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October 22, 2005

eMiniMalls adds some new features & makes some changes

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.

Background colors
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.

Browser Issues
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.

Posted by Jenstar at October 22, 2005 01:37 PM

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» Chitika eMiniMalls from Search Engine Guide Blog
Not familiar with this new advertising option making the rounds in the contextual advertising blogs and forums? Jennifer Slegg has some information on the latest new Chitika eMiniMalls features in her blog from a post this weekend. New options like... [Read More]

Tracked on October 24, 2005 03:03 PM

Comments

I'm hoping they work on letting you insert Wordpress categories instead of post title.

Posted by: Nathan Weinberg at October 23, 2005 12:51 AM

Oh, and the sample code you posted doesn't show in browser. I had to hit View > Source.

Posted by: Nathan Weinberg at October 23, 2005 12:51 AM

Fixed :)

Posted by: Jenstar at October 23, 2005 08:32 AM

Jen, downloaded the whole MP3 but maybe I did something wrong. The sound quality was so awful I couldn't listen to more than a minute or two of the interview.

Posted by: Javed at October 23, 2005 01:06 PM

Jen, downloaded the whole MP3 but maybe I did something wrong. The sound quality was so awful I couldn't listen to more than a minute or two of the interview. :-(

Posted by: Javed at October 23, 2005 01:07 PM

The first few minutes were staticy - problem in the phone line between the west coast of Canada and all the way down to Florida. It gets better after the first commercial (we breaked early to get it fixed).

Posted by: Jenstar at October 23, 2005 02:27 PM

My Chitika income seems to have gone way down since they switched from the eminimall images being "clickable"...did this affect anyone else similarly? Maybe (hopefully) this is is just a fluke. If not, I guess I'll be putting up more YPN ads and less Chitika. :(

Regards,
James

Posted by: James Moore at October 26, 2005 02:54 AM

Hi Jen, I started with Chitika because of your mention, so I thought I would share some of the tools I've developed.

Daily keyword rotator (by days of the week):
http://chitikatips.com/keyword-rotator.php

Searcn engine spy (takes the SE query from referer and makes it your Chitika query):
http://chitikatips.com/referral-query.php

Cheers

Posted by: Chitika Tips at October 26, 2005 12:33 PM

I must say I'm less than impressed by the selection of ads. I get the iPod ad, a Dell one, and that's about it. When I tried using the keyword "music" I got a lovely ad for a CD burner.

Posted by: Rob at November 9, 2005 07:02 PM