Search advertisers paid more for keywords and clicks in the third quarter, according to a new report from Performics, the performance-based marketing division of DoubleClick, New York.

Cost per click rose from $27 on average in July to $30 in September, according to Performics' Third Quarter Search Trend Report, which tracks search marketing campaigns.

In addition, cost per keyword increased from $20 to $26 from July to September because of the "natural growth of search," said Cam Balzer, director of search strategy at Performics. "Campaigns are getting bigger and growing across the board."

One major trend the report uncovered was that keyword rank distribution has shifted since early 2005, mainly because of changes to Google's algorithmic system. The proportion of keywords that maintain the top rank for an entire month is decreasing steadily, Performics said.

"This is creating a ripple effect through paid search, with a share of first-ranked keywords slipping to second, second-ranked keywords slipping to third and so on," the report said.

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