Google AdSense Alternatives: Chitika Review

Next up in the Google AdSense Alternatives series is Chitika!  This is actually one advertising network that I’ve been using for awhile, almost as long as AdSense, because I was able to use it on my InfoBarrel articles.

As I go through and review these various alternatives to AdSense, I’m starting to realize that it’s going to be extremely difficult to ever match or beat the performance of AdSense. Perhaps it doesn’t make sense to set AdSense as the “standard” because then everything else is going to appear very weak by comparison.

Nevertheless, there’s a lot to like about Chitika, and I’ll go into all the details below.

What is Chitika?

Much like AdSense, Chitika is a display advertising network that primarily aims to provide advertisements that are relevant to the content.  The big difference is, the ads displayed are driven by the visitor’s search query, not directly by the content on a given page.  Also, similar to AdSense and other ad networks, you are paid per click, which you’re probably very familiar with.

Different Types of Ads

Chitika doesn’t offer to much in terms of ad variety, but all of the basic types of block ads are there.

Standard Ad Unit

Here’s what an ad would look like if you were searching for the iPod Touch:

You can change the colors and the ad sizes, very similar to AdSense.  I’ll go into this more below where I discuss what I like and what I don’t like about Chitika, but as you can see, some keywords don’t seem to work well for Chitika.  Why would someone be looking for “local answers for Ipod Touch?” Or “Top answers for Ipod Touch?” It just don’t make a lot of sense, and doesn’t make me want to click on the ad at all.

Local Ad Units

These ad units basically look just like the one above, except the ad is tailored to the visitor’s location, based on their  IP address. So sticking with the same example as above, I might see: “Looking for Ipod Touch in Chicago?”

What I Like About Chitika

Here are some of the reasons why I think Chitika is worth trying:

1) Once you have an account, you can put ads on any site without requiring further approval.  This is where Chitika is very similar to AdSense and it’s what sets it apart from the other ad networks I’ve reviewed (Media.net and Infolinks).

2) Assuming you use PayPal, you only need to earn $10 to receive a payout.  This is a relatively low threshold, especially compared to AdSense’s $100 minimum.  I’ve been paid by them several times, and they are usually pretty quick to release payment.

3) They are one of the few ad networks to have an affiliate program.  So, if you happen to run a blog that talks about internet marketing, you can earn a little bit extra by referring people to Chitika (if you’re feeling generous and want to sign up to Chitika, please feel free to use my link. :) )  According to Chitika’s site, “You will earn 10% of the CPC revenue that your referrals earns for up to 15 months from their approval date.” I’ve had a small handful of referrals, but so far, it’s only amounted to a few pennies.

What I Don’t Like About Chitika

1) Earnings per click are fairly low (in my experience), requiring you to have strong traffic and/or a high click-through rate to see good earnings.  This seems to be the case with most programs that are not AdSense…  Here are my stats since I’ve used Chitika:

  • CTR: 0.32%
  • EPM: $0.36

This is pretty dreadful, even compared to Infolinks, but I will admit that I tend to place my Chitika ads in a poor location.  When possible, I have placed Media.net in the best spots, and Chitika ads somewhere “below the fold” where it’s not as likely to get clicks.  If Chitika was your primary form of monetization, I would expect you to see much better results.

2) The different types of ads aren’t too diverse.  Aside from manipulating the ad block size and colors, there really isn’t much else you can do.  This is fine for most people, but if you’re looking for something similar to AdSense’s link units, you won’t find it here.

3) Ads are based on search query, not content (as I briefly mentioned above).  I was debating whether or not to write this as a pro or a con, because in some cases, I think it’s a positive aspect of Chitika.  In most cases, the ads shown will be related to whatever search engine query the visitor input in order to land on your site, so in theory, the ads should be highly relevant (which should lead to a higher CTR).

