Chitika have been rolling out their new CPM ads over the last few days. These impression based ads will appear mainly on sites with a lot of traffic from non supported countries (they only serve their own ads to traffic from USA, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Germany, France, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, Spain, Sweden, UK).
In a sense these CPM ads are ‘alternative ads’ – so if a reader comes from Japan for instance they see the new CPM ad instead of a default ad or a Public Service Announcement. The theory is that at least you’ll earn something from the ad.
I can understand why Chitika are doing this and why it’d be attractive to many publishers. Most sites get at least some decent traffic from the countries that Chitika (and other ad networks) don’t support and to not monetize it is a pity. However….
What concerns me a little about these ads is that the announcement post says that it’s not just when someone from a non supported country visits your site but rather they say they serve them ‘when it makes sense’ to do so and give this example:
“if you are in Canada, and viewing a page with a Chitika ad on it, we will most likely show you a CPM Graphic banner because we are seeing more revenue from graphic ads for Canadian traffic.”
This is all well and good if you’re just looking at the bottom line (who wouldn’t want the most profitable ad served?) but the banner ads that I’ve seen so far are not what I’d consider to be of a high quality. They’re not relevant to sites (ie they are not contextual) and they look cheap and nasty. I hope that Chitika will work to attract premium brand advertisers – but in the mean time I’m considering opting out of the CPM ads at this point. Steve from UMPCPortal tells me he saw cheesy Ringtone ads on his blog and other bloggers are reporting similar low grade ads.
Opting out of the program (it is set to ‘ON’ by default) means you’re likely to take a hit financially so don’t do it without thinking it through but if you have a site where you don’t want banner ads appearing then you might want to consider this.