Chitika, Inc. is a search-targeted advertising network and research firm. Based in Westborough, Massachusetts, the company was co-founded in 2003 by Chief Executive Officer
Chief executive officer
A chief executive officer , managing director , Executive Director for non-profit organizations, or chief executive is the highest-ranking corporate officer or administrator in charge of total management of an organization...

 Venkat Kolluri and Chief Technology Officer Alden DoRosario, both former Terra Lycos data mining engineers. The name Chitika means "in a snap" in the South Indian language of Telugu
Telugu language
Telugu is a Central Dravidian language primarily spoken in the state of Andhra Pradesh, India, where it is an official language. It is also spoken in the neighbouring states of Chattisgarh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Orissa and Tamil Nadu...


Chitika offers search-targeted advertising solutions. The ad units can be used on websites alongside with Google AdSense or as an AdSense alternative.


In 2010 Yahoo! closed their AdSense competitor Yahoo Publisher Network Online (YPNO) and subsequently recommended publishers migrate to Chitika as a replacement.

In 2009 Chitika began a partnership with the b5media Network.

Chitika | Premium

Chitika | Premium displays ads to visitors that reach a page directly from a major search engine. They detect the search query used by the visitor and then return ads that best match that search query. Returning well-targeted, highly relevant ads should result in a higher Click-through rate
Click-through rate
Clickthrough rate is a way of measuring the success of an online advertising campaign. The clickthrough rate of an advertisement is defined as the number of clicks on an ad divided by the number of times the ad is shown , expressed as a percentage. For example, if a banner ad is delivered 100...

. This is how the ads monetize the "second click". All Chitika | Premium ads are Pay per click
Pay per click
Pay per click is an Internet advertising model used to direct traffic to websites, where advertisers pay the publisher when the ad is clicked. With search engines, advertisers typically bid on keyword phrases relevant to their target market...

 (PPC) and are promoted by Chitika as their best performing ad product for publishers based on effective Cost per impression
Cost Per Impression
Cost per impression, often abbreviated to CPI or CPM for Cost per thousand impressions, is a phrase often used in online advertising and marketing related to web traffic. It is used for measuring the worth and cost of a specific e-marketing campaign. This technique is applied with web banners,...


Chitika | Premium ad units are 100% compatible with Google AdSense. According to Chitika the Chitika | Premium ad units do not conflict with the Google AdSense terms of use because the ad units are not contextual and the ad units do not look like Google AdSense ads.

Chitika Local Ad Exchange

Chitika launched their Local Ad Exchange (LAX) in July, 2010 with the intent of bringing together search-targeting and local advertising. LAX offerings include a local interactive map populated with advertisements.

Chitika Mobile

Launched as part of the above-mentioned LAX product, Chitika Mobile is a feature that allows standard Chitika | Premium ads to change dynamically into mobile-designed ads based on a user's user agent.

Awards and recognition

  • 2010
    • DPAC Award Finalist for Best Mobile Advertising Network Innovation

  • 2009
    • Red Herring
      Red Herring (magazine)
      Red Herring was a technology business magazine, which flourished during the dot com boom, with global distribution and bureaus in Bangalore, Beijing, and Paris. It also sponsored conferences designed to bring venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, and technologists together. But the magazine went into...

      : Top 100 Global 2008 Finalist
    • Red Herring
      Red Herring (magazine)
      Red Herring was a technology business magazine, which flourished during the dot com boom, with global distribution and bureaus in Bangalore, Beijing, and Paris. It also sponsored conferences designed to bring venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, and technologists together. But the magazine went into...

      : Top 100 Global 2008 Winner
      Past award winners include: Google
      Google Inc. is an American multinational public corporation invested in Internet search, cloud computing, and advertising technologies. Google hosts and develops a number of Internet-based services and products, and generates profit primarily from advertising through its AdWords program...

      , Yahoo!
      Yahoo! Inc. is an American multinational internet corporation headquartered in Sunnyvale, California, United States. The company is perhaps best known for its web portal, search engine , Yahoo! Directory, Yahoo! Mail, Yahoo! News, Yahoo! Groups, Yahoo! Answers, advertising, online mapping ,...

      , Skype
      Skype is a software application that allows users to make voice and video calls and chat over the Internet. Calls to other users within the Skype service are free, while calls to both traditional landline telephones and mobile phones can be made for a fee using a debit-based user account system...

      , Netscape
      Netscape Communications is a US computer services company, best known for Netscape Navigator, its web browser. When it was an independent company, its headquarters were in Mountain View, California...

