Document sharing service Scribd launched a new platform called
iPaper that allows for the uploading
and embedding of PDF documents to Web pages. It's a pretty interesting concept
sure to be appealing to many, but unfortunately, those engaged in optimizing
their PDF's for placement in search engines could lose some value along the way.
iPaper utilizes Adobe Flash which presents some pretty serious indexing issues
for search engines. While certainly a visually attractive solution (see below),
webmasters using the iPaper solution from Scribd should also consider offering a
standard link to their traditional PDF which will allow search engines to index
the valuable content contained within those documents.
How do you optimize PDF's for SEO? Much the same way HTML
documents are optimized for placement in search engines, PDF's by all accounts
work the same way. For example, if you are creating a buyers guide or white
paper for a product at your ecommerce store, you could create a Word document
and optimize the copy (keywords, key phrases) in the body text and focus on
descriptive headers (H1, H2, H3, etc.) where necessary. After creating a PDF
from the Word document, adding descriptive meta-data within the PDF is pretty
simple. If you have access to Adobe 6, open the PDF, select Advanced
from the menu and open the Document Metadata option. You will be
able to enter information for the title, author, description, keywords and even
While Google and Yahoo often ignore available meta information in PDFs (just
as they do with traditional Web content), focusing on the body content will
be the best use of your time. Entering metadata within PDF's however will ensure
optimal click-through's if properly indexed by the search engines.