Tag Archives: PDF Optimization

Search Engine Results and the PDF USER TRAP

Many major search engines (Google,Yahoo, Bing, MSN) now have the capability to index PDF files and return them in search results. If you are a Web site owner with PDF files on your site, this is good news. If you are an SEO, you also know that the new capability presents potential usability problems. And what exactly is the big deal? Let’s find out.

Searching for “blessing of a Christmas tree” on Google returns a link to a PDF file as the first result: http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=navclient&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&q=BLESSING+OF+A+CHRISTMAS+TREE

If searchers click on it, the link automatically opens a PDF file with no navigation back to the main site. Users are trapped! So, what’s going on and, more importantly, how to do we fix it? Essentially, the PDF format is not the culprit; the real problem is the author’s failure to create the files with Web users in mind.

PDF authoring software, such as Adobe Acrobat 5.0, offers the ability to include both a navigational structure and hyperlinks on a PDF page. Ideally, the best solution is to create your pages in HTML, rather than PDF format. Depending on the purpose, however, a PDF format can be preferable. For example, PDF files offer better functionality for pages that are commonly printed, such as order forms and price lists.

To avoid the PDF USER TRAP, you will have to republish your files, adding some type of navigation structure and/or link back your main Web site. This is the best option for SEO’s, because it allows the pages to still be indexed. If this is not an option, the next best solution is to place all of your PDF files in a single folder and do a robots exclusion.

Is PDF Optimization End To SEO

On April 18th 2005, Adobe announced that it was going to acquire Macromedia.

Besides delivering a critical blow to competitive balance of two highly recognized and respected companies, it’s inadvertently created a new form of optimization.

The main technology that Adobe wanted from Macromedia was Flash. Now that we have it, we will be able to incorporate all the power of Flash in to a PDF. With one fell swoop, we have changed the face of search engine optimization.

That’s right. PDF optimization.

As a site owner, I can now potentially have my entire site reside within the content of a PDF. Sure, it was textually available before, but now I can even have compressed video, dynamically generated content and visually appealing content conveniently wrapped up in to the web’s only cross-compatible portable platform.

No more worries about having a Flash player installed – that will be incorporated in to the PDF reading application. No more worrying about needing Quicktime and Media Player versions of video clips. They’ll all be in Flash.

Not only is the PDF web friendly, but it is also PDA and Kiosk ready. Now content can be delivered anywhere to any tool that can read a pdf. It can also be included on CD’s, DVD’s and even your mobile phone.

From a user perspective, this is awesome. From a search engine perspective, it is great to push boundaries, but we may also see the end of optimizing for client sites, instead a client will pay a one-time fee to optimize a pdf.

Why would a company not embrace this? While it’s a true a site like Amazon would not be able to take full advantage of this, we could embed pdf optimization for dvd’s and cd’s sent to your mobile phone, based on previous selections you’ve made.

anybody who makes a living optimizing sites can see the potential loss of revenue as companies move forward and place their marketing efforts in to promoting a pdf instead of a web-site.

While the general public may not become aware of this technology for a few years, those who reside on the cutting edge will find great ways to use this in promotion.

It’s a marketer’s dream, and it makes a buzz agent’s job even not as difficult. Word of mouth marketing will be coupled with a portable demonstration of the product or service being sold.

Now instead of just watching a movie trailer, you could also have the script, actor bios and studio contact information. Maybe even after the movie gets released, you could get your pdf updated with box office results.

The benefits of storing information in a pdf are huge. Instead of storing all of that information in a database, you’ve everything you require as a portable document. No worries about server stability, access to the database or even an internet connection.

By embracing this new development, it will be another service you can add to your seo repertoire and permit for your business to change to this emerging technology.