      , is an enterprise cloud computing company headquartered in San Francisco that distributes business software on a subscription basis. hosts the applications off-site...

      , and YouTube
      YouTube is a video-sharing website, created by three former PayPal employees in February 2005, on which users can upload, view and share videos....

  • 2008
    • AlwaysOn: Top 100 fastest-growing companies in the Northeast
    • Red Herring
      Red Herring (magazine)
      Red Herring was a technology business magazine, which flourished during the dot com boom, with global distribution and bureaus in Bangalore, Beijing, and Paris. It also sponsored conferences designed to bring venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, and technologists together. But the magazine went into...

      : Leading private technology companies in North America
    • MITX 2008 Technology Awards: Finalist, Marketing/Customer Relationship Technologies Category

  • 2007
    • Inc.
      Inc. (magazine)
      Inc. magazine, founded in 1979 and based in New York City, is a monthly publication focused on growing companies. The magazine publishes an annual list of the 500 fastest-growing private companies in the U.S., the "Inc...

       top free services for generating revenue on your website: Best For Promoting Ancillary Products

Discontinued Products

RealContent, a matching engine that gathers behavioral information for displaying targeted advertising, was introduced in March, 2004. In August 2004, ContextAnywhere was released, for integration of contextual advertising functionality by desktop application and toolbar developers.

BlogContext, introduced in November, 2004, is a blog offering by which a line of customized HTML
HyperText Markup Language is the predominant markup language for web pages. HTML elements are the basic building-blocks of webpages....

 code is inserted into blog posts in order to display contextual ads from the company's network.

In June 2005, Chitika's flagship product was launched: Chitika eMiniMalls. These ad units are interactive merchandise kiosks which provide relevant content and comparative shopping information without taking site visitors away from publisher pages. The New York Times reported Internet Banner Ads Look to Get More Interesting (and Thus Less Easy to Ignore), featuring an interview with Chitika CEO, Venkat Kollrui. Web publishers choose from millions of products, offers, promotions and deals, ranging from iPods to baby strollers, from thousands of name-brand merchants and advertisers to be displayed in this ad unit. Adweek writes Product Search Hits Banner Ads. Chitika eMiniMalls became an award finalist of MITX later that year.

In June 2006, the company introduced Multi-Product Units (MPU), which allow publishers to display four products in a single eMiniMall.

In August 2006, ShopLinc was introduced. It is a customizable web portal
Web portal
A web portal or links page is a web site that functions as a point of access to information in the World Wide Web. A portal presents information from diverse sources in a unified way....

 tool for "expert-guided shopping," by which a portal publisher can provide products, opinions, comments, customizable RSS
-Mathematics:* Root-sum-square, the square root of the sum of the squares of the elements of a data set* Residual sum of squares in statistics-Technology:* RSS , "Really Simple Syndication" or "Rich Site Summary", a family of web feed formats...

 and reviews of products for site visitors, while earning CPC revenue for displaying Chitika ads.

In September 2006, Chitika added referral links
Affiliate marketing
Affiliate marketing is a marketing practice in which a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought about by the affiliate's own marketing efforts...

 to all Multi-Product Units, making it easier for publishers to earn referral bonuses.

In October 2006, the company launched ShopCloud$, a plug-in for ShopLinc, by which customers searching for products receive an AJAX
- Mythology :* Ajax , son of Telamon, ruler of Salamis and a hero in the Trojan War, also known as "Ajax the Great"* Ajax the Lesser, son of Oileus, ruler of Locris and the leader of the Locrian contingent during the Trojan War.- People :...

 drop-down menu of results and search assistance, as well as listings, deals, promotions, and offers from brand merchants in a tag cloud
Tag cloud
A tag cloud is a visual representation for text data, typically used to depict keyword metadata on websites, or to visualize free form text. 'Tags' are usually single words, and the importance of each tag is shown with font size or color...


ShopCloud launched November 2006 and displayed popular products in an interactive tag cloud format where each product linked to CPC search results featuring deals, promotions and offers from hundreds of name brand merchants.

Owna, a software widget
Software widget
A software widget is a generic type of software application comprising portable code intended for one or more different software platforms. The term often implies that either the application, user interface, or both, are light, meaning relatively simple and easy to use, as exemplified by a desk...

 for social networks released February 2007. Owna displays customizable skins around merchandise a publisher wishes to feature, and in turn displays advertising from Chitika's network.

In May 2007, Chitika offered their version of in-text advertising called Chitika | Linx. Chitika | Linx automatically identifies key products/keywords mentioned in the content on a website or blog and hyperlink (double underline) those keywords to interactive paid (CPC-based) product listings featuring best deals, offers and promotions from name brand merchants. When users mouse-over these links, a small bubble-like scroll over is revealed listing offers from merchants.

