Jenstar

Chitika publishers see drastically reduced earnings in audited reports

When publishers first joined Chitika’s eMiniMalls and saw the fact that Chitika would be auditing revenue, many publishers were not alarmed. AdSense has this as well, and I only know of a handful of publishers who have ever had their monthly income audited, and they were mainly for obvious click attacks. So I saw no reason to worry over audited income, and if I expected to see audited income, I would expect a drop in the 2% or maybe as high as 5% range.

In a thread at DigitialPoint, it didn’t take long to see the full extent of just how significant these audits actually were. One publisher saw one day’s income drop from $28.02 to $3.05 and saw similar drops on other days. Publishers are reporting drops anywhere from 10% to as high as 60% of revenue cut.

And over at SitePoint, the news gets even worse. In a thread there, several publishers report their income being audited by 70% or more… with one publisher reporting he lost 90% of his income in the audit.

I saw a cut in my earnings from my own ad displays of about 15%. And I lost well over HALF of my referral revenue for the month of October. And since I was running the referral program for nearly all of October (instead of just since the 18th, like most publishers) it isn’t just 14 days I saw half my revenue cut but rather it was 26 days of promoting Chitika in October that I lost over half my income on. And I suspect I will see the same for November as well.

You also have to wonder exactly what they are auditing for? Did they drop every click that didn’t convert into a sale? If so, that is definitely not what publishers signed up for. But with so many publishers reporting such high % of revenue being audited, it is a possibility.

I also suspect it is likely that Chitika knew audits were going to be this drastic when they released the newly designed ad units on November 16th. They should have started to release audited figures then, even if they were unable to release the entire month’s audits. This would have given publishers more time to prepare for the fact that the payments they were expecting to be issued yesterday (as per net 30 terms) would be less than expected, rather than finding out last night when the updated figures were finally released.

The other thing that hurt publishers with this is that they took a full 30 days after the end of the month of October to release audited revenue numbers. And I suspect many publishers would have removed Chitika from their sites if they had known that ad space would only be worth half as much as what they expected. And now publishers are looking at the fact they have promoted Chitika (both for referrals and by running ad units) for the entire month of November without knowing the true impact of the audits and wondering just how much of that effort will be wasted when audits are finally completed on November earnings at the end of December.

And it is also the holiday season, I suspect that many publishers were counting on that income for holiday spending. And for some publishers, losing 50 or even 90 percent of their expected earnings could add up to some pretty significant dollars for some publishers.

Also, I have not heard of any publisher being paid yet. And since most publishers receive payments via PayPal and on net 30 terms, publishers should have been receiving PayPal payments already. So one also has to wonder if there is a delay in getting those audited earnings to customers. But when I double checked on the net 30 terms in the Chitika Terms, I was reminded of this clause:

Chitika will not be responsible for any payments to Client until payment has been collected from Chitika’s advertisers.

Could this be the reason no one has received a payment yet?

All in all, this audited income fiasco is a huge disappointment for publishers. And I have to wonder if the many people who dropped AdSense for Chitika now find that Chitika really was the more profitable one now that audits have been done. And more than a few publishers on the forums are already stating they are dropping Chitika after seeing these drasticly reduced audited income reports. And I don’t blame them. Seeing half my income go is giving me second thoughts as well.

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55 comments to Chitika publishers see drastically reduced earnings in audited reports

  • People will find out the truth about chitika.
    I have been doubting the credibility of them for a while.
    Stop and have a look round and read between the lines.
    You will get a big shock

  • Chitika – Too Good to be True

    I have been working on other things lately, but unless you live in a hole in the ground, you have heard about and seen Chitika ads all over the web. Chitika has been the hottest thing since sliced bread since their cool little ad units started poppin…

  • Isabelle

    The audit has been a disgrace, I lost 40 percent, and know of others who have lost upwards of 60 percent to this hatchet job of an audit.

    The whole affair seems to have be been cloaked in shadow and fog.

    First the image wasn’t clickable, then they removed the product titles.

    Curiosity clicks, invalid clicks, fraudulent clicks? What kind of clicks does Chitika like?

  • Bill

    Do you think people will file lawsuit agains Chitika?

    I know the guy at problogger promotes them heavily, I wonder that he’ll say now?

