Over the space of a few short years, Black Friday has gone from being “some American sales thing” to “shopping centre carnage” to, in 2017, a more stable part of the shopping landscape.

Black Friday sales Icon

In fact, as we saw in our early 2016 Black Friday trends, the UK search interest in “Black Friday” as a term has actually started to go down, as consumers move away from researching Black Friday and towards making it a key part of their seasonal shopping.

2016 Trends

With Black Friday 2017 looming, let’s look at three more trends that are shaping how shoppers are using Black Friday – and what you can do about them to reap the rewards.

1) People are searching earlier

Consumers are now programmed to consider Black Friday and are looking for deals, offers and ideas early…

While most searches for Black Friday are over the core weekend, compare these two images showing UK search interest in November for “Black Friday” in 2014 and 2016.

Note how 2016 shows a steady elevation much earlier in the month with the first uplifts around 10 November in 2016 compared to 20 November in 2014.


Searching in 2014
2014 Search Times


Earlier searching in 2016
2016 Search Times

What does this mean? It means consumers are now programmed to consider Black Friday and are looking for deals, offers and ideas early. It also means you’re likely to suffer for sales in October and November while consumers delay their spend for the sales.

Finally, it means that if you’re prepared with a killer Black Friday strategy and onsite offering, you’ll be getting consumers’ eyes on you first.


  • Follow our essential strategies and build out your Black Friday content early, considering what your core offers are likely to be and when your Black Friday sale will start
  • Make the most of early search interest through email collection or paid remarketing


  • Wait until November to set your plans or key deals
  • Change your Black Friday SEO strategy at the last minute just because Amazon or your rival launches their offers before you.

2) People are looking for the best and a deal

Our own experience as an eCommerce-focused agency shows us that consumers are researching purchases more and more…

Ample research and our own experience as an eCommerce-focused agency shows us that consumers are researching purchases more and more, working across multiple channels to seek, discover, research, compare, compare some more and finally purchase.

In fact, Google reports that mobile searches related to “best” products in a category have grown by more than 50% in the last year. We’ve also seen consistently increasing search trends in search for “Black Friday [category]” and “Black Friday [brand]”.

Five-year UK search trends for best camera
2013 – 2017 UK search trends for “best camera”, note how the peak is getting wider each year, from a single crest into dual peaks across November and December.

Put it all together and what have you got? Shoppers are looking for deals in specific categories (or refining their broader “Black Friday” searches as they see deals out there), finding out what’s the best brand or model, then looking for the deals.


  • Create landing pages for your core lines to pick up people using specific “Black Friday [category]” searches
  • Make it easy for people to find product reviews or Best Buy style guides on your site alongside your Black Friday offers. Bonus points: add your onsite reviews into your product pages’ Rich Snippets


  • Just compete on price. Where you have limited room to create offers, consider targeted product bundles like “Best for…”
  • Expect people to buy blind just because there’s a deal. Bad reviews or better rated alternatives can hurt you.

3) People are buying for others, not just for themselves

The final trend is a simple but important one. Despite the warzone mentality, Black Friday isn’t all about me, me, me, as search interest and volume in the term “Black Friday gifts” clearly shows.

Five-year UK search trends for Black Friday gifts
2013 – 2017 UK search trends for “Black Friday gifts”

Here are shoppers with no immediate clear view as to what they want, but they’re looking for gifting inspirations and deals to stock up for Christmas. This is clearly the tip of the iceberg of the people searching for “Black Friday [category]” to find that special something for that special someone.

Not convinced? How about a “Black Friday engagement ring”?

Five-year UK search trends for “Black Friday engagement ring
Five-year UK search trends for “Black Friday engagement ring”


  • Create a gifting oriented Black Friday landing page
  • Use an internal linking strategy that helps people looking for presents find great ideas and great deals


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