Chitika: Over Hyped? Audits a Nightmare for Publishers


JenSense posts on Chitika, the much hyped contextual ad program containing interactive eMinimall ads. The audited reports don't sound too pretty:

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.

Andy Hagans also voiced his concerns with the Chitika product.


they took

over 50% of my revenue also.... SOOOO shady.

When your company name is so

When your company name is so easy to change to Shitika you really have only a few chances to get it right.

Horse. Shit.

I just looked at my audited reports. The transparency of this process makes Adsense look positively friendly. So, mid-November we are told we can expect our CTR's to be slashed to "protect" advertiser from bad quality traffic. Now we get clipped by another 30% or so on this auditing process. I don't know about you guys, but if I'm getting paid arbirtrarily on .2% of my traffic, I pull that program out of the rotation.

Adios Chitika from one of your earliest supporters.

oh yeah

i forgot we can curse here.... glad to know we can cuz i think this fucking sucks! :) i will also be dropping them.

wasn't it all about the affiliate pyramid anyway?

I mean, that's what I assumed. Get in at the bottom and hype it to death with your "sign up now" affiliate link. Soon enough every weekend-warrior webmaster is feeding from the trough and you're sipping umbrella drinks paid for with the residual income.

If it's getting that bad, isn't it time to start selling ebooks on "Make $100k with Chitika, like I did..." now? Why are we skipping right to the "chitika sux" stage....?

Man this field moves too fast for me!


When your company name is so easy to change to Shitika you really have only a few chances to get it right.

Damn...someone beat me to it:

I personally didn't get any clicks from using Chitika. My income dropped 90%.

45% cut for me

and the ctr had gone to shit since they made their changes.

It's a pity (for them)

grnidone >

Nice spot grnidone. Well, they had it coming.

Jen also says:

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.

Run away! Run away!

52% gone

This is completely absurd. I thought it was strange that it took them an entire month to "audit" revenue. It seems like that's a task that would be much easier to do on a daily basis. How wonderfully convenient for them that the entire month of November came and went before anyone found out about this.

I'll wait to hear an official response from Chitika on this little fiasco, but chances are I'm done with them. If the audits are going to be this insane, the least they can do is update the totals on a daily basis so people don't sit around thinking they're getting double or even ten times what they will actually get.

Chitika Payment

I got mine about 20 minutes ago. Maybe the other frickin half they audited out for no apparent reason will come later.

I'm pulling them. If I can't monetize better than what they offer, I need to hang it up.

That said, Godspeed to my referral network! :)

Too Bad - Seemed Like Had Some Potential

Oh well,

Glad I caught this before wasting any traffic or time on them.

Shaving, auditing, whatever you want to call it leaves a bad taste in my mouth and I reserve that feeling solely for the morning after binges.


I'm feeling glad

So now I'm feeling glad that they rejected my application. Saved me time I would have otherwise wasted.

Was it all afancy way to get a humongous affiliate program check

I always wondered who was behind them and what the model was. Seemed like a very high payout for an affiliate program type deal. If they are an Amazon/O/ owned venture, then it could make sense, but still a stretch. But from the looks of things, they are just affiliates and made it look like more. One hit wonder. They will cash one enormous check and goodbye. Is it possible?

There are a lot of unhappy campers out there

One of those long threads in WMW where I like the quote

I was really suspicious about the business who's domain's whois shows hotmail as registrant's contact address, but still gave them a try.

In the end you do not get a free lunch, someone has to pay, and in this case the advertisers.

Well I still think its a

Well I still think its a great product and a great biz model. In this case they didn't have the spread of advertisers and more damning were unable to geotarget the ads. Perhaps they were unaware that the www ceased to be an Amercian thing some time ago, drawing clicks from countries that advertisers were not targetting is going to lead to huge chargebacks.


There is a very good round up of the threads reporting the Chitka Problems at Addict3d

Hmmm... that "very good roundup" is actually my blog entry from JenSense that someone copied to Addict3d. And I see they even added it to Google News as their own. Nice... wonder how many others are attributing that article to them and not me :(

But if you want to see the full article, plus the links to all the forum discussions, you need to see my blog ;)

Jen, mea culpa

I have edited my post !

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