According to DoubleClick's most recent quarterly report about search pricing the price of purchasing keywords has fallen dramatically in the last quarter.
The "cost-per-keyword" stood high at $59 last December. During the first quarter it has dropped to $30. The combination of cost-per-click with the volume of clicks was tried to arrive at the average cost to a marketer of purchasing a keyword for the entire month.
The lower prices of keywords could be due to the fact that consumers are spending less after the holidays. This has led to marketers curtailing their bids substantially. The report states that "Some advertisers lead the market by dropping their own bids shortly after the holidays when lower returns make those high bids unsustainable. Other advertisers follow that trend, and have their bids drop automatically when other competitors pull back first."
The report also finds that the cost-per-keyword was nearly unchanged from the first quarter of 2005 to this year's first quarter. However, the number of keywords in play grew so did the total number of clicks. The average number of keywords per campaign receiving at least one click per month increased by 36 percent; the total number of clicks soared 24 percent.