I'm working on a classic ASP site where we have a PDF bank of links to our product datasheets for visitors to download (approx 30 documents). When I search for our product name in Google, then switch to image results, every product picture and graphic from all the PDF's are showing upside down, 180deg rotation, and there are many.

This occurs on all browsers, android and iPhone. I'm totally baffled. I can't seem to find on the internet anyone who has, or had, the same problem. Does anyone know of a solution to this, or at least, know what is happening?

  • I assume the graphics appear right side up in your PDF files themselves, even when you open them on a variety of viewers on different platforms? Commented Sep 11, 2018 at 11:28
  • Have you tried using "fetch and render" from Google search console on one of your PDF files? Commented Sep 11, 2018 at 11:30
  • Thanks Stephen, yes the pdf's when opened on any viewer, and any device do load correctly. I haven't tried fetch and render on the PDF's as yet, only on the pages that have a link to a pdf, but I will certainly try that, thanks. Here is a small example of just one of our products, if you search for Model GCTU SF6 Analyser and then switch to image results, you will see that quite a few images are upside down. Only those that appear to be upside down come from our PDF's from that website. Thanks again for your suggestions. Regards Peter D
    – Peter D
    Commented Sep 11, 2018 at 13:06
  • I've never seen image search pull images out of PDF files before. My guess is that Google has a bug when it does so. Commented Sep 11, 2018 at 13:47
  • I understand that they have been indexing images from PDF's since late 2015, but I have only found this out recently. Yes I agree that Google may have a bug, but bizarrely, no one else seems to have had the problem, hence no info on the internet. Thanks again for your help. Regards Peter D.
    – Peter D
    Commented Sep 11, 2018 at 14:25

1 Answer 1


The image source embedded in your PDF files is upside down like it is shown in Google search. Google is extracting the image from the PDF file in its raw form without the rotation or orientation applied by the PDF.

You can verify this using LibreOffice. You can open PDF files for editing using the free open source LibreOffice document editor. When you do so, you can select the image and have it shown in an external viewer:

When you do so it opens in an external viewer and it is upside down:

I think whoever created your PDF files started with upside down images and then flipped them vertically in the PDF itself:

The obvious solution would be to re-create your PDF files.

  1. Extract the images from the PDF files.
  2. Edit them in an external program to flip them.
  3. Re-save the images.
  4. Put the fixed images back into the PDF files.
  5. Save the PDF files.
  6. Republish the new PDF files on your website.
  • Thank you for your help. I will give this a try certainly. Incidentally the photos & logos etc. are produced in Photoshop & Illustrator, saved as .eps format and then brought into a QuarkXpress page and saved as Hi-Res PDF then uploaded to the service provider server. No flipping or rotation has been applied. I cannot find any setting whilst exporting to a PDF from Quark that may affect the image orientation. I have redone the Fetch and Render but too early to tell if this has helped yet. Thank you again, much appreciated. Regards, Peter D.
    – Peter D
    Commented Sep 12, 2018 at 8:45

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