Googlebot–Mobile interprets QR code images?

Posted by on August 14, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

Googlebot–Mobile interprets QR code images?

Googlebot – Mobile is a search engine crawler that studies, as its name suggests, mobile sites. The data it gathers is used primarily to improve the user experience on mobile search. So basically if you have an optimized mobile site it won’t only be indexed from some search engine spiders – it will receive some attention from mobile search engine spiders, like Googlebot – Mobile.

A day ago, while I was reading posts on LinkedIn, I came accross something very interesting. A man was describing how he had found that this crawler in particular – the Googlebot-Mobile – is able to interpret onpage QR codes. Here is a snipped from his post:

“Anyway, we noticed on our servers (in the logfiles) that Google also crawls QR codes and interprets them accordingly. No, there are no links on the image itself. The Google bot interprets the QR code images for indexing purposes.

Probably now you are as amazed as I was. Who would suppose that Google’s bots are able to interpret QR codes? This means that putting QR codes on regular websites is not a useless tactic at all.

So we, from Moblio, using our free QR generator, decided to make a little test and to see whether this is true. We will put a QR code under this article that will lead to some page. After a period of time we will check who have come to this page and if there is a Google bot’s IP the experiment will be plausible. There will be no link on the image, as the guy from LinkedIn said. If the Googlebot-Mobile eventually succeeds to get there this will mean only one thing: Googlebot – Mobile is capable of “scanning” onpage QR codes. If so, inserting QR codes as images in your website might become the next “SEO trick” for ranking higher.


Scan me!

After we finish with the test, we will share with you the results and tell you what we think about them.