Thread: PDF ranking

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    Question PDF ranking


    I have noticed that my website is ranking only for some government PDF forms I have on it. I would like to make the most of this. Problem is when a person clicks on the PDF form they go straight to the form and do not see anything of the website. I tried putting a redirect on the form so that it goes directly to my website but does not work, PDF still opens. So any suggestions on how to get a person clicking on the PDF to go directly to the website would be appreciated.
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    Place this rule at top of your .htaccess (just below RewriteEngine line):

    Code:
    RewriteRule ^.+ \.pdf$ http://example2.com/ [L,NC,R=301]
    I have managed to get all PDFs directed to the home page with above code. Does any one know if I can modify the above code so that a ceratain PDF directs to a certian page. Example: colorado-application.pdf is redirected to //colorado-gun-laws.com currently every thing with .pdf is directed to a single page.
    Last edited by Hikin Mike; Jul 3rd, 2017 at 09:18 PM. Reason: format code
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    Well, if you do a 301 to your home page...

    The URLs will be removed from the SEs and you will have no one finding them at all.
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    Originally Posted by DirectHits
    Well, if you do a 301 to your home page...

    The URLs will be removed from the SEs and you will have no one finding them at all.
    OK, but they still have links to them on the regular pages, so I though when these pages are crawled the bots would still see the PDFs and index them. The other problem I have with the above code is that nobody can read the PDFs now because they are always redirected. So still the same question, If some one clicks on a PDF in google search results, how can I force them to go to the website first and then click on the PDF, instead of the PDF opening directly from Google search? If a 301 deletes the PDF from the search engines then that is of no use.
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    What you are wanting to do is called - Cloaking. Showing a different page to the user than what is offered in the search results is against Google policy.

    When you do a 301 redirect, you are telling the SEs that the redirected page now resides at a new location. In your case, your home page. So the content in the pdf will no longer be a factor in rankings. Its a lose, lose. Better to place a link at the top of the pdf page to your homepage.

    Comments on this post

    • ClickyB agrees : Yep
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    Your pdf's are attracting the traffic/rankings with longtail keywords, I see the same thing with local authority and community websites I manage.

    But like DH says, if you redirect, the .pdf, google will also follow the RDR and eventually your .pdf's will disappear from the index, so you lose all those listings.

    A good way to "benefit from the situation" is to add html links to your website on every .pdf
    Has these added benefits:
    Adds indexable/crawl-able internal links for google.
    Directs visitors to your website from your .pdf's
    You can add more than one link
    You can format the font as you wish; (you can even link images)!
    You can use whatever anchor text(s) you wish.

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    • DirectHits agrees
    Last edited by ClickyB; Jul 6th, 2017 at 03:38 PM.
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    Originally Posted by ClickyB
    Your pdf's are attracting the traffic/rankings with longtail keywords, I see the same thing with local authority and community websites I manage.

    But like DH says, if you redirect, the .pdf, google will also follow the RDR and eventually your .pdf's will disappear from the index, so you lose all those listings.

    A good way to "benefit from the situation" is to add html links to your website on every .pdf
    Has these added benefits:
    Adds indexable/crawl-able internal links for google.
    Directs visitors to your website from your .pdf's
    You can add more than one link
    You can format the font as you wish; (you can even link images)!
    You can use whatever anchor text(s) you wish.
    Only problem is most of these PDFs are locked down and uneditable so although the idea is good I cannot really execute it.
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    I guess the best option is to make all the links to the PDFs NO FOLLOW, that would solve the ranking for these PDFs, do you agree?
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    Originally Posted by waynepatt58
    Only problem is most of these PDFs are locked down and uneditable so although the idea is good I cannot really execute it.
    Nowadays no .pdf's are "locked down and uneditable"... Here are a few starters, (there are plenty more):
    https://support.office.com/en-gb/art...b-233379c2f63a
    4 ways to edit the read-only PDF files | ITworld
    If the creators of the document do not like their documents being interfered with, edit them and add a "cover sheet" with the website logo, a list of links to the website and the Document Title (or add a sheet at the end with the same things).

    Originally Posted by waynepatt58
    I guess the best option is to make all the links to the PDFs NO FOLLOW, that would solve the ranking for these PDFs, do you agree?
    No I don't. The poster is not asking for a way to stop the .pdf's from ranking (that's simple), he's trying to benefit from those rankings.
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    Originally Posted by ClickyB
    Nowadays no .pdf's are "locked down and uneditable"... Here are a few starters, (there are plenty more):
    https://support.office.com/en-gb/art...b-233379c2f63a
    4 ways to edit the read-only PDF files | ITworld
    If the creators of the document do not like their documents being interfered with, edit them and add a "cover sheet" with the website logo, a list of links to the website and the Document Title (or add a sheet at the end with the same things).


    No I don't. The poster is not asking for a way to stop the .pdf's from ranking (that's simple), he's trying to benefit from those rankings.
    Many thanks, I will try to add a cover page at the beginning, this way I can still rank for the PDF and hopefully get a bit of advertising from the cover page and a few click throughs. So I get to promote the website and the user gets the form they want. Only other concern I had was the size of some of these PDFs (200 -500 kb) and how it will affect my traffic allowance. I guess if I want the advertising I will have to accept that.
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    In the modern world, nothing is locked however you should check if you can legally modify those PDFs this is not always the case, it would be stupid to get in trouble for such a reason.

    If you want those pages to rank instead of pdfs, you could add a resume of the pdf content on the page add value to it and add a link to download (preview) the pdf in the browser.

    Sending Google to the pdf and the user to the page is easily done but very against Google Terms of Use. Do not choose to do this or one thing is sure you'll get a penalty.
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