We officially declared the launch of the Q4 shopping season with Yahoo’s announcement that they’re increasing their CPC Rates for Q4.

Shopping.com has followed suit by announcing their own rates increase–however like last year they’re not doing it across the board like other engines traditionally do.

Instead, rates for 85% of their categories will remain the same, and the only increases will come in categories that they consider maximize sale and qualified leads:

With the holiday season approaching, Shopping.com anticipates a significant increase in traffic and holiday sales. Based on the performance of the last few years, we drove an average increase of 35% in qualified leads during the peak shopping season.

We are pleased to announce this year’s holiday pricing solution continues to challenge the industry standard of ‘across the board rate increases’. Our pricing is only changing in categories where conversion to sale and qualified leads are maximized during the holiday season. In fact, 85% of the Shopping.com categories will remain flat (no CPC rate increase).

The holiday pricing promotion is effective November 15, 2009 through December 31, 2009. During this time Shopping.com will automatically adjust your CPC bids during the pricing promotion period therefore you will not need to make changes to your account.

It’s a bold move that we’re certainly in favor of, but like last year we certainly don’t expect the other engines to make similar moves–instead we expect rates to increase for all the engines across all their categories.

For the complete list of categories that this change will affect click here.

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