12-year-old learns the difference between AdWords and AdSense the €100,000 way

AdSense. AdWords. Two similar-sounding Google services, but to really boil them down to their basics, the main difference is that one makes you money, while the other costs you. And one Spanish boy just found that out the hard way, as he was hit with a whopping €100,000 bill.

12-year-old learns the difference between AdWords and AdSense the €100,000 way

12-year-old José Javier made the fundamental misunderstanding while looking to promote his band, Los Salerosos, in which he is a trumpet player. The news originates from Spanish newspaper El Pais, which explains how Javier plugged in bank details from a savings account set up by his parents. At the start of September, the child’s bill was around 15 euros, but it rose quickly with charges as high as €19,700 arriving.

Ultimately, while Javier was expecting to earn money from ads on his homemade website in order to buy new instruments, he ended up €100,000 in the hole. His parents were alerted when the bank called to explain the situation.child_racks_up_100000_euro_bill_on_adwords

Thankfully, Google has waived the charges. A spokesperson told The Guardian: “It was all a mistake and that he did it without thinking.” In a somewhat self-evident follow-up she added, “A 12-year-old boy doesn’t want to start spending €100,000.”

If you make the same mistake as a fully grown adult, Google might not be so understanding. The company has a page outlining the differences between the two services, but here’s a quick recap: AdWords are the adverts you see in Google search results. They cost you money every time somebody clicks on them – a “pay-per-click” model. AdSense allows you to add other people’s related adverts to your website, meaning you’re paid every time they’re displayed or clicked, depending on the ad type.

It’s interesting to speculate how much interest Javier generated in Los Salerosos during his accidental advertising binge, but it probably wasn’t enough to cover the cost of new instruments.

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