Chitika has definitely been busy launching new features and tools for their eMiniMalls program. Here is a rundown of the latest changes and additions to the program.
You can now change the background colors in your ads. In your control panel, you will now find a color picker you can use to select custom background colors.
If you prefer to just hack your own code and not use the control panel interface to add it, simply add this line:
ch_color_bg = “#CCCCCC”;
One unfortunate side effect is that images in the ads will still be displayed with a white background. However, I have been assured they are working to change this.
As some people had reported, there were issues with viewing eMiniMalls ads with some browsers, notably the new Firefox 1.5 Beta. These have now been fixed.
Ad Interface Changes
You may have noticed that the advertiser now has a more prominent placement in the ad units now. This has been done to increase conversions for the merchants, which should relate into a higher CTR for publishers, particularly when “trusted merchants” are being shown.
Changes to the Product Image
The product images are no longer “clickable” as they were before. This was done because there were “curiosity clicks”. This may affect CTR slightly, but if the person is truly interested in the product, they will click the true link instead. It would be interesting to know just how frequently the image was clicked compared to the regular link.
Something else I noticed is that many of the images were animated, so that they would first appear smaller then “zoom in” to full sized in the ad unit. I checked a variety of ad units and sites, but found they were all static images now.
Adding eMiniMalls to Blogs:
You can now automatically insert your blog entry titles as your eMiniMalls keywords into MT and WP blogs by using the following:
On MT insert the following code:
ch_query = "<? $MTEntryTitle$ ?>";
On WP insert the following code:
ch_query = "<? php the_title(); ?>";
You simply paste that into your eMiniMalls script. A nice feature add-on for bloggers.
Contextual is turned off by default
The code generated in your control panel is now generated without the contextual turned on, but with the keyword targeting automatically generated instead.
You need to be sure you change it to your own keywords, right now the default is set to rotate ads between digital cameras, iPod Mini, Sony Playstation and Dell laptop.
Other things to come
There will be channel support launched soon, for publishers who want to track earnings across pages, directories or sites.
eMiniMalls for Verticals (which I announced on my appearance on SEO Rockstars) which would include eMiniMalls for Books & eMiniMalls for Travel. They are designed to perform better for sites in those niches.
And last but not least, they are working on a speedier turn around time for accessing stats.