Google Search Result Typo Or SEO Error?

Nov 20, 2012 • 8:39 am | comments (19) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

I spotted a weird SEO case on Google Web Search Help forums that I thought some SEOs would appreciate looking at.

If you search for [berkshire rxinsider] in Google, Google will list two PDF files. One PDF file has the proper title tag, spelled "EasyClean" but the other one has a spelling error, "Easylllean."

Google PDF Errro

The question is why?

I looked at the PDF. The text doesn't have anywhere on it the word Easylllean, it also doesn't seem to have it in the PDF files meta data - as far as I can tell. So where is Google getting the typo from?

Maybe the font the PDF is using, where the tall C looks to Google's OCR software like three Ls? Or maybe it is webmaster error and they should provide a title in the meta data of the PDF?

What am I missing?

Googler Kousha Navidar said:

You'd have to check out the website where the incorrect spelling originates. The search results only report what is presented by the site itself. If it's misspelled on the site, it's going to show up that way in the results.

But is he right?

Forum discussion at Google Web Search Help.

Update: As mentioned in the comments, my theory on OCR being the issue seems right. An SEO uploaded the PDF to Google Docs and it converted it to text and made the same issue. You can see the output over here.

Previous story: Daily Search Forum Recap: November 19, 2012


Be Everything

11/20/2012 01:49 pm

We had a similar issue, a page title referenced in Google Analytics made reference to something which both an onsite and google index check we were not able to replicate, thought we were going mad, but evidently according to this post we might not be. Very weird. Good FInd.


11/20/2012 01:54 pm

It will be a link to the pdf... Happens a lot...


11/20/2012 02:08 pm

strange, but here you can see the cache of the pdf as html-converted version by google, where you see two mistakes for this word. maybe the webmaster was wrong when publishing the first version of the pdf, but I think you are right with a software-failure

Barry Schwartz

11/20/2012 02:10 pm

Or maybe Google read the C as three Ls


11/20/2012 02:16 pm

Yes, sorry for my bad english. That's what I wanted to say with my last words in the comment: "but I think you are right with a software-failure"


11/20/2012 02:26 pm

Isn't it obvious Barry Oshillma!? Google is rigged and by displaying these spelling errors it makes hard working webmasters look foolish and causes more people to click on ads! CHECK GOOGLES NEXT EARNINGS!!! GOOGLE IS RIGGED!

Daniel Carlyon

11/20/2012 02:55 pm

Hi Barry. You are right. Out of curiosity i went over to Google Drive as it has Google's OCR technology built in. I downloaded the PDF and uploaded onto my Google drive ( ) I then used the "Open with Google Documents" and it exported it to my google docs and the OCR translated it to "Easylllealn® 360" as you can see here:

Barry Schwartz

11/20/2012 03:20 pm

I should have done that. Nice thinking!


11/20/2012 03:32 pm

Give him, and the rest of us, a break! Bored of these conspiracy theory posts. At least have the decency to post them in an article that is half-relevant to your cause.


11/20/2012 03:47 pm

This is why we need an internationally agreed upon set of sarcasm tags. I thought calling him Barry Oshillma and the ridiculous use of punctuation would help drive the 'sarcasm' point home, but to no avail. Damn you ambiguous nature of text communication, damn you to hell!


11/20/2012 03:53 pm

Ha! I get it. Sadly your comment looks too much like the band-waggon jumping sheep comments that pollute this website. But fair play to you; perhaps my sense of humour is turned off today.


11/20/2012 03:54 pm

No worries, I will take it as a compliment to my knee-jerk reactionist mimicry... ...or as a sign that I have spent far too much time browsing webmaster forums.


11/20/2012 06:18 pm

This is a common problem with PDF's and OCR's. Not to mention, PDF's have an optimization field for meta data. I'm willing to bet it was a typo somewhere.


11/20/2012 08:48 pm

Moron, do u think Google's earnings and clicks on ads grow by themselves after major updates? The dates of updates are public and so are Google's earnings. Less "free" traffic to our commercial sites means more money for Google so see Panda and Penguin. Stick your head in the sand or mud all u want


11/21/2012 06:59 am

Thank you for proving my point.


11/21/2012 02:54 pm

No way dude: earnest responses to sarcastic comments are x10 more entertaining for those who got it than the original comment.


11/22/2012 09:12 am

The results have changed since this was posted :-)

Matt Wilson

11/22/2012 09:15 am

The results have changed since this was posted. Having trouble uploading the screenshot but if you google it you'll see this the top results have been replaced by this post and Barry's mugshot :-)


11/27/2012 12:41 pm

Google is on right track of business and the company is business minded. I am working for vacation rentals and finance sites and found full of ads are coming in google search with even very less competitive words. One bad news for travel industry (tour package sellers/travel small business owners), I read an article, it clearly mentioned about google next business plan. Read the following link : . SEO Industry also made google the number one search engine. I think its time to say bye bye to google and give chances to other search engines. It will also safe the seo industry, google even use the following keyword "google seo" and shows the ads of google adwords page. Guess the next step of google. In the past google tried to entered in vacation rentals business. . Google is badly failure in social networking. The orkut badly gone out, google buzz gone out and google plus is almost fail and no where exists in front of facebook. I am not the enemy of google but google should think about small business owner. The majority of small business owners are more than the big fishes. If google continue its game and give the advantages to the big fishes because they are its regular adwords customers, then it will hurt the reputation of google as search engine and msn network/facebook or xyz company will become the king of search engine.

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