ONIX Codelists 32 – Hiding Text, Helping Search

February’s ONIX codelists release is not major: As Graham Bell readily admits it has “a very small number of additional codes.” All of the details can be found in the usual spot (PDF).

The most important change is certainly the addition of Code 09 to the ONIX 3.0-only code list, List 154: Content Audience.


This code is used to indicate any text material not intended for direct presentation to the customer, but instead designed specifically for search engine indexing.

Pages from ONIX_BookProduct_Codelists_Issue_32_Changes



As such it’s intriguing. The optimization of search engine-based book discovery (SEO) is of ever-increasing importance. Search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing between them are the source of over half of inquiries for a specific book or a range of books on a topic. Will Code 09 prove valuable to publishers as they continue to try to maximize the value of search engines? Time will tell.

BookNet’s Tom Richardson provides his own overview of the changes in Codelists 32.

Issue 33 of the codelists is planned for publication in late April of 2016

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