When you don’t land on the page via a search engine, it seems to just base the ads on your primary keyword (whatever the title of the site is).  This has a high relevance, but the ads don’t feel “real”, so I’m not sure how enticing they are.   Furthermore, because these seem to be “cookie cutter” ads, I don’t think they pay very well since they show up for just about any terms (I can’t imagine an advertiser paying much for that, since it’s not super targeted like AdSense)

That’s All!

As you can see, this isn’t going to be your savior if you’ve lost AdSense, but Chitika is still something worth trying especially if you are having trouble getting other ad networks approved for your website(s).  It’s quick and easy to set up, and you don’t have to get approved for each site.  And as I mentioned, I think if Chitika ads are your primary ad units, you will see much better results than I have so far.

How has your experience been with Chitika so far?  Did I miss anything?  Share it in the comments!

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66 Responses to “Google AdSense Alternatives: Chitika Review”

  1. I tried Chitika for a few days and experienced some pretty awful results like you report – I definitely think that Media.net is a lot better in most situations.

    Thomas
    Thomas @ Mobile App Tycoon recently posted… How to Come Up With Killer App Ideas Series – Part 2 – Improve on an Existing Idea

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    I agree – thanks for the comment Thomas!

    [Reply]

  2. I have used them before as well and the biggest problem I had was they only showed ads based on what people searched for.

    My guess is that you won’t find anything that compares to Adsense just yet, however, with all the problems people are having with Adsense I think it is only a matter of time before more people turn to other networks to buy traffic.

    ADam
    Adam recently posted… 3 Dumb Services Business Ideas That Made Money

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Good point, Adam, although I wonder how AdSense (actually, Adwords) has been perceived by advertisers.

    As publishers of AdSense, many of us have been banned, but I wonder if advertisers have noticed much of a difference. It’d be nice if they’ve seen a dip in quality, so that they’ll be more willing to spend money on other ad networks.

    [Reply]

  3. Yes, I heard that application for chitika is much easier compare to AdSense but the result is not that effective—because it’s new and it’ll take time before climbing on top.

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    I’m not sure if it’ll ever make it to the top, but hopefully it continues to get better!

    [Reply]

    Aamir Ilyas Reply:

    I agree with you 100 %, there couldn’t be any substitute for Adsense, all others could be easier but not money making.
    Aamir Ilyas recently posted… Santa And His Girlfriend

    [Reply]

  4. I’ve not had good success with Chitika. The search-based ads won’t work for my authority site and they haven’t yet panned out on the niche sites, which should be search oriented. I’ve got some variation of Chitika, Media.net, and Infolinks on all of my sites now and they are performing nothing like AdSense did.
    Mike recently posted… First Impressions Matter– Engage Your Readers to Generate Blog Traffic

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks for sharing your experiences, Mike. I feel the same way – it’s going to be incredibly difficult to match AdSense’s performance. The better choice is to focus on other non-advertising methods of monetizing your site(s).

    [Reply]

  5. From the comments sounds like the search for an Adsense alternative continues. Good luck!
    Joe recently posted… Spin Rewriter Special Offer

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    Eric G. Reply:

    Indeed it does, Joe!

    [Reply]

  6. I have toyed with Chitika on several niche sites I own. they tend to perform well on travel / food / tourism type sites.

    I have very little success with business / financial topics.

    I like the fact that one can use them with Adsense, and the ads look neat when presented (fairly customizable).

    I also like that as a company they seem laid back and more lenient than other adsense alternatives.

    What alternative is working out best for you so far Eric?
    Sunil l Expediting Wealth Through Extra Income recently posted… One Excellent Way to Successfully Market an Ebook on Amazon Kindle

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Interesting to hear about certain niches that have worked well for Chitika – this is the first that I’ve heard of someone actually pointing out where it performs well. :)

    So far, Media.net has been the best, but it’s still a far cry from AdSense.

    [Reply]

  7. By displaying the ad as per the search term, I think it would display more relevant ad for any visitor.

    This is certainly a unique feature than Chitika has than many other ad networks.
    Aasma recently posted… ecommerce Website Design Development Services, eCommerce Software Applications Solutions in India | Rancor Infotech

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Indeed – Thanks for the comment, Aasma.

