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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Using Chitika eMiniMalls With Adsense

Using Chitika eMiniMalls With Adsense
Many of the questions I’ve received about eMiniMalls related to whether they can be used on the same page as Google Adsense ads. As I wrote in my review - this was initially of major concern a number of us when we first came across eMiniMalls. As a result, one of my colleagues wrote an email to Adsense for clarification. The response was that it was allowable from the perspective of Adsense to use Chitika eMiniMalls on the same page as Adsense in the following circumstances (I’m told by a YPN publisher that this is also true with YPN):
1. eMiniMalls must be made to be NON-contexual
2. eMiniMalls must have their ’search tab’ disabled IF you choose to use the Adsense Search option (update: I’ve since heard from a number of Chitika eMiniMall publishers who say that they’ve recieved confirmation from Adsense that they ARE ALLOWED to use the search tab in eMiniMalls).
This was great news as it added another revenue stream to the sites of many without compromising another important source of income like Adsense
NB: Chitika has another ad system, called RealContext, that is NOT allowed to be used in conjunction with Adsense - don’t get them mixed up.
It is worth noting that different webmasters and bloggers have seen difference results from using Adsense and Chitika’s eMiniMalls on the one page. These results have included:

Some bloggers have reported small decreases in their Adsense earnings. This is my experience - I’ve noticed a 5-10% decrease in my overall Adsense earnings since adding eMiniMalls. Of course this is considerably less than the overall increase in earnings that the eMiniMalls have brought me so I’m willing to take this hit knowing that overall I am in a considerably better financial position. A smaller number of bloggers have noticed increases in their Adsense earnings when they replaced one of multiple Adsense Ad units with a eMiniMall unit. This sounds crazy - bit it makes sense when you realise that sometimes less Adsense Ad units on a page can result in increase click values for some ads (thats another topic for another day)
Some have found eMiniMalls to be so well suited to their site’s that they’ve removed Adsense altogether and are just running the Chitika ads (I wouldn’t recommend doing this straight away without testing things first).

Chitika eMiniMalls

What sites are Chitika eMiniMalls Best on?

In my experience so far with Chitika (and from interacting with many others who are testing it) I’ve found that it seems to work best on sites that are focused upon products. Many gadget sites have signed up for eMiniMalls already but by no means are their ads limited to consumer electronics. I’ve seen relevant ads served up on a variety of sites including some focussing upon clothes, baby strollers, washing machines, jewellery and other fashion items. From what I can see - they seem to have a large supply of ads for most of the products you’ll find on sites like Amazon and Shopping.com (which is thousands of products).
Product related sites are not the only ones reporting good returns from eMiniMalls though - I know of a variety of personal and general topic blogs and sites that are reporting better than normal earnings with eMiniMalls in comparison to other ad networks that they use.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Chitika News and Tips

Chitika have updated their blog with some interesting tidbits:
- they’ll be releasing referrer buttons shortly
- they’ve pointed to a page that has a range of the types of products that they have stocks of ads for here
Also on Chitika eminimalls news - Alex has been writing some interesting Chitika eMiniMalls tips on his unofficial Chitika site. Two of the interesting ones are:
- Chitika Daily Keyword Rotation - this javascript code rotates different Chitika eMiniMalls keywords on different days of the week
- Chitika Keywords from Visitors’ Searches - this one will serve ads depending upon what people have come to your blog searching for. ie if they arrived on your blog after searching Google for ‘MP3 players’ you should get served ads for MP3 players.

Add your Chitika eMiniMalls Tips

This post is a work in progress and is from my own experience of using eMiniMalls. Every day that I use them I learn something new so will add to this page over time and will add some of the more helpful tips that readers leave in comments below - so share your knowledge so we can all improve our eMiniMall earnings.

