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October 05, 2005

Everyone is talking about Chitika's eMiniMalls ad program

Everyone has been buzzing about Chitika's eMiniMalls the past couple of weeks, and when you see how their ad units work, it is not hard to see why.

That is an example of one of their ad units. But when I think is the best part of these ad units is the interactive nature of the ad. Depending on the ad style chosen, it currently defaults to the "Description tab", but a simple mouse over of the other tabs results in seeing "Best Deals" opf the product currently being shown, "Reviews" of the product, and "Search" where users can search for different products... and they will display without the user ever leaving the commfort of the publisher's webpage.

Publishers who currently use AdSense or Yahoo Publisher Network can also disable the contextual aspect of it, and use keywords only with the following tag:

ch_query = "keyword keyword2";

For example this ad unit should (hopefully!) show a laptop ad:

And this one something digital camera related:

And for something non-techy, this one should hopefully show something about kitchen appliances:

And here are a couple of ad units to see how they handle brand names that I am a big fan of, the first being Disneyland, the second being Starbucks.

When I signed up, I got my approval in a couple of hours, and ads began showing immediately after placing the code online. It is also a javascript-based code, similar to AdSense.

Stats are a bit behind the times, but I have been assured they will be improved. Right now, they are updated at the end of the day. There unfortunately is not any channel data or URL tracking, making it hard to guage what pages or sites are performing the best. The reports currently give publishers date, impressions, clicks, and revenue data. All stats are unaudited at this time, they audit for any fraudulent activity at the end of the month. Payments are net 30 by check or PayPal.

Something I discovered while writing this is that it isn't compatible with Moveable Type, it would not load the ad units, and gave a javascript error instead. So I used iframes instead.

The fact that this program can be run in conjunction with AdSense & YPN makes this advertising program attractive to publishers, since many find it difficult to find programs that are automated, profitable, yet are "legal" to run on the same page as AdSense or YPN.

They were also just named as a finalist for the 2005 MITX Awards for the Interactive Marketing Strategy category.

Posted by Jenstar at October 5, 2005 11:06 AM

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Comments

Hi,

I've been running Chitika's eMiniMalls on my carb site for a couple of days now and I use MovableType 3.2 and haven't run into any (many) problems... (knock on wood)

I found that if you put the script into a simple table it seems to be more palatable to MT.

You are right however, in that if Chitika's script is left alone in MT without adult supervision it has a panic attack and just sits there sulking and non-operational.

Did the folks at Chitika confirm your Movable Type concerns?

By the way, your site is wonderful and is a joy to read.

I appreciate your style.

Posted by: Michael at October 5, 2005 12:44 PM

Yeah, I wrote about this a while back.

http://www.revenews.com/jimkukral/archives/000784.html

I see that Problogger is have great success with them now, and I do think they are neat. But I think they will only work well with certain types of sites.

Posted by: Jim Kukral at October 5, 2005 12:51 PM

Michael is right about inserting javascript into blog posts without adult supervision. Due to this, x74 has released a plugin to insert eMiniMalls into Wordpress:
http://x74.org/index.php/2005/10/02/eminimall-plugin-for-wordpress

I wonder whether he would be kind enough to release a similar plugin for MT.

I am a big fan of eMiniMalls and am making a lot of money from it (*cough -- cant say how *cough). What you want to do is put it in the template of your site (so that you dont have to worry about inserting it in each post). It works best at the bottom of the post. I have those nice 468 by 180 units that work pretty well.


Posted by: Motte Bonk at October 5, 2005 01:20 PM

I queried with Adsnse Support whether Chitika and Adsense were compatible. As well as the obvious (that you must disable the contextual element of Chitika) they also said that "In addition, please note that we require that publishers do not add other internet search services to sites displaying the AdSense for search box." As the Chitika ad contains a Search facility, I decided not to proceed (although I understand the Chitika search can be disabled).

Posted by: Alex at October 5, 2005 01:47 PM

If you're interested, I developed a plugin that lets you put an eMiniMall right into your post, using WordPress's Quicktags Toolbar. I've seen direct integration into the post improves my CTR. Visit this link for more information on my eMiniMall Plugin for WordPress:
http://x74.org/index.php/2005/10/02/eminimall-plugin-for-wordpress/

Posted by: x74 at October 5, 2005 02:11 PM

The text in these ads runs together on Firefox/1.5b for Mac. It's not even readable. Safari 2.0.1 has similar problems although it's at least readable.

Posted by: Mark at October 5, 2005 06:24 PM

I can confirm that you need to disable the search tab if you're using Adsense search.

Other than disabling the contextual aspect of them they are unreal - they've taken my earnings well over double what they were previously with Adsense.

Posted by: Darren at October 6, 2005 04:10 AM

Here are the codes to make Chitika and Adsense work together.
http://pchere.blogspot.com/2005/09/chitika-eminimalls-google-adsense-on.html

Posted by: Quick Online Tips at October 6, 2005 04:35 AM

Thanks to Mark for his comment about needing to deactivate Chitika Search.

To make this happen, you have to insert this code into the Chitika ad script...

ch_nosearch = 1;

P.S. My blog is informational-based and I just started using Chitika. I'm narrowing in on an appropriate product set to feature on my blog so my click through is still low. However, the PPC values are fabulous -- and definitely make me want to work Chitika for max benefit.

Like others, I've also found their support to be fast and informative. My initial impression of Chitika is a big positive.

Like others, I'd like to see better reporting (at least something similar to Google where you can determine which ads are pulling in the clicks).

Posted by: Kathy Herrmann at October 6, 2005 09:45 AM

McAfee were for a while reporting the code it uses as Ad or Spyware. They've since amended their comment to:

"This detection covers a javascript file referenced by web content developers to serve advertising to their visitors. Upon further analysis, it has been determined that the actions of this script do not currently meet our potentially unwanted program criteria. Detection will be removed in 4590 DAT release."

http://vil.nai.com/vil/content/v_136052.htm

Posted by: Paul Wells at October 6, 2005 11:04 AM

I've also jumped on the Chitika bandwagon, especially since AdSence income is becomming more and more questionable (read: unstable) these past weeks.

I'm impressed with Chitika and it's potential as a major source of income... really impressed.

Posted by: Paul Short at October 7, 2005 04:07 AM

I am taking a big chance here everyone and jumping on the Chitika bandwagon. And in a big way.

After coming out of the highest Adsense earning month for one of my websites I have decided to give Chitika a try for one month. Over the weekend I removed all Google adsense from my site UsedMac.ca and replaced the ads with Chitika ads only.

Let’s see if the gamble pays off.

Posted by: Scott at October 9, 2005 05:12 PM

Scott, my bet is NO WAY. I ran chitika long enough to get about 40,000 impressions and calculated a less than $2.00 CPM. I ran it along side AdSense and estimate that it leeched about %1 of my CTR. I don't know about you, but for me that's a pretty low CPM to give up so much CTR for.

Posted by: RRRRyan at November 6, 2005 08:14 PM

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