Chitika | SearchAppalooza, SES NYC: Free booze, 6’4″ Owl…WTF?

  • Chitika is taking SES NYC ’09 by storm!

Send us a note if you are coming–we are offering all Chitika friends 20% off SES full conf passes, and free exhibit passes.

  • What’s in store?

Our SES “SearchAppalooza” workshop will feature Chitika’s “Kick-Ass Search App” contest…“Think American Idol for developers, with Yahoo! and Microsoft as the judges.” 

Stop-by our SES booth (#230) and meet “Hooty the Search Owl” –a 6’4″, fluffy owl who loves to play frisbee.

  • Can’t attend?

You can win cool stuff & watch SearchAppalooza from your couch.

  • SearchAppalooza Twitter Contest for an Amazon Kindle2! To enter, click here to post a SearchAppalooza tweet.
  • Watch SearchAppalooza live web-cast fan page.

Yes, Chitika is Hiring!

  

By: Alden DoRosario

CTO, Chitika Inc.

Since May 2008, the new Chitika | Premium service has been on a tear — growing 10-20% monthly to now sport the 5th largest pool of search advertising in the world. To accommodate this explosive growth, Chitika is hiring some key positions at our Marlborough, Massachusetts offices and is also opening a new San Francisco sales office. If you know of anyone who might be interested, please do send his/her resume to alden [at] chitika [dot] com or drop me a tweet @adorosario

Here are some of the positions that are open with links to more details. All positions are in-house full-time at our Marlborough, Massachusetts office (except the San Francisco sales position)

  • Director of Marketing
  • Sales Representatives – Publisher Recruitment (multiple positions)
  • Software Engineer (multiple positions)
  • Sales Representatives – San Francisco (multiple positions)

Please note: These are all current positions with approved budgets. Hiring for these positions is immediate. To apply, please send your resume to alden [at] chitika [dot] com or drop me a tweet @adorosario

4 Factors For Success on Your Site – From 50 High-Earning Chitika Publishers

There are tons of different factors that determine how much money you can make from Chitika ads on your website.  In fact, all of these factors can be very overwhelming when you are trying to work on improving your earnings! To help figure out which factors are the MOST important, we looked at 50 high-earning Chitika publishers, and narrowed down the top 4 factors that they all had in common.  By improving these 4 factors on your site, you should see a big difference in your advertising revenue [note: this exercise is using Chitika data, but these 4 factors apply to ALL types of advertising (AdSense, TribalFusion, etc.)].

Factor 1:  Traffic

Let’s face it – to earn a lot of money, you need to have a lot of traffic.  If you don’t have a lot of users coming to your site, then you probably won’t get too many clicks on your ads!

Factor 2:  U.S. Traffic

While having a lot of traffic is important, we can go a step further and say that specifically US traffic is ideal.  It is well-known in the ad industry that the US market is the most developed and lucrative.  Our 50 high-earners all showed more than half of their traffic coming from the US.

  • Suggestions: Know where your traffic is coming from!  You can usually check this easily on sites like Spyfu.com, or in your Google Analytics (if you aren’t running analytics software yet, you should be!).

Factor 3:  U.S. Search Engine Traffic/SEO

Search engine traffic is extremely targeted, and advertisers like this.  People coming to your site from search engines are most often the people who click on ads.  And specifically to Chitika, our Premium ads will only show to this type of traffic!  Again, our group of 50 high-earning Chitika users all had over 45% of their U.S. traffic coming from search engines.

Factor 4:  CTR (Click-Through Rate)

This seems obvious, but it is worth looking into a bit deeper.  For our group of 50 high-earners, their average CTR was 1.6%, so you should shoot to be in that range or higher if possible.

Still feeling overwhelmed?  Don’t!  Take a deep breath, put on the new Bon Iver album, and start with just one of the factors.  You don’t have to do them all at the same time – just focus on one of them and take it from there. – Posted by Ryan Travis, Director of Client Services

Recently Frequently Asked Questions (RFAQ)

  

By: Daniel Dore

Chitika Customer Service

1. What happened to my traffic from October and November?!? It’s gone!! The “unaudited” (or ‘raw’) data is cleared from your account every 60-90 days. The reason for clearing your past months of unaudited data is to speed up loading of your current reporting data. However, your audited stats (which is what payments are based on) will never be cleared from your account. Here’s a great knowledgebase article on how to view your audited data. To view your “audited” revenue stats in your reports simply click on “Change Report Metrics/Settings” and select “Audited Revenue”

2. What happened to Chitika | eMiniMalls? Chitika | eMiniMalls have been upgraded to Chitika | Premium ads over the past year. With this change we can now cater to ALL types of websites – finance, health, automobile, etc., instead of focusing on websites centered around shopping products & product reviews. Since this upgrade our publisher network has grown from 17,000 to 39,000! Learn more about Premium and its award-winning innovative technology here.