Disclaimer: the links to Chitika eMiniMalls in this post are affiliate links - if you sign up using these links I earn a small amount as a commission. It does not impact what you earn from Chitika but rather is paid by Chitika. While these links are affiliate links I genuinely believe in the product and have pointed out both its benefits and weaknesses

PlugIns and Tools for Chitika eMiniMalls

A number of eMiniMall users have developed tools that can be used by chitika publishers that might be helpful.
WordPress Plugin - This plug in allows you to add eMiniMalls to your posts in Word Press
WordPress Plugin - This plug in uses the custom fields features of WP to insert eMiniMalls
WordPress Plug in - This is like the first one but by another developer
Chitika eMiniMalls on Movable Type - MT plugins that can help MT users.

Choosing keywords to target

One of the key elements to effective use of Chitika eMiniMalls is getting ads showing on your site that have a high relevancy to your content. If you’re using Adsense you will of course not be using contextual ads so this becomes a challenge. One way of doing this is to use your titles to trigger keywords - however if you’re running multiple ads on a site you won’t want them all to do this as you’ll end up with multiple versions of the same ad. As a result some of your ad units will need to have keywords inserted into them (as outlined above). How do you decide what keywords to target in order to get a good supply of ads but also higher paying ones.
The simplest way to do this is to do some research in some of the advertisers using the minimalls system. For example Amazon.com and Shopping.com have ads that show up in eMiniMalls. I’ve found that most times if I do a search for a product in those systems and find a corresponding product that if I plug in the name of that product as it appears on their sites that it will come up in the minimalls on my blogs.

I’ve also heard a number of bloggers say that if you search the ‘best selling buys’ in the different categories of these online stores that you will find higher paying ads. I’m not sure if this is the case - but there is some sense in this. In any case with the coming of channels we’ll soon know what type of keywords trigger what level of click values.

Tracking your Chitika eMinimall Results
As with all potential income streams on your site it is very important that you track your result. This enables you to see what is working and not working and make changes accordingly.
Unfortunately Chitika are yet to roll out channels on eMiniMalls. I’m told that they are not far away and I personally am really looking forward to it as they will enable us to track how an individual ad unit is going. This will give you an idea of what ad positioning and design works best as well as giving you an idea of what keywords pay best. You will be able to name each channel whatever you choose.
The channel system is already running (its just their reports that are yet to go live) and I’d recommend adding the channel code to your ads now so that when their reporting system goes live you’ll already have some data to analyse.

Designing your eMiniMalls

In a similar way to how positioning your ads can impact their performance - I’ve found that the design of ads can have a major impact upon the rate that people click on them and would advise considering blending your ads into the design of your site. I’ve found by using other ad systems that ads that blend tend to do better than ads that stand out.

Chitika does not give you as many options as Adsense in this regard yet (the main difference is an inability to change the background colour of your ads - I’m told that this will be changed shortly and more adaptable background design will be an added feature soon) - but there are three ways that they give you to adapt the look of your ads.

Borders - if you have a site with a white background I would highly recommend that you make the borders of your ads white also. This gets rid of a visual barrier between your ads and your content. This is widely accepted as one of the most powerful strategies for Adsense optimisation and I suspect it works well with eMiniMalls also.

Title - the title of an eMiniMall ad is also a live link and therefore I would recommend that you choose a color that is the same as that of the majority of the links on your site. In this way you blend your ad into your page and make it clear that it is indeed a link.

Text - this is the color of the description of the products in the ad. Once again I’d recommend choosing a color that is similar to other text on your site. Some Adsense ‘experts’ also recommend making text in ads a slightly lighter color than the text on the rest of your site so as to allow the ‘title’ to stand out more. It’s worth experimenting with this and seeing how it looks on your site.

