PDFs and SEO, part two

We continue on our last post, with more pointers for you to consider using PDFs on website to help with SEO. One point not mentioned earlier is PDFs used here are those produced using Adobe Acrobat.

For those who produce encapsulated post script and then distilling the files to PDFs, that is the better way to go. Some programs like MS Word produce PDFs on the fly.

The point I want to make here is that PDFs produced on Photoshop are not really indexable as these are rasterised files. In other words, to the search engine robots, they’re photos. Thus the search engines cannot really find text as this has been converted into what in effect is a JPEG or TIFF file equivalent.

Here are some more tips:

Limit the size of your file

This is pretty obvious, but easy to forget. “The larger the file, the longer it will take to load, resulting in decreased user experience and creating a negative impact on the search engine indexing. Try to incorporate various tools such as ‘PDF Optimizer’ of  Adobe, and learn the nuances of reducing PDF file size to create an optimized version of your file.”

Avoid duplicate content

We’ve mentioned before about duplicated content. “Search engines can penalize your file for the duplicate content. Although having both HTML and PDF version of your file, might prove to be useful in some cases, it is wise to take measures to prevent the problems of duplicate content. Also, try avoiding creating a duplicate content by unintentionally changing the URL and filename when you tweak your PDF and reload it.  Always remember that content is king, and search engines value original and fresh content.”

Secure your PDF

“Protecting your PDF with write-protect can prove to be useful especially when someone uploads your entire file and edit the file including the links in your file.”

Upload your file in an older version

This just common sense. Again, so easy to disregard.

“It always pays to save the file under the older version of Acrobat, simply because not many of your users might have downloaded the latest version. The older version will help your file to be more accessible to a wide number of your target users.”

There you have it. Until my next post.

SEO, Google and being mobile-friendly
PDFs and SEO - some thoughts and pointers

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