3. How come I see “mortgage” ads in my Premium ads? My site isn’t about mortgages! Premium Ads can only be seen on your page by visitors who enter your site from a search engine, and the ad displayed in this unit will be based on the term they searched for. To preview the ad, we created a Preview Tool that will show you a “test” of how the ad will appear to a search engine visitor reaching your site. The default term for this ‘test’ is “mortgages”. To use the Preview Tool- Add this text to the end of your URL: #chitikatest=mortgage Then click ENTER, and Ctrl + R to refresh your page.  You can change the term for this ‘test’; if you change the word “mortgages” to “cars”, you would see an add for cars, etc.

4. I tried logging into the support section, but it wouldn’t let me! The log-in for our Customer Support System is different from the account section of chitika.com – this way, non-members can submit questions.  FIRST, click “Submit a Ticket“, to contact support. After you submit your question, you will receive an email with a user name (your email address) and password to log in to the Support section. If not, try checking your spam folder (sometimes the spam monster steals our emails). We want to encourage anyone who has an issue with their ads or any part of Chitika services to let us know so we can work on fixing it right away. You may have noticed our Feedback tab throughout our website – thank you all for your great feedback!

Don’t forget to water your ads

My neighbor has the greenest grass in our neighborhood. He purchases the most advanced lawn treatment available and cares for it like a child. Last summer he decided to plant some flowers and start a garden because, according to him, “you know, the soil underneath the grass bed is richer and healthier than ever”. He planted vegetable seeds and the prettiest flowers but, a couple of weeks after he noticed the flowers were not thriving and the garden wasn’t growing like he had hoped. He spent all his time on the lawn’s upkeep that he neglected the flowers, expecting them to thrive without any work or effort.

Unfortunately many of our publishers make this same mistake when “planting” ads on their website. You may have a great, well-maintained site with great content, but you didn’t take a few minutes to customize and blend them into your site layout correctly. As a result, you might not be seeing much revenue accumulate in your account; how could this all have been prevented?

Simple customization features are available in Chitika | Premium ads that could be the key to keeping your ads alive on your site. These tricks take only seconds and when you sit back to enjoy the revenue rolling into your Chitika reports, you will appreciate the time you took to do it. Here are a few simple customization tips for your ads to thrive on your pages:

Available customization options:

-TIP: Matching your site background color, site text colors and links will help your ads blend nicely with your content.
  • Target: when clicked, this line of code will make the Premium ad open in a new window or tab:
  • ch_target = “_blank”;
-TIP: Enabling this will keep your ad clickers from navigating away from your page.
  • Font options: these lines of code will change the font of the ad’s main link or the text of the ad, respectively:
  • ch_font_title = “Arial”; ch_font_text = “Arial”;
-TIP: Similar to matching the colors on your page to your ad, matching the text will make it blend even better.
  • Inserting an alternate ad campaign to show an alternate ad unit when the Premium ads do not display:
  • ch_alternate_ad_url = “INSERT URL HERE”;
-TIP: Since Premium will only show to US/Canada search engine traffic, displaying an alt URL can help make sure you keep a steady flow of ad revenue coming in.

All of these customization options can be edited right in your Premium Code Panel. Posted by: Karla Escolas, CRM/Marketing -Chitika, Inc.

To apply for Chitika ads, click here. If you already have a Chitika account, you can get your Chitika | Premium code by clicking here.

New Features in the Chitika | Premium WordPress Plugin

Another update to the Chitika | Premium WordPress plugin. Now with customizations like appending above, below or both to your channel name, depending on position for superior ad tracking. Don’t forget the option to display Chitika | Premium to permalink pages to ensure your home page and archive pages aren’t overloaded with ads – remember: search queries are usually targeted to your permalink pages!

Chitika banks on NOT showing ads

When it’s smart to show an ad and when it’s wise NOT to…

The constant question throughout advertising has been and always will be “what type of ad should I show on my website?” As an ad network, we’re sensitive to this question for our users, but also aware of it as we cater to our users. As we took a step back to analyze the situation we realized that in order for our publishers to use their ad spaces to its fullest potential we had to make a fundamental change in the way we display ads in these spaces. 

