Can GoogleBot Read QR Codes?

Sep 16, 2013 • 8:10 am | comments (4) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

QR CodeA Google Webmaster Help thread has an interesting question, does Google use QR codes for discovering new content and pages? Can GoogleBot read QR codes and follow through to the data, URL or whatever behind them.

Google's John Mueller didn't really know, he responded in the thread:

That's an interesting question -- do you have an example of one that we could look at?

I assume it is easy enough to test. Create a page somewhere, only link to it with a QR code. Make sure Google finds the page with the QR code and wait and see if Google discovers the page. Of course, you need to make sure Google doesn't discover the page other ways.

I am not sure why it matters to much.

I assume even if GoogleBot does discover pages through QR codes, which I doubt. That the QR code won't pass PageRank and necessarily past trust. But again, that somewhat can be tested.

Have anyone of you tested this?

Forum discussion at Google Webmaster Help.

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09/16/2013 03:19 pm

Would be interesting if it does. Would the QR codes say on posts get a link from Google maps from where the Google camera car drove past? :)

Chris Desrochers

09/16/2013 09:30 pm

Why would anyone load a QR code on a webpage anyways? Scanning a QR code on another screen is stupid. It would be a huge waste of time for Google to crawl for QR codes.

David Edwards

09/17/2013 08:27 am

Whether or not Google could read QR code was included in our test on how Google finds new URLs. We found that, unfortunately, they didn't discover the QR code URL. You can read the full findings here -


09/19/2013 03:07 am

Bing is setting up QR codes for products, so could Bing have known better not to think of QR codes for products online?

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