Black Friday Started Last Week in Paid Search

If it seems like Black Friday sales start earlier and earlier each year, you may be right. Although Black Friday always falls on the fourth Friday in November, which is the 27th this year, Paid Search advertisers started advertising for Black Friday in earnest the week of September 27—two full months earlier.  

To determine when advertisers started advertising for Black Friday in Paid Search, AdGooroo studied U.S. Google Desktop Text Ad activity on 161 keywords containing the words ‘black friday’, including terms such as ‘black friday deals’, ‘black friday laptop deals’ and ‘black friday online sales’.

From August 2-September 26, advertisers spent relatively little on the 161 Black Friday keywords, a total of just $12,368. However, last week, from September 27-October 3, advertisers spent $52,417 on the Black Friday keyword group. Although this total is not a significant sum in itself, the fact that it is 324% more than advertisers spent on the same keywords in the previous two months combined is a strong indicator that Black Friday advertising began last week on the search engines. For comparison, last year AdGooroo did not see a surge in spend on Black Friday keywords until the week of October 26th.

Black Friday in Full Swing A sample of Paid Search text ads that advertisers ran last week in sponsorship of Black Friday keywords:

black friday creative

Top Advertisers by Share of Voice

Black Friday share of voice

There were some 277 advertisers who sponsored the Black Friday keyword group last week. Significantly, the top advertisers among these include major retail brands such as, which led the field with a 10% share of voice by impressions on the keyword group, Target (7% impression share), and Walmart (2.2% impression share). The fact that large retailers are leading this effort is further evidence that Black Friday advertising has officially begun on the search engines, since these brands are consistently among the largest advertisers over the Holiday season.

Coupons & Deals sites were also prominent Black Friday advertisers last week, including (4.1% impression share) and GroupOn (3.7% impression share).

Note: The results of this study are limited to U.S. Google Desktop Text Ad activity on the 161 Black Friday-related keywords studied. Advertisers may be sponsoring additional Black Friday-related keywords that, if measured, would alter the findings of this report.

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