Multiple Ads
One of the great things about eMiniMalls is that there are no restrictions on how many ad units you can place on a site. I would strongly advise that you do not place too many on a page - but that you consider at least two and maybe even three depending upon the design and length of your pages.
One strategy that I’m seeing many site owners take up is to place three ads per page in the following way:
Ad 1 - this is a 468 x 60 pixel ad unit that appears at the top of articles (either just above or just below the article title). This ad would be targeted upon the title as it’s keyword
Ad 2 - this ad is often a 468 x 180 pixel ad unit that appears at the bottom of an article - just above comments. Depending upon the length of your average article - this post could also be targeting the post’s title - or if you want more variety it could target and rotate some more generic product keywords that your site is about.
Ad 3 - this ad is often one of the narrow and often small ads (maybe a 160 x 160 or a 120 x 600 depending upon available space) and appears in a side bar. These ads are usually targeting and rotating keywords that are relevant to the overall site’s theme.
For more on Ad positioning you might like to read a short series of posts that I’ve previously written on the topic of Adsense Ad Positioning that mentions some of these principles.

End of Articles
Many bloggers find that the position at the end of a post and above comments is a great conversion place for ads. This is because at the end of a post readers are looking to click something and move onto another page that might interest them. If you have a relevant ad there you increase the chances of a click through.

Left Hand Side
Studies show us that on most sites that the top left corder is HOT. It is where readers eyes will naturally wander to when they arrive at your page and as a result ads tend to do well there.

In or Near Content
I find that the most effective position for most ads is actually inside or very close to the main content of your page. If the middle section of your page is where an article or posts is - the best spot (in terms of conversion ) to put an advertisement is in the middle section. Of course this may compromise your design or clutter your site - depending up the goals of your site you may not wish to do this - however in general the closer you have the eMiniMalls to where your readers eyes will be (content) the more chance they have of seeing and responding to them. A great way to get eMiniMalls inside posts is to use one of the plugins that are appearing for blog platforms (see section below).

Above the Fold
A good general rule to keep in mind is that ads that appear above the fold (or in the top half of your page where readers will see it as soon as a web page loads) perform better than ads that appear below the fold. Studies show us that many web users don’t scroll when they hit a new page - so if the ad is unsighted immediately you decrease it’s chance of being seen and therefor clicked.

Positioning Your Chitika eMiniMalls

Positioning Your Chitika eMiniMalls
One of the most powerful ways to increase your Chitika eMiniMall earnings is to think carefully about where you will position them. A principle of any effective advertising is to make sure the ads are seen by potential viewers. Unfortunately many site owners ignore this basic principle and place ads in positions that go unseen. Here are some good basic tips on Ad Positioning that you might want to consider. They are applicable not only to Chitika’s eMiniMalls but to other systems like Adsense:

Targeting Titles as keywords:

Targeting Titles as keywords:
One of the things that I’ve done on many of my sites is pick keywords that are pretty specific. ie instead of just adding “digital camera” you can add “canon eos 20d” and get ads for a specific digital camera. This is particularly useful on a page about a specific digital camera as it will increase your click through rate quite a bit.

One way of targeting specific words is to target the titles of your pages (if you use titles that include the keywords of your pages that is). How you do this will of course depend upon the system that you use to make your site or blog - but if you’re using Movable Type or WordPress you’ll find that both of these systems have title tags that will trigger the title for a particular post.
If you use another blog platform please feel free to let us know what the code would be in comments below.
Keep in mind that this will only be effective if you use titles on your site that are pretty specific to products. If you don’t you might want to consider specifying some keywords as you might end up with empty ads or very irrelevant ones.

Targeting Keywords

Targeting Keywords - Rotation
So the question many will now no doubt ask is ‘if the ads are non contexual - what determines what ads will now be served?’
This is the line of code that tells Chitika what ads to serve your site. If you leave it as is it will rotate four types of ads through your pages - ads for ‘digital cameras’, ‘ipod minis’, ’sony playstations’ and ‘dell laptops’. The beauty of eMiniMalls is that while these ads might pay ok per click - they are not likely to be highly relevant ads to the topic of everyone’s site - so you’re able to change them. Simply remove the words between the “and” marks and insert relevant words to your site. If your site is about MP3 players try “MP3 Player”, “ipod mini”, “ipod photo”, “iriver” etc. You can insert as many keywords as you like. This will help to keep your site looking fresh and hopefully stop your regular readers becoming blind to your ads.
You might also like to periodically change the ads you rotate to help with ad blindness. I know of a couple of sites who are changing the keywords that they target once per week to keep things fresh

