A PDF is a Portable Document File created by Adobe Systems. It’s simply a file that you can create in one application that contains text, images, drawings, and more.
Most people like to upload documents (especially important content-rich documents like press releases, articles, interviews, transcripts, and similar) in PDF format to their website for its universal access, ability to maintain document
integrity either viewed onscreen or printed, and security features (files can be protected by making them read-only, so readers can’t add to, change, or cut, copy, or paste material from them).
There’s a misconception out there that search engines don’t read (index) PDFs. They do. Of course, HTML pages are faster to index than a PDF, but PDFs can be indexed. The trick is to know how to set up the PDF to make sure you get maximum pick-up by the search engines.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for PDF Files
(1)If you have a large PDF file, consider breaking it into smaller relevant groups, sections, chapters, and so on. Tag these sections accordingly with accurate, relevant keywords. This works not only for human readers, but also for search engines, it takes longer to spider a PDF than HTML.
(2)Make sure each PDF file is text based and has the correct document properties set up. When the search engines index (or spider) a PDF, they extrapolate the text from the information fields within the PDF. That means the metadata and keywords you choose for these fields are critical. The important fields are the author, document title, description,
file size, and modification date.
(3) Remember to tag the PDF and use anchor text and links within the file. The same SEO best practices for websites apply to PDFs. In addition, make sure your links aren’t buried deep within the PDF file. Have them at the root level, easy for search engines to find.
(4) Check the PDF file format version number, and make sure search engines can read it. Typically, you want to use Acrobat 5/Adobe XMP (PDF V. 1.4 or 1.5).
(5) Finally, make sure the reading order in your PDF is logical and flows. Again, this is user-friendly for humans and search engines. However, from a search engine perspective, your reading order gives you an idea of what will be displayed in organic search results. To do this, first open your PDF and select Advanced, Accessibility, Add Tags to Document. Then select Advanced, Accessibility, Touch Up Reading Order. This displays the reading order of the PDF.