    [Reply]

  8. hmmm.. interesting! I didn’t know that there are other advertising ads that we can earn extra income aside from Google Adsense. I can’t wait to try this one. Thanks much for sharing your reviews.
    Evie Maruff recently posted… beach chairs

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    No problem, thanks for the comment Evie!

    [Reply]

  9. Thanks for this unbiased review. I think there’s nothing like Adsense yet out there. The ones you recommended, Media.net and infolinks, are far better than Chitika. But then again, if these ads were your primary ads, perhaps it would be better.
    James Martin recently posted… Watch the Olympics on your Mac

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    It would be interesting to try making any one of these my “primary” form of ads to see how well they perform – I suspect my CTR would increase, but I’m not sure overall earnings would become significant.

    [Reply]

  10. Adsense reject my application, wish Chitika will not do it on me.Thanks for the information.

    [Reply]

  11. Good information as always Eric. Really enjoy the blog. We have experimented with Chitika on a few sites, trying to tailor the sites and themes so the ads blended well. We never achieved any significant gains however. Sadly, in terms of our ad revenues anyway, adsense is still king! Hope your experiments turn out better.

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Thanks Stuart, I appreciate the comment!

    [Reply]

  12. Its been like 3 days I’ve started using Chitika. Hundreds of page impressions but no clicks yet! Won’t give up for now, maybe after a month if things don’t seem to catch up. Need to play with some ad placements.
    Nice Info though!
    Cheers.
    Pamir S recently posted… Third Time Lucky With The Proform 6.0 CE Elliptical Trainer! Read My Review To Find Out Why…

    [Reply]

  13. These ad networks are great but I don’t think that all these comparable to Adsense. Google Adsense is different than others.
    Santosh Mishra recently posted… 15+ Free WordPress Themes 2012- Ready for Download Now

    [Reply]

  14. When evaluating ads I found that infolink reviews from affiliate publishers actually disliked the pop ups in copy when they reading content from other sites. Some sites had customer feedback complaining about pop ups in the content.
    Chitika mixed reviews from users is not helping. I noticed that adsense periodically had ads that were not relevant. Can’t hurt to try Chitika. Adsense has been on a mission to shut down accounts. Many people need a good alternative.

    [Reply]

  15. Chitika was not a good earner for my site! Tried it for a few weeks.
    Michael recently posted… First Image of BlackBerry 10 Touchscreen?

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  16. I have never tried chitika. After reading this i may give it a go. the main reason i didn’t know it was $10 payout from paypal.

    I don’t have much traffic and the way adsense make me have to reach £60 and then wait like a month and a half to get a pay out is bad :(

    [Reply]

  17. I like your review on giving both good and bad points. I was considering trying chitika. Goarticles uses them and seem to be doing wel
    jasonp recently posted… Top-rated Online Cosmetology Schools and University Degree Program Programs

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  18. With some pages it is better adsense, and anothers, chitika. Its better try the both.

    [Reply]

  19. Hi Eric,
    I really appreciate the info! Obviously AdSense would be ideal, but I’ve been repeatedly denied by them (they won’t actually tell me why…maybe it’s because I don’t have a ton of content yet…? I don’t know if that should be a problem in the U.S…). Do you think I should try to start with Chikita and maybe switch to AdSense later? Thanks!

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    If you’re really having trouble getting accepted, I would continue working on the site and adding more content (and then reapply later). In the mean time, it’d be fine to use Chitika ads, although I would probably take them down right before you try applying to AdSense again.

    [Reply]

  20. I am trying let’s see how it work.
    admin@technofreaky recently posted… My Three Favorite Bloggers

    [Reply]

  21. I like the adsense but the adsense its to hard to approve. In Chitika is easy to apply but i don`t like the search result of chitika is tollay non sense ? Right but chitika is not strict
    ARNOLDWEBS recently posted… Sony Xperia J Review and Preview

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  22. Chitika has NOTHING to offer. Their ads are NEVER related to the content. They just put filler ads that look horrid. What a waste of time.

