Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/04/04/google_adwords_cant_trust_numbers/

## Google offers Adwords deals - but you can't trust their numbers

A load of balls from Mountain View's maths wizards

Posted in Bootnotes, 4th April 2013 08:26 GMT

Google's Adwords platform has always been something of a mystery, to put it mildly - the only certainty about it is that it makes a lot of money for Google - but nobody has caught it out using numbers which are definitely, verifiably untrue.

Until now.

Simples

An eagle-eyed *Reg* reader has broken this long run of success. This individual recently received a snailmailshot in which the little bald men of Mountain View suggested that he might like to give them some money for a bit of Adwords magic. He adds:

The envelope says all the info you need [to sign up with Adwords] is on the outside. They are correct, it is.

Inside however is a card with a maze, riddles and a maths problem. The interesting thing is, Google got the answer to the maths problem wrong ...

And indeed they did:

Oh no it isn't!

As any fule kno, the answer should have been* 3/70, or about 4.3 per cent.

So it would seem wise to take any other numbers offered to you as a customer by the Adwords whiz-kids with a pinch of salt as well. ®

### Bootnote

* Plainly nine balls are red, three each are blue and green. Therefore, the chance of the first ball being blue is three in fifteen and the chance of the second being green is three in fourteen. Thus we have:

^{3}/_{15} x ^{3}/_{14} = ^{9}/_{210} = ^{3}/_{70}