We’ve received tons of feedback and questions about Chitika | Select, so I want to put the answers to some of the most-asked questions here:
So on Monday, am I suddenly going to be showing a ton of different/strange ads on my site? No – not at all. We will be gradually rolling this out, starting with a very small amount of additional “Select” impressions. As we gather more feedback and performance data, we will increase the amount of additional “Select” impressions that we show.
Why is this an opt-out instead of an opt-in? Simply due to your feedback. Ever since we launched Chitika | Premium 2 years ago, 90% of publisher feedback has been that you love how we monetize search traffic, but you want to also earn money from the rest of your traffic too. Since the vast majority of you want to be able to do this, we are automatically turning it on. To give you some idea: Google shows ads for 100% of your traffic. Chitika currently shows ads for less than 30% of your traffic (about 60% of US traffic across our network). Given the huge available opportunity – this was a no-brainer that a lot of our publishers are asking for. However, in all this — please note that our core philosophy of not bombarding the user with ads still remains. We will only show ads when we really believe that the user will benefit from them — the rest of them time, the ads will continue to collapse. For publishers who DO NOT want this new functionality, it is very easy to opt-out. Just login to your Chitika account and go to the “My Account” tab. The opt-out is at the bottom of the page. [Update: We will be giving you multiple levels of control — so you can opt-out/opt-in at an account level, or only for certain ad units. See how to do this below.]
How does Chitika | Select choose when and when not to show an ad? We determine when (and when NOT to) show an ad by using our new click-prediction technology. What is click-prediction technology, you ask? We have been conducting HUGE amounts of research over the past 1 year which allows us tremendous amount of insight into how users interact with ads. For example, did you know that IE users are twice as likely to click on an ad as FireFox users? These types of statistical studies are the core of this new predictive technology. This type of analysis is common in other industries such as insurance, credit cards, etc., and now Chitika is bringing that to online advertising. [Note: This new click prediction technology has been running on select publishers on parts of our UK traffic for the last 3 months — the results have been outstanding] Your premium ads look at the search terms used to arrive on the site – as a result you get really relevant results- what about Select, how will we know the ads are something I want on my site and/or relevant? The Chitika | Select ads may or may not be relevant to your content – however you can be SURE that they are relevant to the user. Remember – the Chitika | Select technology will determine the likelihood of whether an ad is a good match for that user or not. This is how we are able to command a high eCPM – by selectively showing ads when we know that they have some value for the user. Remember: For these new ads, what YOU see might be a lot different than what your READERS are seeing (this is similar to the “interest based” ads on Google Adsense — its targeted to each user). However, since they are targeted to the user — they command higher CPMs than untargeted ads.
What do you mean by “Image ads”? What do these look like? Just like Google AdSense’s image ads, these will be high-quality graphic/banner ads from major brand name advertisers. We will only choose to show graphic/banner ads if they command high CPMs. These are the same ads that run on top ComScore 500 publishers’ sites.
I do not want image/graphic ads on my site! But I do want to use Chitika | Select – is that possible? Yes – in the opt-out section, you can keep Chitika | Select switched on, but opt-out of the image ads part of the service. Our goal here is to give you the options and the controls. We understand that no single size fits all.
Can I see a breakdown showing my earnings from search (Premium) vs. my earnings from non-search (Select) traffic? Yes. You will be able to run reports on this that separate the 2 types of ads that are showing – this will give you an accurate read on how well each type of ad is performing for you.
Can I keep my search-only ads where they are, but add new placements for the Select ads? Yes. If you want to use both the current Chitika | Premum ads and Chitika | Select, you should opt-out of Chitika | Select, and then you can just add this line of code into your new ads which will enable them for Select:
ch_select = "enabled";
Or vice versa – if you want to turn all of your existing ads into Chitika | Select, but then keep 1 or 2 ad Premium, you should stay opted-in to the new Chitika | Select service. Then you can add this line of code to the 1 or 2 ads that you want to show to search-only:
ch_select = "disabled";
What if I am using an Alternate Ad to show to my non-search traffic? Your Alternate Ad will continue to function just like it did before. However, Chitika | Select ads will override it whenever we feel that we can earn an eCPM yield that is similar to or greater than what you are earning on your search traffic.
Can I be assured that only family-friendly ads are displayed? Just like Chitika | Premium ads, we do our very best to ensure that our ads are family friendly. We do not allow adult advertisers or do business with adult advertisers. Period. These ads are filtered by multiple parties using various filtering tools. Again – all of these ads are sourced from major brand advertisers and are shown on top ComScore 500 sites, so there is little room for error. In the rare case that an ad would somehow slip through this, you are able to block ads by merchant and keyword from your “My Account” tab in your Chitika account. Also, you can submit any offending advertiser URL’s to our customer support team and we will have them removed immediately.
What about traffic outside the US and Canada? Stay tuned! With Chitika | Select technology we will be incorporating lots of new advertising partners, and we will be able to open up to more than just US and Canada traffic. This will begin to happen slowly and ramp up as we continue to roll the service out.
So… what other questions do you have? What other info/features/etc. would you like to see added to this? Please share your thoughts in the comments below!