The majority of online ad budgets are wasted on mismatched ads which results in a lower potential of revenue for online publishers. So we decided to change our strategy; from deciding WHICH ad to display, to WHEN to display ads. This paved the way for a new technology you can find in our Chitika | Premium ad units – the industry’s first intelligent collapsing ad units, designed to only show up for targeted website visitors. 

We are honored that this technology is why Chitika was selected as a Red Herring 100 Global ‘08 finalistVenkat Kolluri, Chitika’s CEO, will be presenting at the Red Herring conference in San Diego on January 15th.  Read the full story in our recent press release: Chitika Ad Network Banks on NOT Showing Ads.

Posted by: Karla Escolas, CRM/Marketing Chitika, Inc. To apply for Chitika ads, click here. If you already have a Chitika account, you can get your Chitika | Premium code by clicking here.

Announcing the Winners of the AdSense + Chitika | Premium Placement Contest

Ladies and Gentleman – we have your winners! After carefully reviewing all submissions (blog comments and email) we have chosen one grand prize winner to receive their choice of:

  • Google/T-Mobile G1 Android phone
  • Blackberry Storm
  • Apple iPhone 3G 8Gb

And 2 runners up to receive $200 each! GRAND PRIZE WINNER: Donald Yeck of www.DoItYourself.com The forums at DoItYourself.com are 100% text-based – no graphics at all!  Since Chitika | Premium shows images next to the ads, it provides a nice visual “flare” for his site (and needless to say – the CTR on these ads is quite high!). 

Chitika | Premium units add a nice variety to his layout, which not only is pleasing to his users, but it also puts additional revenue in his pocket.  😉 The 2 runners up who will receive $200 each are: www.PurseVillage.com www.WoodFloorDoctor.com Congratulations to the 3 winners and thank you to everyone who entered the contest! Subscribe to The Chitika Blog here so that you don’t miss out on your chance to enter & win our next contest.

Why Are There So Many Ad Networks?

Advertisers and publishers are aware of many more ad networks than the few which were part of the panel discussion that I participated in at the DPAC II conference this past October. Why are there so many networks? As an advertiser or as a publisher, should you work with more than one network? Why work with any network? What are the differences between the networks?

There ARE many networks. Because of this there are a lot of interesting innovations in technologies and service delivery. There are different pricing models. Some networks reach limited demographics and geographies, some reach broad demographics and geographies. Some networks and pricing models are best for short term campaigns and others are great for ongoing campaigns. Different networks offer different opportunities for both advertisers and publishers.

If you are an online advertiser, you likely leverage multiple advertising networks for achieving and exceeding your strategic objectives. Internet advertising is highly quantifiable and you can therefore measure the exposure, volume of traffic and quality of traffic received through your network ad spend as well as any direct ad spend. You are likely analyzing a few of fundamental items such as – How is each advertising program performing towards your overall goal? Top to bottom, which are your best programs? Which programs, if you want to press the accelerator, can allow you to scale?

Our Advertisers, especially in challenging economic times, like the fact that we are a performance-based PPC keyword engine with closed loop conversion tracking. To our advertisers, we look and behave as a search engine-like sales and marketing channel. Based upon the more than 500,000,000 ads we served in September to end users who clicked from a search engine to our publishers’ sites, Chitika is trending to become the “3rd largest ad serving search engine” behind Google and Yahoo (uniquely we’re monetizing the “2nd click”).

Some publishers generate all of their revenue through advertising networks. Other publishers complement their direct advertising sales with inventory from advertising networks. With so many networks available, how are publishers deciding which to participate in? Publisher decisions around advertising network partnerships are many and include potential revenue, network mandated rules and contractual obligations, style of advertisements (is the look and feel of the ads appropriate for the publisher’s site?), content and relevancy of the advertisements, quality of advertisers, the initial setup work and ongoing “maintenance” for an ad unit, and the volume of available advertising inventory. Publishers typically have more than one advertising network relationship.

Why is Chitika’s cpc network growing so quickly? Publishers are pleased with several aspects of the Chitika Premium ad program including strong eCPMs, best in class targeting (by design our ads are always relevant to any web page on which one appears), easy deployment, and unlimited inventory from a massive base of blue chip advertisers.

I am looking forward to having an interesting discussion with you – the advertisers and publishers – about this.  Whether you are an advertiser looking to expand your reach, or improve the results from your current ad spend, or if you are a publisher looking to improve your revenue stream and maintain a great end user experience, please be sure to participate by leaving comments below.