Black Friday & Cyber Monday SEO Recommendations for News Publishers

Commerce SEO is becoming a its own SEO discipline. Many news publishers depend on commerce SEO to optimize their commerce and affiliate content where publishers earn commission on referrals and purchased at commercial sites like Amazon and many others.In the following article we discuss how to optimize for such commercial events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. These SEO recommendations apply to other events like Father's Day, Mother's Day, Valentine's and many more. 

Please Note: you should check all SEO recommendations with your brand and SEO teams first, make sure that they match your brand’s and SEO guidelines.

Table of Content 

  1. General SEO Practices
    1. publishing time
    2. top performing topic & keywords ideas
    3. URLs
    4. SEO titles & headlines
    5. Content Body SEO
    6. Landing Pages
    7. Links
    8. Freshness Signals
    9. More audience growth tips
  2. Before Black Friday
  3. During Black Friday
  4. After Black Friday
  5. 2022 Best Ranking Sites & Articles and Lessons Learned

General SEO Optimization


Publishing Time

  • Early Deals - 1-2 weeks ahead of event: Publish deal prediction posts - As Black Friday gets closer, publish predictions on what items you expect will be discounted based on trends.
    • Early/Best Black Friday 2023 Deals
    • “What We Know Now” Black Friday 2023 Deals
    • Best Early “event” deals 
  • Thanksgiving & Early Morning Event Day “6am”
    • Main & core Black Friday 2018 content
    • Create new Black Friday-specific product descriptions, meta descriptions, blogs, guides, etc. Make content focused on deals, savings, gift ideas.
  • Day After
    • focus on extended promotions and deals: Deals Still Available ….
  • Start publishing a week or two ahead of the event around what, when, etc. related to the event
  • All core / main content should be published on Thanksgiving evening and/or Black Friday morning. Start early around 6am EST

Early Deals

Top Performing Topic ideas:

  • Identify top performing content ideas of last year and create similar ones for this year 
  • ahead of the event "shopping tips"
    • how to save, when to shop, leaked ads, price matching policies, etc. provide value. 
    • What & When is Black Friday? - should be published 1 week before Black Friday
    • what deals to expect
    • etc
  • Generic
    • Best Black Friday Deals YYYY 
    • [event] deals/sales/coupons/offers - "deals" is the most popular
  • Brands, Retailers
    • [retailer] (walmart, best buy, H&M, etc.) Black Friday Deals YYYY 
    • [brand] (Apple, Amazon & Samsung) Black Friday Device Deals YYYY
  • Products, Categories
    • [category] black friday deals (electronics black friday deals, toy black friday deals)
    • [product] black friday (iPhone black friday, PS5 black friday)
    • [brand] black friday (Apple black friday, Samsung black friday)
    • Black Friday YYYY TV Deals
    • Black Friday YYYY Deals: Laptops, Computers, Tablets & Computer Companies
    • Black Friday Video Game & Console Deals in YYYY
    • Black Friday Phone Deals 
    • Black Friday Deals: Headphones, Speakers, Soundbars 
    • Black Friday Camera Deals 
    • Black Friday Fitness Tech Deals 
    • Black Friday Clothing & Shoe Deals 
    • Black Friday Beauty & Makeup Deals 
    • Black Friday Pet Deals 
    • Black Friday Home & Garden Deals 
    • Black Friday Travel / Flight / Vacation Deals 
    • Black Friday Travel / Flight / Vacation Deals 
    • Etc.
  • Deal and Savings Keywords:
    • black friday discounts
    • black friday price drops
    • early black friday deals
    • pre black friday sales
    • black friday offers
    • black friday steals
    • Shopping Keywords:
  • black friday shopping
    • black friday store hours
    • black friday online shopping
    • cyber monday shopping
    • black friday deals online
  • Audience-Specific
    • Black Friday deals for gamers
    • Black Friday offers for parents/kids
  • Urgency
    • Black Friday flash sales / Last-minute Black Friday deals
  • Longtail
    • best 4K TV deals for Black Friday
    • Black Friday [product] discounts under [price]
  • Localized 
    • Best Dallas Black Friday Deals YYYY 
  • Post-Event deals
    • Post Black Friday sales
    • Black Friday weekend deals




SEO Title and Headline Formatting:

  • Front loading the key topic target in the SEO Title is fundamental
  • The headline should also contain the key targeted full phrase, or a close variation
  • Always include 
    • Qualifier "Best, Top, Latest, etc."
    • Event name “Black Friday/Cyber Monday” 
    • Year “2023”
    • Bargain “deal/sale/offer”
    • Category/product/retailer/etc. (if it is a focused story"
  • Og:title should be optimized for clicks
  • Update your title throughout the day: in 2022, the Top 10 stories updated their headlines at least 3-4 times a day
  • Listicles work the best "The 10 Best Black Friday Tech Deals". 


Content Body SEO

  • Article Intro paragraph should be between 100-150 words and contain the keyword target and its variations.
  • Article with multiple products: optimize Product Descriptions
    • Once keyword target is determined, review the number of items on highly ranking competitor pages. Attempt to outpace if possible.
    • Product item descriptions should feature 25-50 words of content with the keyword target used at least once in every 3-5 item descriptions
    • If your brand already has review articles about the product, link to it from the content.
  • The targeted keyword (or similar variation) must be used at least once in every 3-5 item descriptions
  • Optimize sub-headers - "H2 headers" are critical for rankings. Include target keywords naturally in them. 
  • Write helpful meta descriptions - Meta descriptions summarize content for search engines. Make them intriguing but accurate to entice clicks.
  • Embed media - Include relevant images, infographics, videos and graphics. Optimize media file names and ALT text with keywords.
  • Format text for scannability - Break content into sections with descriptive headers and short paragraphs. Use bullet points and numbered lists when applicable.
  • Optimize product pages - Refresh product descriptions and specs with Black Friday-specific details. Add unique meta titles and descriptions that mention deals.


