Chitika faces criticism from publishers

Chitika, a new contextual ad network that launched in May, has come under fire from publishers in its network — mostly bloggers — who once sang its praises.

Their eMiniMalls ads had been gaining steam among bloggers, with many reports of Chitika’s ads performing better than AdSense on some sites. But once Chitika began auditing its results in October, revenues began dropping — by anywhere from 15 percent to as much as 90 percent, according to reports on blogs like JenSense and ThreadWatch.

And if that was not enough of a problem for publishers, Chitika is also being criticized for not telling publishers of the drastic drops until early December, so most publishers ended up keeping the lower-performing ads on their site for over a month before they knew the extent of the reductions caused by the audits.

So it seems there are at least two lessons to be learned from this:
1. Transparency is good. Hiding things is bad.
2. Don’t mess with bloggers. When they get mad, they tell people, and some of them know a whole lot of people.

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