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Optimization of PDF Files

There are lots of PDFs available on the web, and you can optimize PDFs to get high-ranking search results. Here are some tips on the right way to do it:

  • Text Based PDF: Make sure your PDFs are text based.
  • Properties: Complete the document properties including Title and Meta Data.
  • Optimization: Optimize the PDF copy as you optimize the web page copy.
  • Build Links into the PDF: Make sure you include links to your website in your PDFs, and pay attention to the anchor text used. Search engines do recognize these links.
  • Version: Save PDF in lower version as most of the search engines and visitors won’t have the latest version of Acrobat.
  • Optimize the file size for search: Using the full version of Acrobat, select Advanced>PDF Optimizer to “right-size” the document. You may also want to enable the “Optimize for Fast Web View” option in the Preferences>General Settings panel. This allows the PDF to be “loaded” a page at a time, rather than waiting for the whole PDF to download.
  • Placement of PDF File: If you want to use PDFs for high-ranking search results, links to those PDFs should be on web pages closer to the root level of the site’s file structure.
  • Influence Meta Description for PDFs: While with PDFs you have less control of what is displayed as the description to the search result, you can still influence this. The best way to do this is to make sure that you have a good, optimized sentence or two near the start of your PDF. If these sentences correspond to the search term used, it’s likely that these sentences are the ones that will be displayed as the description under the search result’s heading.
  • Specify the Reading Stuff: Search engines search the copy of the PDF and select something to display as a description under the search result’s heading. Depending on how the reading order of your PDF is specified, this may lead the search engine to select some pretty strange stuff to display.