Landing Pages

Main Event Page




LIVE deals




  • ​External Links: 
    • All links pointing to affiliate or commercial sites must have ‘nofollow’ tag attribute added to them, and should have "sponsored" attribute if possible.
  • Internal Links: 
    • Link to the main event page from the homepage preferably from top nav
    • Create a section on homepage for "event" deals and link to main landing pages
    • Create internal links to & from event pages with specific anchor text describing the linked page.
    • Make sure the editorial team links to the main event page and related landing pages
    • If possible, look for links pointing to older / outdated Cyber Monday content from previous years & update links to new 2023 content.
    • If creating multiple stories on the sale, add internal links within content to make users aware of the additional sales.
    • Find older relevant news content and link words like "Black Friday" to the main event page


Freshness Signals

It is important to highlight your freshness to Google crawlers for the updated content to be crawled by Google. Recency, relevance and reader engagement metrics help Google determine content freshness Some of the freshness signals are

  • Updated Timestamp on article and schema - make sure to update timestamps (modified) on page and schema every time you update the page with new deals
  • Updated content: 3+ new/replaced products
  • Minor changes in headline wording without impacting primary keywords
  • Social Shares and Buzz - Higher social activity and buzz around new content tells Google there is fresh interest in a topic or piece of content.
  • Multimedia: Inclusion of latest images, videos and media formats indicates fresh and updated content.
  • Etc.


Other Audience Growth tips

  • Launch Black Friday email sequence - Send a series of emails countdowning to the event and highlighting upcoming deals.
  • Share live updates - Give real-time deal updates on social media. Use #BlackFriday. Encourage social sharing.
  • Work closely with the social media team to promote new content - Share links on social media, email newsletters, and other owned channels upon publication. Alert Google of new content in Search Console.
  • Email Marketing: Leverage email lists to alert subscribers about upcoming deals.
  • Influencer Partnerships: Collaborate with influencers for wider reach.
  • Big commerce events and traffic spikes are great opportunity to encourage Email Sign-Ups: Encourage users to sign up for email notifications for Black Friday deals.

Before the Event

  • Plan content calendar - Map out content themes and publishing cadences for the 2-3 months prior. This could include deal prediction articles, gift guides, shopping tips, etc. 
  • Start publishing 2 weeks ahead of the event. 
  • Countdown Content: Use countdowns in your content to build anticipation as Black Friday approaches. 
  • Offer Exclusive Previews: Offer sneak peeks or exclusive previews to your email subscribers or social media followers.
  • Research Last Year Trends: Utilize Google Trends or NewzDash for past year most trending keywords. Search trends that took place last year starting a day after the event to a day after the event (ex: 11/24/2022 - 11/26/2022)
  • Research Historic Keyword: Utilize tools like SEMrush, KWfinder, Google Keyword Planner or NewzDash to research top keywords and categorize keywords and identify which keyword to target. Target informational keywords
  • Analyze competitors to see what keywords they ranked for.

NewzDash Trends

During the Event

  • Create a war room consisting of SEO, Social, Editorial and Engineering leads 
  • Send Slack updates to editorial teams on latest event trends
  • Monitor traffic in real-time: use Google Analytics, Chartbeat and other tools to monitor traffic in real-time
  • Identify New Trends in near real-time: Utilize Google Trends and NewzDash Trends to identify top black friday keywords
  • Track keyword rankings in real-time: NewzDash allows you to track your rankings in Top Stories and Web Results every 15 minutes. Identify top competitors, content production, headlines changes and more. 
  • Promote Black Friday content on social media platforms, use #BlackFriday hashtags and engage with your audience.


After the Event

  • Report on Performance: Utilize your analytics platform to determine organic search traffic before, during and after event, and compare to last year traffic performance
  • Promote Cyber Monday - With Black Friday ending, shift focus to promoting Cyber Monday deals and sales.
  • Write recap posts - Create posts summarizing the top deals and takeaways from Black Friday weekend. Look at search trends.
  • Write recap posts - Create posts summarizing the top deals and takeaways from Black Friday weekend. Look at search trends.


Search Interest Measurements

It is important to measure search interest year after year, this will give you a strong indication on how popular the event is. 

  • wait 2-3 weeks after the event
  • measure search interest in Google trends, make sure you select the "topic" not the "search"
  • Calculate % increase/decrease from last year to this year. For example in the image below, Search Interest in Black Friday dropped by 4 points from 2021 to 2022. So if you traffic dropped by the same %, you actually in a good place because the whole search interest has dropped

2022 Rankings

Black Friday Rankings 11/24-11/26 for the following keywords: 'Black Friday', 'Black Friday deals', 'Best Black Friday deals', 'Best Black Friday deals 2022', 'Black Friday deals 2022'

  • Most headlines focus on highlighting the deals, sales, and discounts available for Black Friday. Words like "deals", "sales", "discounts", "Black Friday" are very common.
  • Many headlines emphasize the large number of deals, using phrases like "best Black Friday deals", "hundreds of deals", "over a hundred deals". Numerous headlines highlight the specific number of deals.
  • Superlative language is often used - "best", "ultimate", "top" to describe the deals.
  • Headlines frequently mention popular retailers like Amazon, Walmart, Target, Best Buy where deals can be found.
  • Some headlines create urgency with phrases like "shop now", "shop before they sell out".
  • Headlines highlight deals across product categories like tech, laptops, TVs, kitchen appliances.



Top Rankings Sites in Top Stories




Top Rankings Articles in Top Stories

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