I own an auto insurance blog that gets pretty decent traffic from US Google. On my look for an Adsense alternative I found out Chitika and decided to give it a try. You may ask why look for an Adsense alternative. Well we all know Adsense can be a little moody and ban randomly people and what I am looking for is a stable income and opportunity to expand & grow my business.
I signed up with Chitika, placed regular banner ads but also included their latest additions - Linx & Hover apps. CPC for the car insurance niche was cr@p at start. Ranging from $0.03 - $0.06 CPC I was very close to giving their up. I decided to give a last attempt and apply for Gold Ads. Gold Ads are meant to give you access to more high quality, high paying Advertisers.
Here comes the funny part! My site does get approved both my Chitika and by the Premium Advertisers. So both Chitika & the Advertisers agree that my site and the traffic/visitors it gets are of high quality. Passing the approval for Gold Ads also means my site complies with their Terms & Conditions.
Once Gold Ads start showing up on my sites the CPC massively increases. I am talking about prices of $2 - $2.40 CPC. This ran for a few days until today when I get an automatically generated email from Chitika:'
Hello XXXXX,I am NOT doing any of the things mentioned in this email nor I am breaking their T&C. As this email tells me nothing basically I tried to contact support. After my first email I get some kind of clarification:
We are sending this message to inform you that your account: XXXXXXX has been deactivated.
The reason(s) for this deactivation is either because a traffic analysis for your account highlighted significant invalid click activity or your domain infringed upon one or more of our website restrictions such as:
Pornography, adult, or mature content
Illicit drugs and drug paraphernalia
To view our restrictions list in its entirely, please see Chitika's Terms and Conditions at http://chitika.com/mm_terms.php for more detailed information regarding website restrictions.
We are also working with our ad partners to refund the amounts. Please remove all Chitika ad code from your web pages immediately.
Chitika Customer Service
This message contains confidential information intended only for the use of the addressee(s) named above and may contain information that is legally privileged. It is the property of Chitika, Inc. If you are not the addressee, or the person responsible for delivering it to the addressee, you are hereby notified that reading, disseminating, distributing or copying this message is strictly prohibited and may be unlawful. If you have received this communication in error, please notify sender immediately by return e-mail, fax or phone and destroy the original communication and all copies thereof, including all, if any, attachments. Thank you for your cooperation.
-Our fraud team has detected that you were spamming the same keyword causing unnatural inflation in CPC. This is against our terms and conditions Terms & Conditions | Chitika Online Advertising NetworkHow does a person spam a keyword and cause unnatural inflation of CPC? This is as absurd as it can get. SEO is not "spamming of keyword". I am not in control of the advertisers budgets or CPC of their advertising campaigns. So how should I be the one sucking it all up and ending with a banned account.
I continue to try and resolve this issue with Chitika but I think there is little hope. I sent Google Analytics Screenshots and Data to show them my traffic stats but that doesn't seem to help or change their decision even slightly.
The thing is that Chitika may be great if you are a low earner. Once you get into big money they start acting as Adsense- banning people without a clear reason.