Early in February after being disappointed with my Kontera earnings, I decided to try Chitika’s Linx product to see how it compares to Kontera’s In-Text product. I have been using Kontera for almost a year with excellent results and on average it was earning almost as much as Adsense for Content. But in December ’07/January ’08, eCPM and earnings were nearly half of what I had grown accustomed to – I decided that I needed to see what else was available. Since Chitika’s Linx product was very similar to Kontera’s In-Text product, taking up no additional space on my pages it was the obvious product to test.
Sign up and setup of Chitika was fast and easy, and adding the code to the site was as simple as pasting it right over my existing Kontera code. It took a while (seems like a few hours, if i recall), but eventually the Chitika Linx units began to display on all my pages. At first look they are very similar to Kontera’s In-Text, the only real difference being the distance between the little double-underlines on the link-units. Chitika also allows you to use a dashed-underline instead of double-underlines. Kontera’s only choice is the standard double-underline, however they do have the undocumented single underline option.
I ran Chitika Linx for a few days, and on the surface it appeared to do well. My “unaudited” earnings were higher than Kontera had been for the last month or two, but roughly the same as how Kontera “usually” performs. I say “unaudited” because Chitika posts your ‘raw’ or unaudited earnings the next day, but you have to wait a month or so before you see your “real” earnings – it’s the “audited” earnings that you get paid for. It has been over a month and I am still not seeing my “audited” numbers for Chitika, so I still don’t really know what I’ve earned. This waiting game alone is enough to make me stick with Kontera, but there are more reasons:
- Kontera’s Link-Units are far more relevant to my visitors than Chitika’s
- Kontera provides me an Account Manager. Any time I have questions or problems I can send him an email (or call him by phone) and have a response within 24 hours. All I get with Chitika what appears to be a sales person that so far has only tried to sell me on more of their products and does not really even seem to understand how that whole “audited earnings” thing works
- Performance: Kontera’s In-Text links always display immediately. Chitika’s took a while before they showed up on my pages, and often times did not load at all. On my other ‘low traffic’ site, I had to send an email to Chitika support before the Linx would “stick”.
- Earnings: Even though Kontera’s earnings were in the toilet in Dec & January, it has picked up significantly, and is now earning 75% – 95% of what my Adsense for Content earns (not counting Firefox referral earnings). My unaudited Chitika earnings were roughly the same, but after a month and two-weeks, I still don’t know what my ‘true’ Chitika earnings are because they have not yet audited my account. Waiting a month or two to see my real earnings just does not cut it for me.
Another thing that has swayed me back to Kontera is that they seem to care about their publishers. The fact that everyone has an account manager should prove this, but have a look at this email Kontera sent to me (and presumably all publishers) last week:
We have been making certain upgrades to our infrastructure to support the explosive growth we have been experiencing in recent months.
One such upgrade occurred on the days of March 8th, 9th, and 10th. Some publishers experienced temporary downtime as a result of this upgrade.
Because we care about our publishers and realize how important the revenue stream is that we provide them with we are choosing to “make good” on this down time. Therefore, the numbers you will see in the reporting system will be low. These are real numbers and the reason they are low is because of the temporary downtime we experienced.
In addition to what you see in these numbers we are going to compensate you $xxx.xx that should reflect what would have been “normal” traffic and performance levels for your site. These amounts will not be updated into the reporting system. They will be added to your overall monthly earnings for March and paid when March payments are due to go out.
Thank you for your continued participation in Kontera’s rise to becoming the premium player in the “in-text” space.
What does this mean (for those of you in a hurry and that dont want to read the whole letter)? Kontera had some down time last week and their In-Text links did not show on any websites – and they are actually paying publishers for that downtime! When was the last time Chitika or even Adsense for that matter paid publishers to compensate for downtime? Heck, Adsense’s new TOS & Policies specifically states that if the Adsense system goes down, it’s tough-shit, you don’t get nothing. It’s these “little things” that make me stick with Kontera.
My Chitika account is still open, and I’m still using it on my low-traffic site where it’s earning about $1/day. But for GrownUpGeek.com, I’m back to Kontera.
Affiliate links: You can try Kontera at www.Kontera.com and Chitika at chitika.com. Other links in the post may also contain affiliate links. If you hate aff-links, you can go direct to www.kontera.com or www.chitika.com.