Chitika Revenue Dropping?

Darren at mentions a change that Chitika is going through right now. After getting some more information from the Chitika support staff I think I understand what they’re going to do. Some of the text links on the ads are going to be converted to static links to the advertiser’s product description. From my understanding the links in the tabs (Best Deals, Search, etc) will still count toward your click through.

They are countering what they call “click curiosity”: people who just click to get information about the product and not are necessarily interested in purchasing. This means a higher turnover to the advertisers of course.

Chitika themselves admitted that there will be a drop in revenue for publisher. They even offer an incentive:

To best compensate for any potential revenue loss, we are issuing a network-wide 10% bonus through the end of November.

Fact of the matter is, we can all expect to see a permanent drop in Chitika revenue due to this change, no doubt about it. From the response I got, this did not seem to be an advertiser initiated change. It seems that Chitika is doing some forward thinking and for-seeing a problem and are taking the necessary steps to avoid it. This is comforting to me. It shows that they are really committed to working out the kinks in their beta product.

I personally don’t see the problem. So the title of the product is not clickable, it hurts a bit but it’s not the end of the world. Consumers are not brain dead, they know what a URL link looks like, if they want to find out more they’ll click. And you can always set the “Best Deals” tab as default. It’s not like the title is still clickable and is unpaid. If we have to be honest with ourselves, we have to admit that there have been a number of curiosity clicks. At the end of the day, you need to keep the advertisers happy. And giving them something they want before they know they want it is a sure way to do so.