If you do a Google search for "683422223143", which is a barcode number, you get four entries in the search results:

The first entry is the page that we generated at TheBarcodeRegistry, using information the barcode owner entered about the product associated with that barcode.

The second entry is an internal page of ours that shouldn't have been indexed, that I've blocked since with noindex,nofollow.

The third and fourth entries are what puzzle me. Neither of these have the search term: 683422223143 . So I'm thinking that Google must have looked at the contents of the page it got from us, saw that 683422223143 was about the book "Drawing Dead" and then done a further search for that term, to turn up entries three and four.

Does that make sense, or is there a better explanation?


2 Answers 2


Nope - what you're seeing is the result of an out of date index.

Things to notice:

  1. The dates in the results. Notice that they're from September.
  2. One of the results clearly displays the barcode in the description. In other words, at some point the website did provide it to Google's spider.
  3. A direct search for "Faolan O'Connor Drawing Dead" brings up 2k+ results. A search for the barcode only gives those 4. If Google had related them, you probably would've seen at least some portion of those 2k results.

Can I see what Google did?

Yes - click the little green arrow then click on "Cached":

Results down arrow

Then click the 'view source' button and you'll see that in both instances, the barcode is discoverable somewhere on the page itself:

View source button

In one result the barcode is visible directly on the page; in the [PDF] result, the barcode can only be seen in the source.

  • 2
    I agree with luke, both pages have that barcode number. In this case the Google is not expanding their search and neither they even do if specific webpage is not linked from anywhere. Google look out on anchor text, also the title of webpage, heading and specific paragraph from which it links, then they expand their results to gives better result to users(As simon said), but in this case Luke is right.
    – Goyllo
    Jan 1, 2017 at 5:36

Yes, Google does expand search terms...

Google associates and pairs words, numerals, misspellings and non directory words with a vast amount of search terms and they need not be an 'exact' search. For example Conor McGregor is also know as "The Notorious", those containing the exact are generally preferred but not always, many pages will be about Conor McGregor and include no mention of "The Notorious", this is because Google trys to display results it thinks the user wants..

So... because Google has discovered Faolan O'Connor's with the code 683422223143 on the same page it has associated the code with that search.

Even this answer informs Google that 683422223143 is to be associated with Faolan O'Connor's book.

  • This, and what you describe, are from fact links within the knowledge graph which is queried by the query engine and the results can be a card, featured snippet, or even a SERP link generally after matches for the original query. So 683422223143 is linked to Faolan O'Connor, likely the title of the book, and other details such as publisher, date, and so on in an effort that secondary results may be relevant. Cheers!!
    – closetnoc
    Dec 31, 2016 at 23:17
  • 4
    This answer is actually false; the barcode was present on both pages when Google indexed them. There would be more results if the terms had been expanded here (and the expansion works more on a "You probably meant.." basis). I.e. a search for "Faolan O'Connor Drawing Dead" brings up 2k+ results. Jan 1, 2017 at 4:30

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.