  • frank

    The biggest problem I have is the fact that I actively recruited other people to join Chitika. I feel responsible for giving them such high hopes. After they see the audited figures, they will curse me. It might sound melodramatic, but I feel dirty. I hope these Chitika fraudsters end up in jail.

    I just want to say how much I admire you. I know you pushed the program and stand to lose some money by being so honest about Chitika right now. What you lose in Chitika money, you win in respect.

  • Maybe now that people aren’t going to get paid as much as they originally though, they will finally open their eyes and realize that these Chitika things are just plain UGLY!

  • Big Disapointment In Chitika Click Audits

    Like everyone else when Chitika launched we were very pleased with the earnings (unaudited earnings that is). We have been running Chitika ads on our entire network since they launched. While the clickthrough rate or CTR was not very good, the CPC o…

  • Problogger in bed with Chitika early maybe not so smart

    At first I thought it was weird how much problogger.net promoted Chitika. Then I found it even more weird when I got a email from Chitika telling me to visit problogger for tips on better conversions… Maybe its just ironic but perhaps maybe of t…

  • I seem to be lucky in that the cut has been less than 20%, even with about half of my visitors being outside the US. On the other hand I get low traffic and low clicks even before auditing (I think the highest day had 5), so it looks like Chitika being pretty firm with a rule along the lines of one click per IP per day.

  • Chitika cheaters?

    I came across this blog post on Jensense talking about Chitika ads, which claimed that the unaudited Chitika revenue numbers didn’t line up with the "audited revenue" Chitika numbers. All bloggers knew that there might be some click fraud whi…

  • Tim

    To answer your question Jen, I HAVE been paid (today) for October’s revenue.

  • Not sure what the total reduction I saw from auditing was, but it wasn’t more than 10% or so.

    Also, I got paid today, via PayPal, as well, for whatever that’s worth.

  • Actually, I went and did the math, and I saw a 40% reduction in clicks and revenue. Much bigger deal.

  • John

    I lost 50% of my click revenue. My traffic is mainly European and North American; mostly physicians so I know they have money. My eCPM turns out to be about 1.00 USD which is a joke for my quality traffic. I am really insulted actually with this eCPM figure. I can make about 30 times this with other contextual programs. Besides this, isn’t the internet global? I don’t believe that ecommerce sites tend to reject purchases from asian countries. If they aren’t going to pay on Asian traffic, then they shouldn’t serve ads to them.

  • They grabbed about 45% of my revenue as well. I’m so chuffed I’m gathering up stories to help spread the word.

  • 90% of my revenue has gone in a blink of an eye.

  • I only lost 2% after audit. No complaints here.

  • A Bad Week for Chitika

    Chitika’s eMiniMalls was seen by many to be the real deal in it’s competition for Pay-Pay-Click advertising on blogs, none more so that Darren Rowse’s ProBlogger – Here, Here, Here and Here, who has been a fervent admirer of Chitika …

  • Hate to be a jackass here — but I’m not suprised. This kind of affiliate hanky panky is nothing new. There have been plenty of fly by night affiliate programs in the adult industry.

    And if their TOS allowed this there isn’t a chance in hell you can sue them and expect to see a penny.

  • Dirk

    I got paid today, with a drop of 44%.

  • They absconded with 45% of my earnings as well!

  • Chitika Publishers Furious Over Revenue Audit That Has Taken Up To 90% Of Their Revenue

    Chitika implemented a revenue audit to invalidate clicks it calls “curiosity clicks” that I mentioned here on Nov 17,2005. Unfortunately for some publishers — and most it seems — upon checking their month ending stats some have seen upwards of…

  • spud

    If I were a syndicated ad network looking to get rid of low-quality publishers, I wouldn’t be too upset by the fact that many low-quality publishers are leaving.

    Reward the performers, cut the rest. Repeat. You then end up with a quality network, and the performers are even more well rewarded.

    Problem: the negative PR needs to be nipped in the bud. There are productive publishers, waiting on the sidelines, wanting to know if the ad supplier is the real deal.

  • Update To Chitika eMiniMalls Posting

    In my last posting I talked about a new pay per click ad called service called eMiniMalls by Chitika. In the last paragraph I wrote: “As I haven’t been paid by Chitika yet I am not sure how many (if any) of my clicks will be reversed.” Well I was fina…

  • They didn’t take any of my money for October. Of course that was my first month, and I only made $2.44. It is indeed upsetting that we have to wait another month to see what they’re going to do to our November earnings…

  • JD

    Is it just me or has chitika started ignoring the keywords i enter?

