J.C. Penney Got Its Search Groove Back For Black Friday

This year, became the most-clicked advertiser for Black Friday paid-search keywords in the U.S. on desktop and mobile running across Google, according to recent data.

Ironically, the retailer has come a long way since the New York Times exposed J.C. Penney’s link scheme in 2011 that caused its ranking to dramatically fall in Google search results.

For months, landed near the top in searches for terms for which other sites typically ranked high. Terms like “skinny jeans,” “home decor,” “comforter sets,” according to the NYT.

In fact NYT’s investigation found thousands of unrelated web sites linked to the Most had descriptive anchor text.

It turns out that got its groove back. Analyzing unbranded terms from November 23 through November 26, 2018, Kantar Media analysts found the retailer took 18.4% click share on Black Friday. Macy’s followed with 7.6%, Sears with 7.2%, Kohl’s with 7%, and Verizon Wireless with 5.9%.



Cyber Monday looked quite different. Best Buy with 14.3% took the No. 1 spot for the most clicked advertiser. Verizon Wireless followed with 10.6%, Target at 8.1%, Apple at 7.3%, and Office Depot at 6.3% round out the top five.

Kantar Media data is based on U.S. Google click-share percentage for desktop percentage listing ads and text ads that displaying on 74 Cyber Monday related keyword.

When analyzing the 2,500 popular retail product keywords across desktop and mobile search, Walmart led all advertisers in product listing ad clicks, while Amazon was the top text ad advertiser with 6.9% click share on desktop and 12.6% on mobile. came in with 5.8% for text as click share on desktop and 3.7% click share on mobile.

Kantar Media also notes that in recent years Walmart has moved away from text ads in its paid-search strategy and was not present among the top 10 text ad sponsors for desktop or mobile search.

Walmart did top the product listing ads category for both mobile and desktop click share at 6.7% and 10.8%, respectively.

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