Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Chitika - An Adsense Alternative. search targeted advertising network
The internet is full of online money making opportunities. If you are able to detect scam and approach only those opportunities which are legit, then this virtual world is going to be a best place for you in making some extra cash online while staying at home.

In this post I would discuss another source to make some good money while blogging. This source is known as It's similar to other "display ads on your blog" websites where you have an opportunity to display ads and earn money on every click of your visitors. has some exclusive features too which make it stand out from other contextual advertising network. But first little introduction would be useful.

Chitika,Inc. was founded by Venket Kolluri and Alden Dorosorio. It serves more than 2 billion ads per month and displayed in more than 35000 websites. The exclusive feature I was talking about it is that it's basically a search targeted advertising network. Which means that the Java script which is integrated by the blogger in his blog, tracks the keywords of the visitors of the blog coming from search engine and then displays the ads in its database most related to that keyword(s). So basically it's core competence lies in monetizing your traffic coming from search engines.

I intent to write more than one post about this website. In this post I would restrict myself to some introductory notes about this online income opportunity.

I said that chitika's main concern is monetizing your search traffic. However they also provide contextual based advertising option too where the ads displayed are correlated to the content of your blog. But this opportunity is only restricted to Chitika Eminimall ad units or just recently added in March 2010, Chitika Select (to be honest, I haven't tried both of them but I will inform you about their features as soon as I try them). You can switch Chitika Eminimall ads to either contextual based or search based. If you switch to contextual based, you cannot have adsense ads on the same page, these Chitika ads are operating. However they can be a good source of adsense alternative. If you do not want to confront google adsense and want to get along with it. You can switch to search targeted option and can place the ads on the same page where your adsense ads are.

Since the ads displayed are close to the keywords typed by your visitors which led him to your page, then there's a fair chance that you will get a high click through rate. What you have to is to place the ad unit at the position where they are most visible to your visitors and they will tend to click more on these ads than any other contextual based ads. Talking of high click through rate (CTR), my CTR with chitika ad units is around 3.5-4% where as in adsense it was around 2%.

The amount earned per click is not so encouraging for me. Though I have come across some blogs whose member profess that their chitika ad units yield more than google's adsense per click but for me its otherwise. The average pay per click for me is around 7 to 8 cents. In adsense it was 18 to 20 cents. A huge difference according to my own experience.

You can also earn referral commission of 10% for the first 15 months your referral earns through chitika. Sure chitika has an upper hand in this matter as no referral program is being run by google any more. These 15 months start right from the date your referral is approved.

The downside of chitika's earning is of course the one that I discussed above i.e low pay per click (according to my own experience). More demerits of it would be that the ads are only visible to search engine traffic coming from USA and Canada only. So you require a good traffic from these countries in order to make money from Chitika. Lastly, I would like to tell you about its audited and unaudited revenue. Unaudited revenue is the normal revenue you earn on each click. Audited revenue is the revenue which is updated after 1-2 days of unaudited revenue. It means that Chitika staff or bots assess the legitimacy of each and every click and deducts the earnings of every click they are suspicious about.

It's not a bad system at all. I think even adsense should have innovated it a long time ago. But my main concern is the huge difference between audited and unaudited revenue. For me this difference is about 50-70%. Its not only me who's complaining about it but I have seen many other chitika members expressing their disgust against this mass reduction.

However overall it's a fine ads service and a person can make some good money out of it. The other day I was researching, I read a blog where a person is making almost $100 a day. The only trick he says is the optimized positioning of the ad units and that's it. By the way the minimum payout is $10 and $50 for Paypal and bank check respectively. So I'd recommend you to be a part of It's definitely worth trying.


Anup on 19 March 2010 at 03:25 said...

Great review ;)

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