional locations and bring on board local merchants who are willing to accept and pay for clicks from those regions. We already completed launching eMiniMalls UK
  • Continue to work with our existing merchants and partners and convince them that our eMiniMalls program is bringing in high quality leads from all parts of the world and that it is worth paying for those leads.

Q. Are you accepting only one click per IP per day? What happens if the same user clicks on multiple merchant links?

Our click fraud detection system will track and detect abnormal activity in click patterns. It does not mean that we only accept one click per IP in a given day.

Q: Why are you not disclosing additional details on your fraud click rejection process?

In order to protect the quality of the program from potential fraudsters who will start resorting to automated click bots and scripts to work around our click rejection criteria and start abusing the system. That will directly result in decreasing the quality of the complete network and also will lead to merchants bailing out from the program, let alone upgrading their campaigns to also accept clicks from all regions.

Q: Regarding curiosity clicks: Last month Chitika suddenly decided to stop curiosity clicks? Every click has “branding value”, and Chitika got paid for those clicks but decided not to pay the clients. Is that true?

Since our merchant partners were not willing to pay for the clicks on product names, we decided to stop displaying links that will not earn revenue to you. Second, we are not getting paid for curiosity clicks either on the product title. In fact, the product title is not click able at all because we actually removed the link from the product name. Why introduce a non-revenue earning link when we cannot compensate the publishers for the resulting leads? If we can bring on board merchants who are interested in recognizing the “branding value” for the product title clicks, we will update the units accordingly so that you can earn more revenue.

Q. Is this it? Or are you exploring any other options to address this issue with “curiosity clicks”? You reduced the number of click able links on the main unit by removing the links to the product title and the product image.

We are currently exploring a number of options like:

  • Make the product name and image click able but resulting in displaying additional product information in the eMiniMalls unit directly without taking the visitor away from the website.
  • Point the link to a landing page with additional product related information and then list paid merchant links on that page. Follow on clicks on that page will earn revenue but not the first click that leads the visitor to the landing page.
  • Introduce different pricing for merchant links and product title links.

Q: Can we expect to see any other options in eMiniMalls in the near future?

Yes. We are working hard to improve the targeting options in the eMiniMalls. Right now, if the system cannot find a result for the selected keyword, it relies on network wide default products and will display a random product. We are working on introducing the ability for publishers to set a default category. The system will first try to find the matching results for the selected keyword, and when there are no results it will rely on the pre-selected category to find a matching product. Also, the expansion into Europe is going to continue.