Hi Jill,

I came across your site on Google while trying to find some information and found it very helpful. However, I did have a question that was not covered. Will the search engines be able to find text in a PDF document, or am I better where possible to include the information in a web page?

Thanks in advance for your help.


Jill's Reply

Hi Morag,

The search engines do indeed index and rank PDF documents these days. Basically, what they do is convert them into HTML and then index the information just like any other web page. You can see this in the search results when a PDF file shows up -- there is usually a link nearby that says "View as HTML."

PDFs are great fodder for search engines because by their very nature they tend to be text-heavy.

Search Engine Land recently had a good article by Galen DeYoung on how to optimize PDFs for search engines, which you can read here.

Hope this helps!


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September 25, 2007

CEO and founder of High Rankings®, Jill Whalen has been performing search engine optimization since 1995 and is the host of the free High Rankings Advisor search engine marketing newsletter, author of "The Nitty-gritty of Writing for the Search Engines" and founder/administrator of the popular High Rankings Search Engine Optimization Forum. In 2006, Jill co-founded SEMNE, a local search engine marketing networking organization for people and companies in New England.

High Rankings is an internationally recognized search engine optimization firm located in Framingham, MA specializing in search engine optimization, SEO consultations, in-house training, site audit reports, search marketing seminars and workshops. High Rankings has a 100% success rate for substantially improving client rankings and targeted traffic.

Jill speaks at national and international conferences and has been writing about SEO and search marketing since 2000. She's been quoted in such publications as The Wall Street Journal, U.S. News & World Report and The Washington Post. Her articles have appeared in numerous print magazines and online websites including CIO Magazine, CMS Focus, The Internet Marketing Report, ClickZ, WorkZ, Inc.com, Entrepreneur, Lycos Small Business, WebProNews, SiteProNews and others. Jill has also appeared on many online and offline radio programs such as Entrepreneur Magazine's E-Biz Radio Show, SearchEngineRadio and the eMarketing Talkshow.

Search Engine Guide > Jill Whalen > Search Engines and PDFs