Optimizing Adobe PDF Documents for Search Engines

Sep 15, 2004 • 11:10 am | comments (0) by | Filed Under SEO - Search Engine Optimization

How often do you see Adobe PDF documents ranking in the top results for a very specific keyword search? I see them often enough. Why do PDFs rank better then other files (word documents, flash, etc.)? Of course they don't rank as well as some HTML files, but the search results are saturated with PDFs. So how does one optimize a PDF document to rank well in the search engines? That was the topic over at a HighRankings forum thread named How To Optimize Pdfs.

I remember reading Shari Thurow's book, Search Engine Visibility a long time ago. In that book she had a section on PDFs. I don't remember all the information off the top of my head, but I believe she recommended putting an abstract of the contents of the PDF document in HTML and link to the PDF with the keywords in the link. That is the basic stuff. Now let's jump into the HighRankings thread.

Members recommend setting the title of the PDF document, within the actual PDF settings. This can be done by clicking on File > Document Info > General within Acrobat 4.0. You can then verify this information within Acrobat reader by clicking on File > Document Properties > Summary.

Randy, a mod at HighRankings, adds with his own tests, saying "If you're using Acrobat to create your PDFs, or something else that allows you to set the Document Properties, whatever you put in the Title field will show up as the title in Google. Even if there is other text in the pdf file."

I recommend keeping an eye on this thread, there are more PDF tests underway and it will make for interesting reading.

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