I know I promised my results of using Chikita 3 days after my first impression post, but I’ve been struggling on my approach. See, there is one side of me that is extremely disappointed and some what frustrated, but another side that sees how Chitika can work and does fill the niche that Chitika is aiming for. So, as a disclaimer, let me stress the following.
“Chitika is not a replacement for Google Adsense, nor is Chitika trying to compete with Google Adsense.”
After listening to Chitika’s sales pitch I would have thought that I would be receiving comparable CPC’s on my automotive blog. However, that was not the case and averaging out it looks to be less than half. Taking it a step further, after the auditing process it potentially could be lowered again, which is where the frustration comes from.
In all of my sites I try to monetize in a way that does not affect readership. I view my sites more often than anyone, so I attempt to make them as void of Ads and marketing as possible. So, Chitika just doesn’t seem to be fitting in with my own business model. I have trouble justifying ad placement when it earns me less than half of the cost of a stamp per click. Higher CPC’s may be found in different niches, I’m only comparing Adsense CPC’s in the automotive category to that from Chitika.
The CTR is of course much higher than Adsense, which is to be expected since they use the tried and true ‘image-next-to-ad’ technique. Google banned this method over a year ago because it created less than optimal traffic for the advertisers. Essentially, you are tricking visitors into clicking on a link, nothing more, nothing less.
A higher CTR would be super awesome, if only it paid out decent. Where it stands right now, I would need 5-6 times the amount of clicks just to equal one click from my Adsense Ads. So why even bother taking up valuable real estate on my site and just annoying my visitors?
I’m struggling with the answer to that last question. Be damned if I’m going to sacrifice my Adsense earnings. That’s why Chitika focuses on alerting Publishers that Chitika can be used alongside Adsense ads. It doesn’t make sense for me, because I’m getting clicks, why would I want to sacrifice half my clicks for a lower paying ad? I wouldn’t.
Chitika Customer Service
I had the opportunity to talk with Ryan Travis, Director of Client Services at Chitika. My initial phone call was a service issue, dealing with accurate impressions, but all was working well(I’ll save info for another post). Ryan and I ended up talking about optimization, where Chitika see’s itself in the marketplace, and where they hope to go. Ryan was quick to respond to emails, a pleasure to talk with, and part of the reason why I will continue to use Chitika at some level.
Who Should Use Chitika
The only people who should be using Chitika are those who receive a lot of traffic from search engines. Of those people, the only ones who should be using Chitika are those who can’t get Google Adsense to convert. Chitika Premium ads are only shown to search engine traffic, so those of you getting traffic from other sites need not apply. And as mentioned above, don’t risk losing higher paying Adsense traffic to get a few more clicks on your Chitika ads.
I will continue to use Chitika in hopes they will increase their Automotive inventory of ads and eventually increase CPC’s. Ryan feels that the online marketing industry as a hole is trending toward higher search traffic CPC’s, rather than content related marketing like Adsense for content. I hope he’s right and I wish Chitika luck in their niche. We need options in the market place as both a publisher and advertiser.
In the not to distant future I will be publishing some more results from my Chitika ads. The Chitika ‘auditing’ process could prove to be a deal breaker, but I will reserve judgement.