New Changes in Your Chitika Reports

In addition to the current upgrades in the Chitika ad service, we have begun incorporating ads which pay per impression (CPM/CPI) along with pay per click (CPC) for your websites.

What is changing in my reports? With the addition of these CPM ads, we will no longer be reporting on clicks. Because of this, the CPC and CTR values in your reports now become quite irrelevant and alter your focus from your actual revenue earnings. We feel that removing the CPC and CTR fields, will help you see the most important aspect of your earnings: your revenue.

How should I read my reports? Focusing on your impressions and the revenue earnings for those impressions will show you the CPM rate you are getting. Previously, your CPC and CTR stats did not include stats from CPM ads on your site. So as of today, your reports will now give you a breakdown of Impressions, CPM and Revenue. 

Welcoming Mega Unit Jr. to the ad Family

The Chitika Mega Unit, launched exactly one year ago, due to a custom request from a publisher, and went on to do very well for other publishers. The Mega unit is a non-conventional ad size, and Chitika is the only company that offers it. Because the ad unit did so well for a test group of publishers, we made it available for all. The Mega Unit comes in sizes: 550×250, 500×250. We realize that some sites do not have the space to place such a wide ad unit, but you still would like to receive the benefits from it. So, now available is the Mega Unit Jr., size: 468×250. This will give you the large, successful size of the Mega Unit for those who do not have a 550 or 500 pixel space. To try this size out, simply edit the ad code on your page, or generate a new ad in your code panel.  This all began with feedback from you, please let us know what you’d like to see!

Chitika begins testing ads in Europe

Great news for publishers with traffic in Europe! We will be slowly expanding your ad display to your traffic in the following countries: UK, GB, DE, IT, ES NL, DK, NO, SE Your Earnings Quick Report table that’s available right in your dashboard after you login, will show you a 7-day rundown.

Additional custom reporting will be available in your advanced settings. 

Please note: We will be displaying ads to only a portion of this traffic to start, and you may see some abnormalities in your impressions counts for international stats. These will be ironed-out soon.

Chitika @ GeoDomain Expo & AppNexus Summit 2010

GeoDomain Expo is the sharing of information and best practices among the Associated Cities member/operators and is the reason why Associated Cities has become one of the most important coalitions of independent media owners on the Internet. Vik Chhabra, Director of Business Development at Chitika, was asked to present on the: Developing Any City panel. Not all cities are created equally. What core strategies can be used to monetize any city’s potential, regardless of size or tourism numbers (or lack thereof). 

Alden DoRosario, Co-Founder & CTO, Chitika spoke on a panel about “What Works for Ad Networks: Technology Challenges” at AppNexus Summit 2010. Alden was joined on a Technology Panel with others who represent the richness of innovation happening in the ecosystem of technology. Click click here to watch the video!

97% revenue increase with Chitika | Select ads for AllForGirls.net

Update: AllForGirls.net is no longer in relationship with Chitika 

A Chitika | Select Success Story

Gao, being a long-time fan of online games, one day decided to start his own online game site. “I noticed girl names were incredibly popular, so I registered domain: AllForGirls.net November 6, 2007”. The website features free online games for girls in which he is able to include his own created games. With the help of his great production team, they often include new games to keep the site fresh and fun. One year later, Gao started using Chitika ads on the site. He always customized his Chitika ads very nicely to match the color scheme of his very colorful website, and has had a steady income stream from Chitika for 2 years. Before Chitika launched Select ads at the beginning of last month, Gao along with the remaining Chitika publisher network relied on Chitika Premium (search-targeted ads) for revenue. However, many including Gao were missing out on potential revenue from their non-search traffic. With the addition of Chitika | Select ads, which display to some non-search traffic (see below for more), AllForGirls.net experienced a 97% increase in revenue. Gao did not have to make any updates to his existing Chitika ad units; if you are using Premium on your site, Select ads will automatically start to display.  

So why don’t we display ads 100% of the time for maximum revenue? User experience plays a major role in the way Chitika chooses to show ads. Striking the right balance between both user experience and revenue, is what we believe to be very important to publishers. While displaying ads 100% of the time can give a publisher a higher revenue, it can have a negative impact on your visitors. This is why Chitika Select ads, will display to your search traffic as well as a “select” portion of your non-search. The “select” portion of your non-search is the key. How we determine this portion is how we were able to take it a step further using our click-prediction technology. Explaining to a publisher that we don’t just focus on the revenue earning aspect of the spectrum is what makes Chitika different; we are the only advertising network to provide this technology. You can read more on this here.

Are Chitika Select ads on my site(s)? We have been rolling out Select ads slowly across the Chitika Network. Once Select ads start to appear on your site, you will see an increase in impressions as well as a new Select/Premium comparison stats graph when you login. Submit your testimonial or story to be featured here.

