December 8, 2005, 12:00 AM

Retailers’ average click costs decline, Fathom says

The average click price of a search engine keyword for retailers fell 25% in the past year, search engine marketing company Fathom Online reports. Meanwhile, Barbie tops the list of toy search terms.

Kurt Peters

Executive Editor


The average click price of a search engine keyword for retailers fell 25% in the past year, from 60 cents in November 2004 to 45 cents in November this year, search engine marketing company Fathom Online Corp. reports in its Keyword Price Index. The decline is part of a trend in most verticals that experienced either flat prices or declines.

Fathom attributes the decline to marketers getting smarter. “Smart advertisers have learned to maximize their keyword spends with creative thinking and bid management and then to optimize their conversions to sales,” said Gregg Stewart, senior vice president, channel management and marketing.

Retail had the lowest average keyword price; mortgage had the highest at $3.67, although that’s down 29% from $4.72 a year ago.

In another search-related survey, Internet traffic measurement company Hitwise reports that the top toy product search terms that drove shoppers to toy sites for the four weeks ended Dec. 3, 2005, were “Barbie,” “American Girl,” and “Build a Bear.” New entrants to the top 10 this year were “airsoft guns” and “jigsaw puzzles.”

The remaining search terms in that category’s top 10 this year were “Lego,” “Hot Wheels,” “Bratz,” “Yugio” and “Hello Kitty.”

“As we’ve seen in previous years, top search terms for toys and electronics leading into the last weeks of the year are a great indicator of what will be on consumer’s holiday shopping lists,” said Bill Tancer general manager of global research at Hitwise.


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