Who Will Rule Black Friday in Paid Search Advertising?

With Black Friday a little more than a week away, AdGooroo examined Paid Search activity in the retail category over the past month with an eye toward anticipating who will be on top over this key holiday shopping weekend.  

The full results of the study will be shared by AdGooroo CEO Richard Stokes in a live webinar today at 1 p.m. CST, in conjunction with Kantar Media and The Store – WPP. Below is a portion of the study focused on Share of Clicks for U.S. Google Desktop/Tablet Text Ads and Product Listing Ads on 2500 of the top retail keywords based on Paid Search ad spend.

Text Ads

Rule Black Friday Text Ad Click Share

Amazon continues its reign over U.S. Google Desktop Text Ads with a 7% click share on the keyword group during the period—an increase over November 2014 when it led the category with 6% of clicks. Target maintained a 4% click share year over year, while Macy’s maintained its 3% click share from 2014. JCPenney was the only other company among the top advertisers to improve its year over year share of clicks, rising to 3% from 2% in 2014.

Walmart saw the biggest drop, going from a 5% click share in 2014 to 2% this year, while Best Buy and Sears both dropped from 3% click share in 2014 to 1% this year. Kohl’s and Zappos both maintained the same 2% click share from 2014.

Rule Black Friday Change in Text Ad click share

Product Listing Ads

Rule Black Friday PLA Click Share

The landscape for Product Listing Ads was far less fragmented than Desktop Text Ads, with just 5 advertisers controlling 30% of PLA clicks on the keyword group. Walmart led with a 7% click share, an increase from its 6% click share in November 2014. Target increased its click share from 5% last year to 6% this year while eBay also increased its click share year over year, from 2% in 2014 to 3%.

Best Buy dominated the keyword group in November 2014 with an 11% click share for Product Listing Ads, but dropped five percentage points to a 6% share of clicks on the keyword group this year. Kohl’s also fell in click share year over year, from 3% to 1%, while Sears, Overstock.com and Toys ‘R’ Us all dropped from a 2% click share in November 2014 to 1% this year.

Macy’s was the only advertiser among the top PLA sponsors to maintain its year over year click share at 5%.

Jet.com, noted in the chart below, was one of several advertisers with a 1% click share on the keyword group. Having launched in July this year, Jet.com is the only newcomer among the top PLA advertisers on the keyword group.

Rule Black Friday Change in PLA click share

Paid Search Spend by Ad Format

In total, 30,563 advertisers spent $106 million sponsoring the keyword group via U.S. Google Desktop/Tablet Text Ads from October 15 through November 15. Far fewer advertisers, a total of 6,091, spent $22.3 million sponsoring the keyword group via Product Listing Ads on U.S. Google Desktop/Tablet during the same period.

Note: The data in this report is limited to the 2500 retail keywords studied. Advertisers may be sponsoring additional keywords that, if measured, would alter the figures in this report.