  • JD

    Is it just me or is Chitkia ignoring my keywords. I don’t have contextual as i still have adsense on my site, but my ads have been really off topic the for the last week.

  • Chitika Payment

    I read this on Jensense’s blog:

    Also, I have not heard of any publisher being paid yet. And since most publishers receive payments via PayPal and on net 30 terms, publishers should have been receiving PayPal payments already. So one also has t…

  • Spud: There is one way for them to get rid of the negative PR, change their name.

  • Chitika Audits Kinda Shitika

    I’ve hung back from experimenting with Chitika, the hip new contextual advertising program, so this info is all second hand, but a lot of people are reporting heavy earnings cuts over the past few days, as Chitica has begun auditing revenue: Jensense s…

  • Chitika Audits Kinda Shitika

    I’ve hung back from experimenting with Chitika, the hip new contextual advertising program, so this info is all second hand, but a lot of people are reporting heavy earnings cuts over the past few days, as Chitica has begun auditing revenue: Jensense s…

  • Chitika Backlash – My view from the sidelines

    Wadblog of course is now looking for who to whore himself err partner with in return for loot. Adsense from Google is kind of a no brainier, but who else is out there? Chitika is one who while doing my research I have looked at and it?s interesting. No…

  • gt

    Is there a net equivalent to the Better Business Bureau? This should be investigated. I will begin removing most, if not all, of their code from my site. I haven’t been audited yet…have to wait at least one more month. Doesn’t matter anyway because I doubt I’ll get paid.

  • I had read on Webmasterworld and other forums that there is a drop of 2 – 10 %. 10 % was considered way too much. But now after reading 40 – 50 % Chitika seems ridiculous. Do they take into account clicks which convert into sales or clicks from the USA only ?

  • I was paid on a night between dec 1st and 2nd. Deduction – minimal… Visitors mainly from UK on my website.

  • Linda

    Nothing was deducted from my earnings for October, but earnings were really poor as hardly anyone ever clicked on the ads. I ran Chitika for a total of 6 weeks and only accumulated about $6. It has been removed from my sites with no regrets.

  • Chitika’s auditing PR problem

    Ouch.  Boy Chitika has certainly taken it on the chin this week.  I’m not going to revel in their woe.  …

  • Chitika’s auditing PR problem

    Ouch.  Boy Chitika has certainly taken it on the chin this week.  I’m not going to revel in their woe.  …

  • Would be interesting to see stats from a larger dataset of webmasters. I only lost ~10% which isn’t so bad… definitely still a viable adsnse alternative for some of my sites.

    Obviously the people that lost bigger percentages are going to be making the most noise, but I’m not convinced it was the majority of chitika users that had the 20% or higher cuts.

  • Chitika Auditing Hubbub

    Some hubbub going around over the Chitika revenue audit: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. I’m not giving up on Chitika completely myself. I lost…

  • That is too bad for chitika. It looks good on my site. I signup before the audit warnings. I was torn between adsense and chitika, mainly by the looks. These turning point just made up my mind. Googles for me.

  • Why doesn’t everyone just grow up??

    “Money is the root of all kinds of evil” – and it sure shows…

    1. Chitika is not a scam – it’s a startup
    2. The ToS always talked about audited and unaudited earnings.
    3. Any business is allowed to change its model – they have to serve both advertisers and publishers.
    4. Chitika’s admin features and design are not fantastic at present but they are being developed.
    5. Not everyone ‘lost’ huge sums of revenue (Lost is in quotes seeing as one hadn’t earned the revenue in the first place)
    6. Some people flit from program to program far too quickly, blaming everyone and anything but themselves when it appears to be changing/going wrong.

    I for one (and no, I’m not pushing affiliate links except on 2 blogs) will keep going with C. because my earnings are still growing. And even if they hadn’t, I never put my eggs all in one basket. I’m happy to see how C. develops, rather than badmouthing it.

    Chitika isn’t pathetic, it’s all the naysayers. You really should get out more.

  • Oh and as for:

    “Could this be the reason no one has received a payment yet?”