    [Reply]

  23. I am banned from adsense… This post will really help me I guess.
    gelo recently posted… Acer Iconia Tab A210 – 10G16U, a Tablet PC for just $320

    [Reply]

  24. What about adbrite? Has anyone tried this? Google banned my adsense account too, twice in two years. The first time a guy had put some link on my site that tracked back to some virus site. He told Google it was all his fault… the next time they would not explain what the issue was… just basically “hung up on me”. F them. They can’t stay on top forever.

    [Reply]

  25. I plan on giving chitika a try on my site. I have already been approved for an account. its always good to get some adsense alternates…. Just in case :-P

    [Reply]

  26. I am interested in talking with anyone who has had their Google Adsense account shut down and are interested in either selling their site or allowing us to monetize traffic on the site.

    We also got killed by Adsense shut down and over the past year have finally figured out a solution that seems to be working.

    [Reply]

  27. today iam add chitika adds to my site.i will tell my experience in here.very useful site.thanks eric

    [Reply]

  28. I have read this post with much admiration of the accurate info you are giving your readers. As such let me put my two pence based on the dabate.

    For Once, I really think bidvertiser is way better than chitika for reasons you have just outlined. Chitika has a low click through rate, whatever the explanation, I dont know. Adsense is good but hard to get, my blog had 35 original articles but htey rejected it anyway. Twice. I since went to chitika and they gladly accepted me.

    I am really glad to read this. Anyway, please post about bidvertiser. I am using it and it is the bomb!

    Thanks.
    Cliff

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    I’ll have to try out Bidvertiser – thanks for the tip!

    [Reply]

  29. I just started with chitika two days back. My eCPM was in hell at $0.11. But I am using two mega ad units on above and below of each posts. So I managed to earn $1.1 for each unique 1000 page views. You can check my blog ad placement and suggest me some tips to get more revenue. Is there any problem with using two mega ads above and below posts ?

    [Reply]

  30. Thanks for the Info..I just have been Registered with Chitika but I had a Confusion that can I Use Adsense ads with Chitika ads On same page ?
    Addy recently posted… What Is DNS and How DNS Works?

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    You can, but I personally think that Adsense is so much better than Chitika in terms of EPC and relevancy. If you have the option to use both, I’d just use Adsense (and make sure you stick to the rules!).

    [Reply]

  31. Chitikia is a complete scam. I live outside of the USA and they are forcing me to submit a W8-Ben saying that their company requires it. Uh no if I don’t live in the USA or have USA activities I. Don’t need to submit it.

    Not even google asks for it and chitika is placing my 1000$ on freeze. I tell them that. I need to submit the certificate of non us activities and they refuse.

    They can’t change a governing law to how they see fit. If you don’t believe me do a research on certficate of non us activities th ey are scammers to me when that form doesn’t exist in their site and only the w9 and w8 I emailed support and they are forcing o n publishers to it with absolutely no backing to th eir claim.

    Btw they pay shit

    [Reply]

  32. Depend your traffic! If from USA, Canada, UK then you get JACKPOT!
    Rudy P recently posted… Topical treatments: The most popular way to treat mild to moderate acne

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  33. The ads LOOK great. But that’s about all I can say. I sent a concerned email to Chitika re: VERY poor $$ performance. Below are excepts from that msg:
    ======
    subj: Poor revenue performance

    I’m relatively new to Chitika. However, I have 10+ years experience with Adsense. And I’ve had relatively good monetization results with Adsense. Employing the same layout and SEO strategies as I do with AS — in light of the fact that Chitika and AS are similar — I am seeing VERY poor monetization performance with Chitika thus far. To its credit, Chitika seems to randomly display highly relevant ads on my sites, tho’ I’m unsure what other visitors see.

    [my sties not listed]

    These are topically-SERIOUS, high-quality content-heavy sites, mostly geared toward engineering, industry and academia. All have been around since at least 2005. I have disabled Adsense on these sites to experiment with Chitika and similar PPC programs. While I’m not expecting Adsense-like revenue, I am expecting more than LITERALLY about 10 cents/day for ALL these sites combined. You can confirm my revenue by looking at my Reports. Any eedback/help is appreciated.

