Chitika, a new contextual ad network that launched in May, has come under fire from publishers in its network -- mostly bloggers -- who once sang its praises.
Their eMiniMalls ads had been gaining steam among bloggers, with many reports of Chitika's ads performing better than AdSense on some sites. But once Chitika began auditing its results in October, revenues began dropping -- by anywhere from 15 percent to as much as 90 percent, according to reports on blogs like JenSense and ThreadWatch. And if that was not enough of a problem for publishers, Chitika is also being criticized for not telling publishers of the drastic drops until early December, so most publishers ended up keeping the lower-performing ads on their site for over a month before they knew the extent of the reductions caused by the audits.
So it seems there are at least two lessons to be learned from this:
1. Transparency is good. Hiding things is bad.
2. Don't mess with bloggers. When they get mad, they tell people, and some of them know a whole lot of people.
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Kate Kaye was Managing Editor at ClickZ News until October 2012. As a daily reporter and editor for the original news source, she covered beats including digital political campaigns and government regulation of the online ad industry. Kate is the author of Campaign '08: A Turning Point for Digital Media, the only book focused on the paid digital media efforts of the 2008 presidential campaigns. Kate created ClickZ's Politics & Advocacy section, and is the primary contributor to the one-of-a-kind section. She began reporting on the interactive ad industry in 1999 and has spoken at several events and in interviews for television, radio, print, and digital media outlets. You can follow Kate on Twitter at @LowbrowKate.
December 12, 2013
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