Fathom Online reports a dip in average keyword costs for May, mainly driven by a fall in mortgage related keywords prices after the Fed’s latest interest rate increase. Despite the drop, average keyword prices in the “Finance – Mortgage” vertical tracked by Fathom Online still stood at $4.52. The only vertical to buck the declining trend was “Automotive”, with keyword prices rising 7% to $1.50 in May.
The drop in mortgage keyword costs comes at the same time as Hitwise reports a rise in the number of searches related to the topic “real estate bubble”. According to Hitwise, consumer searches for the terms “real estate bubble” and “housing bubble” reached a 12-month peak the week ending May 28, 2005. The market share of these terms across all major search engines rose 311 percent and 174 percent respectively compared to one week earlier. Hitwise further reports that traffic to real estate websites has been increasing since the seasonal slump at the end of 2004, with visits increasing on average by 3% a week.
Chris Churchill, Fathom Online’s CEO, made the following comment on the May keyword prices: “In general, we expect search prices to continue to increase. As the market continues to mature, the swings will be less dramatic. For advertisers, the good news is that there will be micro-trends within and between months that sophisticated search marketers can leverage, and profitability will continue to drive more dollars into search marketing. We should also stress that the pricing fluctuations measured by the KPITM in May should be viewed only in the context of the eight categories reported and not as a proxy for the entire search industry.”