In June 2007, Chitika launched a new service at It is a next generation e-commerce portal driven by a community of users to determine the best deals on and off the Internet.

In July 2007, Chitika developed an application for users on Facebook
Facebook is a social networking service and website launched in February 2004, operated and privately owned by Facebook, Inc. , Facebook has more than 800 million active users. Users must register before using the site, after which they may create a personal profile, add other users as...

 called iBought. This widget gave users the ability to show off products they recently purchased and gave them access to thousands of product deals.

In February 2008, Chitika released Related Product Unit (RPU), a PPC ad unit designed to work exclusively for blogs and news- or article-based sites. The RPU brings related products right to the user reading a product-oriented story. The RPU quickly became Chitika's highest-earning ad unit to date and publisher favorite because of its easy integration and simple, non-intrusive ad format.

In this same month, Chitika also released a Viral Branding Unit (VBU), which was created to bring the power of video and interactivity to advertisers. This video-based ad unit took online video branding to a new level with interactive features not yet available in any other ad unit on the web. The innovation led to its nomination as an MITX Tech Awards Finalist.

In March 2008, Chitika announced the availability for CPM in addition to CPC Graphic Ad Units. These ads display a relevant and targeted banner/graphic ad on web pages only when it will earn the publisher more revenue than the default CPC ad unit being displayed.

Chitika for Parked Domains was released March 2008. The first domain service to pay users on the first click to the merchant listings. Chitika Domains has a different and refreshing look and feel featuring a variety of products, offers and promotions, as opposed to regular “vanilla” dead-end pages with many boring links.


In December 2005, some publishers reported a reduction in revenue after auditing between 25%-90%.

In November 2007, Jennifer Slegg, owner of the JenSense Blog, reported a payment mishap.

"When my check arrived at the end of September, my bank would not accept it. Why? Because they had also printed someone else’s check on the back of mine… complete with their name and earning amount (no, I am not going to say whose check I received printed on the back of mine). But whoever did the Chitika checks thought it would be fine to just simply use a pen and cross out the other check printed on the back of my check and then send it off to me. Well, funny, but banks don’t seem to like a second check printed and scratched out on the back of a check I am trying to deposit!"

In June 2008, Chitika allegedly changed its revenue payout suddenly without notifying publishers or responding to their complaints.

In 2010, Chitika created an uproar when without any prior warning, they removed their ads from thousands of websites. The company stated that the sites they had been doing business with were all suddenly placed under "Pending Review" or "Pending Further Review" status. This meant the company would no longer show ads on the sites. As of May 2010, thousands of customers were voicing concerns and many dropped the advertising service altogether. Many angry publishers commented on the issue on Chitika's own website blog.

On March 16, 2011, the Federal Trade Commission
Federal Trade Commission
The Federal Trade Commission is an independent agency of the United States government, established in 1914 by the Federal Trade Commission Act...

("FTC") appeared before the United States Senate
United States Senate
The United States Senate is the upper house of the bicameral legislature of the United States, and together with the United States House of Representatives comprises the United States Congress. The composition and powers of the Senate are established in Article One of the U.S. Constitution. Each...

 Commerce Committee
United States Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation
The United States Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation is a standing committee of the United States Senate in charge of all senate matters related to the following subjects:* Coast Guard* Coastal zone management* Communications...

 and announced its first behavioral advertising case, filed against Chitika for use of a deceptive
Deception, beguilement, deceit, bluff, mystification, bad faith, and subterfuge are acts to propagate beliefs that are not true, or not the whole truth . Deception can involve dissimulation, propaganda, and sleight of hand. It can employ distraction, camouflage or concealment...

opt-out mechanism. According to the FTC, Chitika's cookies that opt users out of behavioral tracking were expiring in ten days rather than the stated ten years. A settlement was reached under which Chitika was forbidden from making misleading statements about the extent of data collection about consumers and the extent to which consumers can control the use of their data. Further, the settlement required that Chitika link all its advertising to an effective opt-out mechanism in future. It has been commented that, “[t]his requirement of a hyperlink embedded in online advertisements is a good indicator of the type of Do Not Track mechanism that will be acceptable to the FTC if “Do Not Track” becomes mandatory.” According to a press release by the company, their opt-out cookies have been set to ten years since March 2010 when the FTC began their investigation. Chitika subsequently claimed to have made only a total of fifty-five cents from the ten day opt-out expiration.
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