How to Run Adsense and Chitika eMiniMalls on the same page

How to Run Adsense and Chitika eMiniMalls on the same page
Chitika have just made this extremely easy - in fact they’ve made it so easy you don’t have to do anything different at all because today they’ve just changed the default of their ads to be ‘non contextual’. So when you log in and click the ‘Get eMiniMalls Code’ link and design your ads they’ll supply you with the code that makes using eMiniMalls work with Adsense without you having to mess around with adding code.
If you’ve previously inserted code into your site it might be worth checking its in it or else your ads will be contextual.

Using Chitika eMiniMalls With Adsense

Using Chitika eMiniMalls With Adsense
Many of the questions I’ve received about eMiniMalls related to whether they can be used on the same page as Google Adsense ads. As I wrote in my review - this was initially of major concern a number of us when we first came across eMiniMalls. As a result, one of my colleagues wrote an email to Adsense for clarification. The response was that it was allowable from the perspective of Adsense to use Chitika eMiniMalls on the same page as Adsense in the following circumstances (I’m told by a YPN publisher that this is also true with YPN):

1. eMiniMalls must be made to be NON-contexual
2. eMiniMalls must have their ’search tab’ disabled IF you choose to use the Adsense
Search option (update: I’ve since heard from a number of Chitika eMiniMall publishers who say that they’ve recieved confirmation from Adsense that they ARE ALLOWED to use the search tab in eMiniMalls).

This was great news as it added another revenue stream to the sites of many without compromising another important source of income like Adsense.

NB: Chitika has another ad system, called RealContext, that is NOT allowed to be used in conjunction with Adsense - don’t get them mixed up.

It is worth noting that different webmasters and bloggers have seen difference results from using Adsense and Chitika’s eMiniMalls on the one page. These results have included:

Some bloggers have reported small decreases in their Adsense earnings. This is my experience - I’ve noticed a 5-10% decrease in my overall Adsense earnings since adding eMiniMalls. Of course this is considerably less than the overall increase in earnings that the eMiniMalls have brought me so I’m willing to take this hit knowing that overall I am in a considerably better financial position.

A smaller number of bloggers have noticed increases in their Adsense earnings when they replaced one of multiple Adsense Ad units with a eMiniMall unit. This sounds crazy - bit it makes sense when you realise that sometimes less Adsense Ad units on a page can result in increase click values for some ads (thats another topic for another day)

- Some have found eMiniMalls to be so well suited to their site’s that they’ve removed Adsense altogether and are just running the Chitika ads (I wouldn’t recommend doing this straight away without testing things first).

What sites are Chitika eMiniMalls Best on?

What sites are Chitika eMiniMalls Best on?
In my experience so far with Chitika (and from interacting with many others who are testing it) I’ve found that it seems to work best on sites that are focused upon products. Many gadget sites have signed up for eMiniMalls already but by no means are their ads limited to consumer electronics. I’ve seen relevant ads served up on a variety of sites including some focussing upon clothes, baby strollers, washing machines, jewellery and other fashion items. From what I can see - they seem to have a large supply of ads for most of the products you’ll find on sites like Amazon and Shopping.com (which is thousands of products).

Product related sites are not the only ones reporting good returns from eMiniMalls though - I know of a variety of personal and general topic blogs and sites that are reporting better than normal earnings with eMiniMalls in comparison to other ad networks that they use.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Chitika eMiniMall Sign up Process

Chitika eMiniMall Sign up Process

Signing Up for Chitika eMiniMalls is pretty easy to do. Simply visit their sign up page and fill in your details. Keep in mind their terms and conditions of being a publisher which exclude certain types of sites. When you send in your application you will normally hear back from Chitika with a response within 24 hours (time seems to depend upon what time you apply and whether it is business hours in their part of the US.

Keep in mind that in signing up you are being bound to their terms and conditions that include non-disclosure of some of your earnings information (eg CTR, click values etc). Also note that at this point of their beta test they are only accepting sites written in English.