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    I’ve found the same thing, unfortunately. Chitika doesn’t have the same depth of advertisers that AdSense has, and depending on the niche, that can lead to a very low earnings per click.

    [Reply]

  34. first we Thank you all ihave a chitika adsense but just i turned To media.net can The media.net better then chitika…??? please give me suggeshion i am new in bloging… google adsense many Time disapproved me.

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    I have found that the earnings per click on Media.net are better than Chitika.

    [Reply]

  35. Thanks for the information. I think I need to check chitika once.

    [Reply]

  36. Insightful post on chitika, never tried it, but soon. Pretty cool Eric

    [Reply]

  37. Nice post but I have one doubt. My major traffic comes from india and till now I am getting some good results from Adsense. Planning to give Chitika a shot but will it be good for Indian traffic or it just caters to US traffic?
    Yashwant recently posted… Pack of 2 Polo T-shirts with Free Wallet and Friendship band at Rs.399

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    If you are currently using Adsense, I wouldn’t recommend trying Chitika…it will almost certainly under perform compared to AdSense.

    [Reply]

  38. Same problem here, the epm rate is pretty low and I don’t get that much clicks compared to AdSense.
    Ghosthack recently posted… Adversal Review

    [Reply]

  39. Thanks for sharing this post about chitika. i think this is the best way to earn money using chitika.. i am using this before and i get the very good result..
    But some times it will not showing in my blog. so what is the problem and what i will do that time.
    Ram Verma recently posted… New Facebook Chat Application for Android and iPhone

    [Reply]

  40. just starting out with chitika after implementing infolinks …lets see what happens..
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    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Good luck!

    [Reply]

  41. Saw this article after doing some research and thought I’d chime in on my experience with AdSense vs Chitika. I had a 5 hour AdSense outage the other day and switched our site over to Chitika during that time. On a typical day during that time slot we would have earned a little over $600 during those 5 hours. On Chitika we earned $6 and change. Same ad sizes in the exact same placement throughout the site. Would be nice to see some decently performing competitors in this market; maybe when Facebook starts doing third party ads they can give Google a run for their money.

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    Hey Owen,

    I’ve heard the same thing from other people. The only normal ad platform that I’ve seen come anywhere close to AdSense is Media.net (which I believe is owned by or affiliate with Yahoo). It’s still nothing compared to Adsense though.

    Thanks for the comment!

    [Reply]

  42. I totally agree with you as my experience was also awful and could generate hardly 16 cents in over 2 months. Simply wasted my adspace.
    The i applied my website for adsense got it approved and they are just awesome……. :)

    [Reply]

  43. I’ve just been joining for 1 week.., 8 measly cent so far. …will struggle further to gain more. (Y)

    Date Impressions Valid Clicks CTR CPM Revenue
    Apr 13, 2014 80 3 3.75% $0.13 $0.01
    Apr 12, 2014 181 9 4.97% $0.17 $0.03
    Apr 11, 2014 266 0 0.00% $0.00 $0.00
    Apr 10, 2014 462 10 2.16% $0.08 $0.03
    Apr 9, 2014 132 0 0.00% $0.03 $0.00
    Apr 8, 2014 109 0 0.00% $0.03 $0.00
    Apr 7, 2014 405 0 0.00% $0.00 $0.00
    Total 1,635 22 1.35% $0.05 $0.08

    [Reply]

  44. What I experienced is that the Media.net is relatively giving you more than Chitika. I think it will take time to be able to compete other advertisers.
    Alexandra Micheal recently posted… Long Hairstyles 2014

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  45. HOW much cut does Chitika take ???
    like google adsense takes 32% for content based ads

    [Reply]

    Eric G. Reply:

    I’m not sure – if it doesn’t say it on their website, you could try e-mailing support (though they may not share that information).

    [Reply]

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