I came across this blog post on Jensense talking about Chitika ads, which claimed that the unaudited Chitika revenue numbers didn't line up with the "audited revenue" Chitika numbers. All bloggers knew that there might be some click fraud which would reduce the audited revenue number, however, many bloggers are seeing 25-90% drops in revenue! Yikes! I haven't really been checking the audited statistics for my Chitika ads since I haven't had them on for very long and all the revenue goes to TMC anyway. But I did just check and I'm seeing about a 30% drop from unaudited to audited revenue. It would appear that Chitika is "cheating" the bloggers or there is a vast click-fraud cheating conspiracy on the Chitika network. :(
Jensense is worried about those bloggers that jumped ship from Adsense to Chitika that will now not be able to rely on that expected revenue for the holiday "gift giving" season. Guess no Xbox 360 for them. Actually, good luck getting one this Xmas season. And so many bloggers were excited about Chitika, myself included. Also, check out this insightful analysis from Jensense:
When publishers first joined Chitika's eMiniMalls and saw the fact that Chitika would be auditing revenue, many publishers were not alarmed. AdSense has this as well, and I only know of a handful of publishers who have ever had their monthly income audited, and they were mainly for obvious click attacks. So I saw no reason to worry over audited income, and if I expected to see audited income, I would expect a drop in the 2% or maybe as high as 5% range.
In a thread at DigitialPoint, it didn't take long to see the full extent of just how significant these audits actually were. One publisher saw one day's income drop from $28.02 to $3.05 and saw similar drops on other days. Publishers are reporting drops anywhere from 10% to as high as 60% of revenue cut.
And over at SitePoint, the news gets even worse. In a thread there, several publishers report their income being audited by 70% or more... with one publisher reporting he lost 90% of his income in the audit.