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Does Google index PDF files and content? – PDF SEO’s Guide


There was a time when it was widely believed that Google found PDFs SEO content incomprehensible. Numerous reports claim unequivocally that since 2001, PDF content has been evaluated similarly to other web content. In 2011, Google said that it has “begun indexing PDF files and now has hundreds of millions of PDF files indexed.”

Although Google can crawl, index, and rank PDFs, SEO content demands a distinct set of strategies. Read on to discover what factors to consider when optimizing PDF files for search engines!

Steps To Make PDF Files SEO-Friendly

1. Include A Title That Is Optimized

As with online pages, PDFs feature title tags. Please take note that many search engines display the document’s title in their search results. If a PDF lacks a title, the filename is shown in the SERP.

2. Always Use PDFs that are text-based.

Since PDFs are not like standard HTML pages, Google cannot decipher the content of a non-text PDF document. On the other hand, Google DOES comprehend plain text and deduce what your PDF material is about. As a result, it is always vital to create PDFs that are text-based.

3. Compress The PDF Size

As a general rule, the smaller the file size (whether it’s a webpage or piece of media), the better for SEO. The bigger the file, the slower your server will load it. This can have a detrimental effect on the user experience as well as crawlability.

4. Internal Linking That Is Appropriate

When optimizing PDF files for SEO, it is critical to include internal links that point to specific subpages of your website. It enables search engine robots to detect the document’s content and associate it with the words on the page. Additionally, it’s a wonderful technique to improve website traffic and inform spiders about the most critical portions.

5. User-Friendly URL

This aspect should be considered while naming the file. Eliminate any non-standard characters, capital letters, spaces, and numerals. Rather than that, go for a short URL that includes a keyword. Users may simply memorize a friendly URL, which enables them to quickly locate a file of interest by typing its name into the search field.

6. Optimized ALT tags

When preparing PDF files, it’s a good idea to keep in mind proper image optimization, which entails including ALT attributes for any visuals contained inside the document. Because PDF files are mainly used to store manuals, price lists, reports, and presentations containing multiple images, ALT properties assist Google crawlers inappropriately categorizing and indexing the visuals.

7. Include Headers and Arrange Them Properly

The inclusion of headers simplifies the content’s perception. If users find it easy to work with the file, this helps lower bounce rates, which improves the file’s ranking in search results. In Adobe Acrobat Pro, you may assign a level to headings.

8. Mobile-Friendly Design

Given the prevalence of web content viewed via mobile devices, it would be a significant shortcoming if your PDF was not mobile-friendly. As a result, your SERP ranking will suffer.

Google crawls a large number of documents each day, including PDFs. So, if you want to rank on the top page of a search engine and create a significant quantity of traffic, you must undoubtedly optimize SEO content for PDF files.

Platinum SEO experts are happy to help you optimizing PDF files for search engines wherever you are in your journey. Get in touch with us!

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