Fathom Online, a search engine marketing company, reported this week that there continues to be fierce competition for online keyword advertising among mortgage companies.

“The mortgage category can’t be kept down,” Fathom Online reported, and is “still the highest price of the keyword categories studied.” In October, the average search engine keyword price in the mortgage category increased 9 percent over September, to $3.68.

But that represents a 15 percent drop in keyword prices for that category compared to October 2004, according to a report by eMarketer, an Internet market research company.

Of the eight markets tracked by the Fathom Online Keyword Price Index, four categories increased and four decreased from September to October, and the average search engine keyword price remained virtually flat during that period, increasing from $1.44 to $1.45.

Automotive and auto parts keyword prices dropped 14 percent from $1.51 to $1.30. “Advertisers appear to have put their search campaigns on hold as sales stalled under a variety of pressures, including escalating fuel prices,” the company announced.

Finance-investment advertisers, meanwhile, boosted their keyword campaigns and created a 14 percent average rise in keyword prices from $1.46 to $1.66. Keyword prices over the last year increased from an average of $1.37 to $1.44 reflecting an overall 19 percent change, Fathom Online also reported.

The Telecom-Wireless category fell $0.16, or 13 percent, to $1.06 in October.

“Most surprising is the comparatively flat performance of the consumer-retail category that dropped 2 percent, despite predictions of record online holiday sales this year,” Fathom Online announced. The index for the consumer-travel category, meanwhile, jumped 7 percent from September to October.

“We believe the Index continues to move toward more predictable keyword stability as advertisers and search marketing firms have learned to anticipate seasonal swings and optimize their keyword buys,” said Gregg Stewart, senior vice president of channel management and marketing for Fathom Online. “The value of the (index) is to track keyword price trends. Advertisers must study post-click behavior and optimize the pages that users ‘land’ on to convert to higher sales.”

Fathom Online, which has offices in San Francisco, Chicago and New York, tracks keyword prices daily to spot trends and to provide its clients with buying opportunities. The tracked keyword list consists of 500 generic keywords across eight categories for the top five ranked positions on selected search engines, the company reported, noting that pricing fluctuations measured by the index should be viewed in the context of the eight categories reported and not as a proxy for the entire search industry.

***

Send tips or a Letter to the Editor to glenn@inman.com or call (510) 658-9252, ext. 137.

Show Comments Hide Comments

Comments

Sign up for Inman’s Morning Headlines
What you need to know to start your day with all the latest industry developments
Success!
Thank you for subscribing to Morning Headlines.
Back to top
We're giving away 3 free ICLV tickets at Connect Now next week. Register and attend live for your chance to win!REGISTER×
Log in
If you created your account with Google or Facebook
Don't have an account?
Forgot your password?
No Problem

Simply enter the email address you used to create your account and click "Reset Password". You will receive additional instructions via email.

Forgot your username? If so please contact customer support at (510) 658-9252

Password Reset Confirmation

Password Reset Instructions have been sent to

Subscribe to The Weekender
Get the week's leading headlines delivered straight to your inbox.
Top headlines from around the real estate industry. Breaking news as it happens.
15 stories covering tech, special reports, video and opinion.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
It looks like you’re already a Select Member!
To subscribe to exclusive newsletters, visit your email preferences in the account settings.
Up-to-the-minute news and interviews in your inbox, ticket discounts for Inman events and more
1-Step CheckoutPay with a credit card
By continuing, you agree to Inman’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

You will be charged . Your subscription will automatically renew for on . For more details on our payment terms and how to cancel, click here.

Interested in a group subscription?
Finish setting up your subscription