Cost of search engine keywords up 14% in October 2004

Search engine marketer Fathom Online tracks the cost of keywords on major search engines allowing pay-per-click marketing. Fathom Online tracks 500 most popular keywords in 9 categories. The cost of keywords grew 14% on average in October, due in large part to sharp spikes in the consumer services and retail categories. Advertisers paid an average of $1.55 per keyword in October, an 18 cent increase over September’s $1.37. This uptick was driven by consumer services and retail, where keyword costs increased an average of 78% and 52%, respectively. For goods and services, advertisers paid 96 cents in October versus 54 cents in September. The cost for retail terms also grew from 32 cents to 48 cents last month.

In finance/mortgage, the highest-priced category, price increases corresponded with the interest rate drop on the 30-year mortgage. Marketers paid $4.31 for mortgage-related keywords in October, versus $3.17 in September. Other sectors showed slight decreases in pricing. Automotive keyword costs fell from $1.43 to $1.39 in October, and broadband/telecom costs fell from $1.89 to $1.78.