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Chitika, Inc.
Type Private
Founded File:Flag of the United States.svg Shrewsbury, Massachusetts (May, 2003)
Headquarters Marlborough, Massachusetts, USA
Key people Venkat Kolluri, Co-Founder, CEO
Alden DoRosario, Co-Founder, CTO
Industry Internet advertising
Products Chitika Premium

Chitika, Inc. (pronounced CHIH-tih-ka) is a search-targeted advertising network. The company serves over 2 billion ads per month across more than 34,000 websites[1]. The company was co-founded in 2003 by Chief Executive Officer 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.

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



In 2009 Chitika began a partnership with the b5media Network.[2] [3]


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. This is how the ads monetize the "second click". [4]. All Chitika | Premium ads are Pay per click (PPC) and are promoted by Chitika as their best performing ad product for publishers based on effective Cost per impression (eCPM).

Chitika | Premium ad units are 100% compatible with Google AdSense[5]. 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[6].

Awards and Recognition

  • 2008
    • AlwaysOn: Top 100 fastest-growing companies in the Northeast
    • Red Herring: Leading private technology companies in North America
    • MITX 2008 Technology Awards: Finalist, Marketing/Customer Relationship Technologies Category[7]
  • 2007
    • Inc. top free services for generating revenue on your website: Best For Promoting Ancillary Products[8]

Products History

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 September 2006, Chitika added referral links to all Multi-Product Units, making it easier for publishers to earn referral bonuses.

In August 2006, ShopLinc was introduced. It is a customizable web portal tool for "expert-guided shopping," by which a portal publisher can provide products, opinions, comments, customizable RSS and reviews of products for site visitors, while earning CPC revenue for displaying Chitika ads.

In October 2006, the company launched ShopCloud$, a plug-in for ShopLinc, by which customers searching for products receive an AJAX drop-down menu of results and search assistance, as well as listings, deals, promotions, and offers from brand merchants in a tag cloud format.

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 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.

Discontinued Products

Chitika in 2003

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

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 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.

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%.[9][10]

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!"[11]

In June 2008, Chitika allegedly changed its revenue payout suddenly without notifying publishers or responding to their complaints.[12]


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