I have a website which Google lists nicely along with site links. One of the site links - to a PDF file - shows un-human gibberish e.g

67,8;45:: 56 83 @7<1. (7/0;,*;: /59( (7/0;,;<7, <7)(60:4 (9<7 /+ +2, VU

I thought it might be due to the PDF's title property so I changed it. But there hasn't been an improvement to the site link.

Other PDF site links are fine and display the title property as desired.

Does anyone know how I might rectify this problem or what might be the cause? My uninformed guess is it's some transliteration problem between code and display text which, I suppose, means I ought to recondition the PDF file in some way. Not sure how.

  • Is the PDF linked to someplace else on your site, in a way that you might be able to hunt down how that reference shows in the SERPs? (Or even search for the PDF directly.) A link to your site might help here, if allowable, for reference. I'm curious if maybe whatever process generates sitelinks might be interpreting the PDF differently and so grabbing a chunk of the PostScript code or something. Also to clarify, what do you mean by "PDF's title property?" Some actual metadata in the PDF itself?
    – Su'
    Commented Jun 15, 2012 at 21:12
  • hi - Thanks for answering. As I understand it, the title is a "property" of the pdf file. It isn't the file name. I think it is metadata. If you do a google search for "Tom Young Architects" you will see the problem. Your notion about PS seems plausible. Tom
    – Tom
    Commented Jun 16, 2012 at 8:52

1 Answer 1


Some PDFs are generated in a way that makes it very hard to extract the content. You can usually tell by highlighting some of the text, and copy & pasting it into a text-file. When you do that with this file, it shows the same gibberish. It's possible that just re-generating the PDF will help, potentially using a different PDF creator / driver.

There are older, related threads (with gibberish on copy & paste) at: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/2926159/copypasting-text-from-pdf-results-in-garbage https://superuser.com/questions/137824/pdf-has-garbled-text-when-copy-pasting

If you can't / don't want to regenerate this PDF, it might make sense to have it removed from Google's search results, since it's not really a useful result for your site. A simple way to do that is to use the URL removal tool in Webmaster Tools.

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