Search Costs Creeping Up As Black Friday Nears

As Black Friday—the day after Thanksgiving, which traditionally signals the beginning of the holiday shopping seasons—approaches, the average cost per click for search engine marketing (SEM) keywords has steadily increased, according to analytics firm SEMphonics.

According to the SEMphonics Keyword Pricing Index, the average cost per click on branded words rose from $0.49 on Nov. 1 to $0.53 on Nov. 15. During the same two-week period, the average cost per click for nonbranded words rose from $0.96 to $1.00.

In the clothing and accessories merchandise category, the cost of top SEM bids rose 10% during the previous two weeks; in the kitchen, food, and wine and the arts and entertainment segments, the cost of the top bids increased 8%. According to SEMphonics, however, “these increases are only evident…in low-volume keywords ( fewer than 10,000 queries per month) and suggests that advertisers in these categories are expanding and diversifying their [pay per click] campaigns into lower-volume words in anticipation of the upcoming holiday season. It may also be that the onset of winter and the approach of Thanksgiving are contributing to this rise in the food and clothing markets.”

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