I just noticed that Chitika have made a few changes to the way their ads display. Now the product name and description cannot be clicked on, so the visitor must click on a link beneath the description or on the company logo / name in the Best Deals tab. According to the Chitika Blog they have implemented these changes to “filter out so-called curiosity clicks that typically do not lead to conversions on the merchant’s side”. Now this is either going to pan out one of a few ways.
Quality, Not Quantity Wins
By filtering out curiosity clicks the advertisers will get a lower volume of traffic, but those that do click through will be more qualified to buy and hence the advertiser will be more likely to stick with Chitika and pay the same or more per click.
Combatting Ad Blindness
Another possible upshot fom this development will be smaller publishers with low CTR becoming disaffected with Chitika and removing the ads from their sites. This would make Chitika a ‘lesser-spotted’ ad block, so visitors will be less blind to them. Hence those still using Chitika ads will have a more unique offering.
Imagine Chitika were to ignore their advertiser’s comments and stick with the older ad format. What would happen? Well most likely something like this.
Advertisers Leave The Program
Advertisers would receive a lot of poorly converting traffic, which would basically be viewed as a waste of resources. Consequently it would not take long for the big spenders to pack up and leave. Publishers would then have a much more constrained product inventory available to display to their visitors.
CTR & eCPM Would Plummet
If you were still running Chitika you would see your CTR drop because you would probably have poorly targeted ads. Your eCPM would also fall through the floor simply because advertisers would pay less for the poorly converting traffic you would be sending to them.
The good thing though is that Chitika are being proactive and are making the necessary changes now, rather than waiting for their advertisers to get too cosy with some other ad program and leave. Chitika is a nice alternative source of income that is in it’s early days, I am personally glad that they are making these changes early on rather than when you have become too comfortable with their higher than average CPC.
By implementing these changes now Chitika are helping to build a stable platform that will afford publishers an alternative revenue stream for the future. Don’t forget that they are offering a 10% network-wide bonus until the end of November to compensate for any drop in revenue.
Apart from announcing the ad format change, Chitika will also be implementing a few new features in the next few weeks.
Geo Targeted UK Ads
This is a big bonus for any publisher with UK traffic. Instead of being offered US products in US Dollars, a UK visitor will see ads from UK advertisers with prices in Pounds Sterling. This should really help boost the CTR on any UK site.
Chitika will introduce the ability for a publisher to set alternate ads, which is a big bonus. At the moment Chitika does not accept traffic from a large number of countries. By setting an alternate ad a visitor to your site from one of these unsupported countries will not even see a Chitika ad, but will instead see something of interest to them that you have control over.