Search engine keyword prices dropped 3% in January

Search engine keyword prices dropped an average 3% in January 2004, according to Fathom Online. Most surprising was the 28% drop in Telecom-Wireless products and services from $1.09 to $0.79, possibly reflecting the trend to give cell phones as a gift during the holidays. Keywords in the Consumer-Retail category also decreased significantly by 11% from $0.58 to $0.52 per keyword, evening out some of the huge gains that category registered early in Q4 2004 when the frenzy to buy shopping keywords was at its peak. As mortgage rates drifted downward, mortgage companies apparently seized the opportunity to persuade homeowners and first-time buyers to refinance or purchase properties which increased the cost from $3.17 this past September to a current spike of $4.93.