The man behind the “number of iPads sold”

The man behind our newly famous “estimated number of iPads sold” is actually one of the youngest “men” here at the Chitika office; Gui Pinto just celebrated his 20th birthday.

Gui is holding his brand new iPad he received as a gift from Chitika CEO, Venkat Kolluri for putting together the data so quickly.

“I am super thankful and very excited to own my very own iPad. I also can’t wait to get into developing new apps for this thing.”

What is this iPad estimator and how was it born? Gui Pinto was the recipient of a very early phone call from Chitika’s CTO, Alden DoRosario last Saturday morning in which he told him, “I have an idea…”. Gui spent the next 12 hours putting together the data & the page featuring real time stats! During the duration of writing this post, there were 768,480 iPads sold, but if you click here now, it will be more than that.  The estimator gives you a breakdown of adoption by hour and by state. How did we do it? You can read more into the technical stuff here. I know I am looking forward to more of Alden’s ideas =)

Chitika and Squidoo: A Perfect Match

The Chitika Team is excited to be working with Squidoo because they are a model publisher for our network. Chitika has always been a publisher centric advertising network, working with publishers to maximize advertising revenue and giving them choices about how to do that. We understand that all publishers have an inner dialogue about how to maximize revenue and grow the business, but also create the greatest user experience possible.  Often times strategies to maximize revenue are perceived to be the worse options for ensuring high user experience.  Take for example putting up another ad unit.  More ads means a worse user experience, right? Well hold on. Squidoo is uber concerned with visitor experience.  So adding a Chitika | Select ad to their page would seem to go against their philosophy of creating the highest quality user experience.  Turns out that wasn’t the case.  Here’s why:

  1. Chitika and Squidoo worked together to customize the look and feel of Chitika’s ads to perfectly integrate with Squidoo’s themes.  We worked on a custom title and colors that fit both Squidoo’s metrics of quality but also ensuring performance and revenue. 
  2. Chitika’s targeting technology can decide when to show an ad or when to disappear.  Yup that’s right, we don’t show ads all the time risking your visitors experience.  We think smart impressions is more revenue and user experience.  Based upon a number of metrics our ads show selectively and that helps protect Squidoo’s most loyal visitors by insuring that we won’t show them ads.

The end result is that Squidoo is enjoying additional revenue while protecting their impressive brand and high user experience.  How could Chitika help your site increase revenue and user experience?

SEO Tips for Bing – SMX Interview

Hi, all!  I’ve put out a few research studies showing that Bing traffic converts better than Google traffic, and always the response from publishers has been: “Great, now what do I do?”  How do you optimize your website to increase your traffic from Bing specifically? Well, last week I attended SMX West in San Jose, and had the pleasure of meeting and interviewing Sasi Parthasarasy, one of the brilliant minds behind Bing, and asked him just that.  Let’s see his response: Thanks Sasi for your candor, and your advice. You heard the man, folks: secure up those sites, and blow readers away with awesome content!

Chitika | Select – Your Questions Answered

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!

Chitika Ads: Going Beyond Search Traffic…

Up until now, Chitika ads were only able to cater to your search traffic with Chitika | Premium.  I am now happy to introduce Chitika | Select ads, which will display to more than just your search traffic. This upgrade to Premium ads on will allow Chitika ads to reach more visitors and directly increase your Chitika ad revenue.  We estimate Select ads could give publishers a 5 – 10% revenue increase on top of Premium ads alone.

How do Chitika | Select ads work? Using our click-prediction technology, Chitika | Select ads will display only when there is a higher chance the ad will be clicked. The percentage of non-search traffic that will see the Select ads will vary from site to site.

FAQ’s

Can I Still Use Chitika | Select With Google AdSense? Yes! Just like the Chitika | Premium ads you can use the new Chitika | Select ads and AdSense together on the same page.

How Can I Upgrade My Chitika | Premium Ads? You don’t need to, it will happen automatically Monday, March 8th 2010.

Are Chitika | Select Ads PPC (Pay-Per-Click)? Chitika | Select will always show the highest-paying ads possible. This will include PPC ads as well as CPM image/banner ads (which pay per impression, whether a user clicks or not).

Will Chitika | Select Ads look different than Chitika | Premium? Sometimes. Similar to how Google shows image/banner ads if they determine that it is the highest paying ad for a certain user visiting the site, we will do the same. Some of your users will see ads with the Chitika | Premium format and others will see ads that look different but will pay more.

If you would rather have your Chitika ads continue to ONLY show to your search traffic, you can learn more about the opt-out option for Chitika | Select in our knowledgebase.  *However by doing so, you will miss out on a potential revenue boost!

What do you think of our new Select ads?   Please comment below.