The Rising Cost of Paid Search

John Battelle touches on the MediaPost coverage of a recent Fathom Online report that says prices on ppc keywords surged 24% in Q4 of 2004.

Most of this huge surge can be attributed to a few key areas (travel and retail most notably). It will be interesting to see if the holiday shopping season is largely the reason for this, or if keyword bidding has found another gear.

Regardless, it’s a trend not likely to change anytime soon. All the more reason to be extremely vigilant with paid search. Spikes like this can cause a monthly spend to skyrocket in just days, or, if the monthly budgets are capped, traffic numbers can fall off the table. Managing competition like this can be time consuming and almost maddening. Especially when clients start calling demanding answers.

Put together strategies early and be prepared to respond, instead of react. The differnce is subtle, but it can make all the difference.