Lastly keep in mind that if your site’s readership is mainly from Asian countries that unfortunately due to a lack of Asian merchants and low conversions Chitika does not pay out for all Asian countries and the ‘auditing’ process could decrease your earnings considerably.

Chitika Tips

A Guide to Getting increasing your income from Chitika’s eMiniMall Advertising program.

Since my initial Chitika eMinimalls review and revelation of earnings from Chitika’s eMiniMalls my inbox has been full of questions on how to use eMiniMalls effectively. As a result I thought I’d write a guide to using Chitika eMiniMalls to refer people to. I hope this is helpful. Feel free to add your own tips in comments below.

Chitika Placement Contest

Chitika Placement Contest

The Chitika bog has announced,that they are again reviving their Adsense + Chitika placement contest.The contest,is all about the best ways to integrate the Chitika Premium ads and Google AdSense ads in your blog pages,for the sole purpose of generating maximum revenue.The first chapter of this contest was a huge success.This time ,the Grand prize is a Playstation 3 Slim + NFL Madden 10,along with 2 runners up prizes of $ 200 each.For entry into this contest,you have to post a comment on their blog along with the URL of the page,where the two blogs,have been integrated.Personal note:Integrating,your ads with your blog posts,can surely increase the number of clicks,but i have not mastered the art yet.

Important Tips of Earn from AdSense

Important Tips of Earn from AdSense

AdSense Tip #1: Find your keywords

Before serving ads on a web page, check its keyword density. A free and advanced tool for finding the most prominent keywords in a page can be found here: SEO Density Analyzer. Copy the most important keywords to a text file ([web page name]-adsense-keywords.txt).

AdSense Tip #2: Improve your keywords

Get keyword suggestions from Overture Search Inventory and from Google AdWords Sandbox. Get new keywords that can help you improve your ad relevance. Enter the keywords from [web page name]-adsense-keywords.txt and save the suggestions to [web page name]-adsense-suggestions.txt.


AdSense Tip #3: Keep your website focused on a theme

Use the keyword suggestions to enhance your web pages and to build theme-based content. And also try to get your keywords into the anchor text of your incoming links as much as possible. Don't forget that Google AdSense is keyword-targeted advertising: Google AdSense bases its advert topics on your websites content, this means that content-rich websites of a popular topic should attract a large amount of ads.

AdSense Tip #4: Write a new page every day

One of the best tips is to add a new page to your web site every day. The more content you have, the more visitors you will get. Put an Adsense unit on each and every content page of your site. But where? You will find more about that from the next AdSense tips.

AdSense Tip #5: Choose the right AdSense format

Wider formats are successful because the ads are compact, easy to read and are complementary to the content. The top three AdSense formats are:

336x280 large rectangle
300x250 medium rectangle
160x600 wide skyscraper


Another successful format is the 468x15 horizontal ad links, that can be placed under your navigation bar.

AdSense Tip #6: Color tips

When creating your Google AdSense ads it is recommended to use the color scheme and style of your website so that the ads blend in well. Ads without background color and borders perfom better than ads within borders with background color. Create a custom AdSense palette:
border color = background color of your web site
background color = background color of your web site
link color = blue, color of your links
url color = black, #999999
text color = black, #333333, color of your main content You can also rotate your color palette: select multiple color palettes that blend with your site to create variety.


AdSense Tip #7: Position tips

Visitors tend to look at the big headlines to see if your page is worth reading. If you get them interested, they will read the text and look for your navigation links.Place the AdSense ads in a prominent place around the top/left part of your page or under your headlines, where your visitors are most likely to look at.If you have an article page with a long body of text, the bottom of that article is a good place for AdSense ads because your visitors read the text and then they want more resources.

