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Indexing Of Pdfs


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7 replies to this topic

#1 alex1234

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Posted 19 September 2015 - 05:12 AM

Hey everyone,

 

I'm new to SEO. We are currently making some changes to our website and want to keep the texts on the product detail pages short and simple for improved customer experience.

 

For some product detail pages we have several keywords, for which we want to improve our rankings.

 

One idea was to include white papers (.pdf) which are optimized for said keywords. I already researched whether Google would index them and found that they would (as long as certain criteria are met).

 

My question now (might be dumb, but like I said, I'm new to SEO): If we manage to create a great white paper that is indexed by Google and gives us a good ranking: will that ranking be for the URL of the product detail page or the URL of the .pdf? So "company. com / product xy" or "company. com / productxy / 1234whitepaper.pdf"? (made-up, exemplary links; have added the spaces so as not to break [url=http://www.highrankings.com/forum/index.php?act=boardrules]Forum Rules[/url])

 

Thank you in advance for your help.

Alex



#2 chrishirst

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Posted 19 September 2015 - 08:21 AM

Just like all results it will be the URL that the actual document is located at.

 

 

 

 

short and simple for improved customer experience.

Then do NOT use pdf documents.

 

PDFs are for documents that end users need to download and/or print, they are of very little use for improving the "website experience",  if anything they worsen the 'experience', AND really do get in way of getting a conversion from a visitor.

 

Perfectly acceptable for a user manual, but bloody useless as a "Buy this product NOW!" document. Nobody and I really do mean nobody is going to RTFM before they buy the product.

 

If your products need some salient point making obvious to users, make it a 'bullet' list and put it right there on the page. 

 

And above all else, forget about search engines, and just do what is truly best for real users. (search engines WILL love you even more if you do that.)


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#3 alex1234

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Posted 24 September 2015 - 02:53 AM

Thanks a lot for your reply!

 

The ".pdf"s were not meant to be "Buy this product NOW"-documents. Maybe I did not phrase that well enough.

 

But some people might be interested in addition information, such as whitepapers on the topic. E.g. if we sold energy solutions, we could offer downloads on renewable energy trends, studies on the topic etc. as an additional benefit for those customers who are interested.

 

And I thought, if the content in those .pdfs could also contribute to our rankings (though not as much as what's on the actual page) then why not!?

 

Thx,

Alex



#4 torka

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Posted 24 September 2015 - 09:32 AM

White papers and reports (if informative and well-written) can be a useful marketing technique especially in the B2B market. My company uses them all the time as "take aways" that prospects can download and print or save, which will help remind them of us and our products when they review them later. (And they make an excellent "first step" conversion for a PPC campaign.)

 

And yes, Google indexes PDFs all the time, so there is the possibility that they could show up in search results. From there someone could read them, perhaps download them, and get started on the journey to actually buying what you offer.

 

I wouldn't put a lot of info only in the PDFs, especially if it's marketing related content. Some people won't click on or download PDFs -- and white papers / reports shouldn't be "selling" documents anyway. They're more for building your business brand as an industry expert, so you want them to focus on hard data and informational content (but I bet you already knew that! ;) ) with relatively little overt marketing.

 

I use white papers as part of a content repurposing strategy. So, for instance, I can take several blog posts and rework them into a white paper (or vice-versa: take a white paper and break it up into several smaller articles.) Or take a report, summarize it and add some additional commentary and you have a great newsletter article (complete with a link to download the original report, which -- of course -- includes a sentence or two describing the business problems you can solve and your contact information). And, of course, both the newsletter article archives and the blog posts are included on my website so the information is available in non-PDF format for those who prefer (as well as the PDFs being available for download for those who want a prettified printable version).

 

If you think the content you offer in your PDFs is useful to your visitors and will help build awareness of your business, expand your business reputation/branding and/or help move those visitors closer to becoming customers, then by all means create and post them.

 

But just to be clear, I see this as a general marketing technique, not an SEO tactic.

 

My :02:

 

--Torka :oldfogey:


Edited by torka, 24 September 2015 - 09:34 AM.
clarity


#5 chrishirst

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Posted 24 September 2015 - 11:31 AM

 

And I thought, if the content in those .pdfs could also contribute to our rankings (though not as much as what's on the actual page) then why not!?

 

 

Search engines, crawl, index and rank URLs, and the rank those URLs based on the content that is returned by the server when THAT URL is requested. The content of the PDF that IS readable by search bots will be what the PDF is shown to users.



#6 alex1234

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Posted 29 September 2015 - 01:24 AM

Thanks a lot for the replies!!

 

@ Christherst: I heard that if a page links to a PDF, and the content of the PDF is indexed, it will be used for the ranking of that exact URL (the PDF URL), yes. But I heard that (through the linking?) the ranking of the PDF URL can also have a positive effect on the ranking of the product detail page that "hosts" the PDF/ links to it.

 

Am I mistaken here?



#7 chrishirst

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Posted 29 September 2015 - 05:25 AM

 

 

Am I mistaken here?

 

Yes you are.



#8 Michael Martinez

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Posted 29 September 2015 - 03:50 PM

PDF files are treated like any other documents/files/URLs by the search engines.  They may be linked to or they may link to other documents.  They all work basically the same way once indexed.






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