Is Google indexing PDF files?

Question: Hi, do any of the search engines search PDF files? Reason for asking is that the Adobe Acrobat has a Keywords field under the function Document Properties. So I’m just wondering if these keywords would be searchable by search engines? Else, I won’t waste time populating my PDF files with keywords! Thanks for your advice. I really like your site. It’s easy to understand and very useful for newbies like me. I used your html validators to clean up my html files.

Answer: Thanks for your kind words about our website.

The search engines (especially Google) are definitely indexing content in PDF files. So it makes sense to put keywords in the keywords fields of those PDF files.

You can tell this because when you search for, e.g., “white paper nuclear disarmament” at Google you will see that many of the search results have [PDF] to the left of the listing. Those are PDF files that they have indexed and are including in the search results.

The same holds true of other searches — where Google can make sense of a PDF file they will show it in the search results. So by all means use the keywords fields – it may not help *much*, but will probably help some.


Jeré Matlock
Website Design & Marketing / SEO

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