    Huh?? Do you expect to get payment the exact second the month ticks over (in whatever time zone you’re in)? My PayPal account had been credited well before close of play 1st December (GMT) – actually before I expected it, to be honest.

    Give the guys a break.

  • Victor

    Well put Andy. Seems more like mass hysteria than anything else. Wonder what will happen if everything begins to come around again…will all of these people go back and sing their praises again??

  • Well, I’m not someone who’s about to bad-mouth them; but i have backed off my use of C majorly. I have no idea how much they’re going to audit…and some of these legitimate 40-50% reports are scareworthy. I’m willing to use em – but have to know whether i’m wasting my ad money…

  • I feel physically sick…

    This whole thing has gotten RIDICULOUS.

    The complete MORONS (and honestly, I don’t mean the author of this site, or the commenters here) have come out of the woodwork, bigtime.

    Darren has had his critics, but this is totally SICK…

    (that link may have been taken down, as it’s a disgusting, depraved comment)

    I am sure this “BloggerKiller” (who’s too scared to go under their real name, despite their violent physical threats (albeit slightly veiled)) – has bigger motivations, but is quoting Chitika (and all the stupid play-on-words that have sprung up) as a motivation for attacking Darren.

    Why can’t people GROW UP?

    I don’t know if these threats are real – hopefully they’re just some sick prank by a sick individual, possibly one of the Jack Of All Blogs idiot supporters (he’s someone that should shut up, quite honestly) – but this is totally unacceptable.

    Sure, Chitika may just be a veil – there are a lot of angry people with too much time who can’t find or wish to do anything damn constructive with their lives, like helping earthquake victims, or feeding the poor … they just spend their pathetic little lives badmouthing, jerking off on threatening innocent, honest people (anyone who thinks Darren is dishonest should get their facts straight – I’ve met the guy and I trust him implicitly)

    I should stop ranting on others’ comment sections, but I’ve had enough. This sort of crap brings the whole reputation of bloggers down. It’s wrong. It’s potentially criminal.

    “Money is the root of all kinds of evil” How true.

    People, there’s too much wrong with this world already – why can’t we just make the best of what we have and move forward in positivity? These jerks feed off the bad vibes going around about legitimate things. It’s EVIL.

  • I feel physically sick…

    This whole thing has gotten RIDICULOUS.

    The complete MORONS (and honestly, I don’t mean the author of this site, or the commenters here) have come out of the woodwork, bigtime.

    Darren has had his critics, but this is totally SICK…

    (that link may have been taken down, as it’s a disgusting, depraved comment)

    I am sure this “BloggerKiller” (who’s too scared to go under their real name, despite their violent physical threats (albeit slightly veiled)) – has bigger motivations, but is quoting Chitika (and all the stupid play-on-words that have sprung up) as a motivation for attacking Darren.

    Why can’t people GROW UP?

    I don’t know if these threats are real – hopefully they’re just some sick prank by a sick individual, possibly one of the Jack Of All Blogs idiot supporters (he’s someone that should shut up, quite honestly) – but this is totally unacceptable.

    Sure, Chitika may just be a veil – there are a lot of angry people with too much time who can’t find or wish to do anything damn constructive with their lives, like helping earthquake victims, or feeding the poor … they just spend their pathetic little lives badmouthing, jerking off on threatening innocent, honest people (anyone who thinks Darren is dishonest should get their facts straight – I’ve met the guy and I trust him implicitly)

    I should stop ranting on others’ comment sections, but I’ve had enough. This sort of crap brings the whole reputation of bloggers down. It’s wrong. It’s potentially criminal.

    “Money is the root of all kinds of evil” How true.

    People, there’s too much wrong with this world already – why can’t we just make the best of what we have and move forward in positivity? These jerks feed off the bad vibes going around about legitimate things. It’s EVIL.

  • There are far too many “angry teenagers who are angry at life” types running rampant. They get their thrills by stirring up trouble. BloggerKiller is no different..trying to play the same old game others seem want to do. Something like that will only serve to bite them in the backend, hard, when they’re least expecting it.

    Honestly, I think the best way to deal with them is to use two steps: 1) ignore them, hoping they will just fade into nothing 2) delete their comments

  • Coupled with my observations, I am concerned about this program.