Saturday, August 20, 2011

Chitika overview

This article is an introduction to the Chitika advertising programme, which is one of the alternatives considered by bloggers whose sites are not eligible to use Google AdSense.

Advertising Monitor Chitika is another advertising programme - similar to Google AdSense, but run by a different company with slightly different rules and ways of publishing advertisements.

Ads shown by Chitika are not context-sensitive.  Instead, they are selected for your site using the search-terms a user entered to find the site.

Because they're not context-sensitive, you can display them on the same pages as AdSense ad-units.   At least the reason Chitika give - personally I've never been able to to find the AdSense condition that says "we must be the only context sensitive ads on a page", just one that says "no ads that look like ours".

Who sees Chitika ads

Origianlly, Chitika ads weren't worldwide:  they were only displayed to readers from Canada and the US who got to your site by searching.   However this has been changed:  now they have two products:
  • Premium, shows ads related to the search query used by people who visit your site and come from one of Chitika's "accepted countries".   Currently (Aug 2011) there are 12 of them, including the USA, Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and India.
  • Select, shows less-well-targetted ads to visitors from other countries, or who did not get to your site by searching for something.

If you want, you can opt-out of showing Select ads, so that visitors who don't get Premium ads don't actually see an ad at all.

You can see an example of Chitkia ads here:  this opens a new window showing you this page (the one you're reading now) as it would look to someone who arrives at the site by searching for "Blogger Hints".    

How to sign up for Chitika

You sign up for Chitika in the usual way - they ask for a range of information about you and your website.   They do personally check each site, so it may take a few days or even weeks for account approval to come through .

It's a bit more "tecchie" to set up than AdSense - mainly because you need to install code from Chitika into your blog, instead of being able to just add a gadget in Blogger.    But (in 2010), I was able to log in for the first time, read the terms and conditions, mess around with some ad-formats, and place ads on my site in less than 2 hours this evening, with no glitches along the way.

Terms and Conditions

This article is based on my understanding of the terms and conditions of Blogger, AdSense, and Chitika - as at today.   These companies may change their policies at any time, so before you implement anything, it is essential that you read the currrent T&C documents yourself, to sure that your site will comply.

Chitika has some quite stringent conditions.  For example, you can't use it on site promoting sale of alcohol, tobacco, haz-chem, weapons, and some other things.  This bit is quite near the end of their terms-and-conditions document - yet another reason to double-check before you start showing Chitika ads.

Related Articles

Some other dvertising programmes

Setting up AdSense on your blog

Installing code from advertisers etc into your blog

More details about the Chitika programme.

Sign up for Chitika

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