• http://www.barryadams.co.uk/ Barry Adams
  • http://www.rimmkaufman.com George Michie

    Gadzooks, Barry! That’s freaky! I actually have an email to a colleague from January 21st telling him about the post I was planning to write — so I’m quite certain that I neither consciously nor unconsciously borrowed from you without credit. I actually did a search for “Paid Search Uncertainty Principle” to make sure I didn’t have it buried somewhere unconsciously and didn’t come up with anything.

    Apologies for the appearance of impropriety. I’m always happy to give credit where it’s due.

    Two ex-physicists walk into a search marketing conference…

  • http://www.barryadams.co.uk/ Barry Adams

    No worries George – We really should have a pint some time and compare science-to-internet-marketing analogies. There’s must be a joke to be made somewhere about social media marketing and massless particles. :)

  • http://WebSavvy.com.au/twitter Mike Rhodes

    This is great George – would it be possible to reprint this (with full credit to you (& Barry?!)) & send out to clients. I can’t think of a PPC client that wouldn’t benefit from reading this!

  • http://www.rimmkaufman.com George Michie

    Barry, I’ll buy the first two rounds! We should invite Bradd Libby, too, even if he has left search to go back to physics!

    Mike, please pass this along as you see fit. Clients who get search are better clients for all of us who do the job well, it’s misinformation that makes them unreasonable.

  • Kenny

    Killed it as usual, George. And with my new enterprise gig, I’m trying to drive this home.

  • http://searchengineland.com Columns@

    ^ Mike – please send an email to Columns@searchengineland.com to discuss reprinting – we’d prefer that you don’t repost the article in its entirety online – but a blurb / link back to original here is fine – an email newsletter direct to clients is ok though.

  • http://www.GiftOasis.com Ron Clabo

    Great article! Well said. On first blush one would think this would be common sense. But my observation based on studying the online marketing space is that’s it’s anything but.

    I think this is something that needs to be talked about much more than it is in PPC circles. Thanks for elevating the issue.

    -Ron

  • http://www.rimmkaufman.com George Michie

    Kenny, thank you for your kind words. Look forward to catching up sometime.

    Ron, thank you. What is common sense to some is …Quantum Mechanics to others. The desire to “Manage By Objectives” often results in people who don’t understand the limitations of a channel setting goals for the people they manage that are unreachable. Managers like to set “stretch” goals. Understandable. But when you set the high jump bar at 10 ft you don’t encourage folks to work harder to get there, you encourage folks to leave and find work where the boss gets it.

  • http://www.billy.com hoshe

    Great catch, George!
    In fact, I think the entire Quantum Mechanics formalism can be applied to all kind of risk management systems.
    And paid search, being a risk management “art”, fits to this picture.

    Consider another resemblance: the superposition of quantum states can be shifted (and calculated!) as superposition of search terms, keywords, ad groups alongside their performance.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_superposition

    The math already exist – you just need to make the metrics’ swap.
    With the proper caution, of course…

  • http://www.rimmkaufman.com George Michie

    Fine observation, Hoshe! Without getting into our secret sauce, suffice it to say that as we built our bid management system Alan and I both had some of our old text books out rummaging around for modeling approaches that might be useful. We also talked to a bunch of other folks in other fields (even epidemiology) and got some good stuff from them, too.

    I will humbly admit that Quantum Mechanics convinced me NOT to go to grad school in physics. I could do the problems and find solutions, but I never got to an intuitive understanding of it to the point that it made sense the way classical mechanics and electrodynamics did. Ah well…the road not taken.

  • http://www.billy.com hoshe

    Good to know I haven’t entered into the “I-can-tell-you-but-then-I’ll-have-to-kill-you zone” :-)

    Don’t worry about the intuition thing – Einstein (and many others) had the same problem
    http://www.wordiq.com/definition/Bohr-Einstein_debates

    Will the next post be about keywords’ genetics? :-)