AdSense Tip #8: Increase the number of ads, but not too much

If you have a lot of text on a page, use multiple AdSense units. You can use up to three AdSense units on a page, two AdSense search boxes and one unit of ad links.Link units allow the user to refine what they're interested in. So if they may not be interested in specific ads on your page, they might be interested in a particular topic, and by clicking on a link unit and a link in the link unit, they'll be able to specify that they're interested in that specific topic and get a lot more options and variety on the ads that might appear.AdSense for Search allows visitors to search Google.com or your sites (up to 3 domains). You earn money whenever they click on the ads that come up on the search results. If you click the Open search results in a new browser window checkbox in the AdSense for Search settings, you won't lose your visitors.

AdSense Tip #9: Preview Google ads

You can find out what ads will be served by Google AdSense if you install Google AdSense Preview Tool, a very simple tool available only for Internet Explorer 6.0. Click to advertiser sites without generating invalid clicks, and easily add their URLs to your URL filter list. Because AdSense uses geo-targeting, Google serves different ads for other countries. Instead of faking your IP or travelling abroad to test your ads, use this AdSense tool to see what ads see your visitors from France, Germany or other countries.There may be no Google AdSense ads available for your webpage, so Googlw will display Public Service Ads. You can hide them using alternate colors or images. Make sure you include the image in a simple html file as a link (use target="_top"). The image size should be the same as the dimension of AdSense units. In the alternate url box, enter the absolute url of the html file.Read more about alternate ads.

AdSense Tip #10: What not to do

Don't click on your own ads
Don't ask others to click on your Google ads
Don't manually change AdSense code
Don't place Google ads on sites that include prohibited content (e.g.: adult sites)
Don't employ cloaking, hidden text or farm links
Don't use AdSense ads on the same page with similar ads (e.g.: Yahoo Publisher Network)


AdSense Tip #11: Show images above or next to your ads

Placing images above AdSense ads is not necessarily prohibited by program policies. However, depending on the method of implementation this could be considered encouraging users to click on ads. So you should include a border line between the ads and the images. Don't show specific products in your images, in order not to mislead the visitors. Just use generic images that will increase the visibility of your ads.

AdSense Tip #12: Use section targeting

Use section targeting to emphasize some content in your page. On your site, place this code where you want to emphasize. Content you want to emphasize.
If you want some content to be ignored, use


AdSense Tip #13: Alternate the colors of your ads

AdSense allows you to have up to 4 color variations for each variable for which you can specify color. You should do that if you put AdSense ads on pages that receive many impressions from the same visitors (for example forums) to reduce ad blindness. For
example:google_color_border = ["628098","628098","000000","000000"];
google_color_link = ["000000","BBB90C","BBB90C","628098"];
google_color_url = ["000000","628098","000000","000000"];
google_color_text = ["628098","628098","000000","000000"];



AdSense Tip #14: Your Google ads should be visible

Make sure your text ads are visible to the surfers in all screen formats. If you put the ads in a table, give sufficient breathing room, i.e. proper cell padding and cell spacing to make the ads stand out from the rest of your content.

AdSense Tip #15: Use AdSense channels

You can categorize the content of your website into channels and then track your performance. This way you can experiment with different types of ads and see which is performing the best. Instead of buying an AdSense tracker, you can enter the most important pages in your site and see how they are doing. Create up to 200 channels for AdSense.

AdSense Tip #1: Find your keywords

AdSense Tip #1: Find your keywords


Before serving ads on a web page, check its keyword density. A free and advanced tool for finding the most prominent keywords in a page can be found here: SEO Density Analyzer.



AdSense Tip #2: Improve your keywords


Get keyword suggestions from Overture Search Inventory and from Google AdWords Sandbox. Get new keywords that can help you improve your ad relevance. Enter the keywords from [web page name]-adsense-keywords.txt and save the suggestions to [web page name]-adsense-suggestions.txt.


AdSense Tip #3: Keep your website focused on a theme


Use the keyword suggestions to enhance your web pages and to build theme-based content. And also try to get your keywords into the anchor text of your incoming links as much as possible. Don't forget that Google AdSense is keyword-targeted advertising: Google AdSense bases its advert topics on your websites content, this means that content-rich websites of a popular topic should attract a large amount of ads.