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SEO difference between embedding and iframing pdf files?

5+ Year Member

Msg#: 4395762 posted 9:51 pm on Dec 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

Just wondering if anyone might know whether there's any SEO advantage of using the embed command vs. an iframe to display pdf files. Or any reason to use one over the other.

I'm not sure what google is doing these days with iframes, and whether they can "bot" files better if the embed command is used.




WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Msg#: 4395762 posted 6:35 pm on Dec 9, 2011 (gmt 0)

I don't know about pdf files, but text inside an IFrame is not indexed by Google. I believe Google does follow links inside IFrames.

Oddly, I believe, the <embed> element is deprecated in HTML4 but not in HTML5? The <object> element was preferred.

I could only guess that by virtue of its name Google would index "embedded" content.

There may be security issues/ differences on how browsers handle material in these two elements for content on and off site. Iframes may be alright for off-site content, but "embed" may have security issues for off-site content. Not at all sure about this.


WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Msg#: 4395762 posted 7:23 pm on Dec 9, 2011 (gmt 0)

I'd say the challenge is that a pdf file is NOT inherently a web file - that is, it's not html. This means that how it is handled will be specific to the browser and version. I would not suggest handling a pdf in either fashion.


Msg#: 4395762 posted 7:55 pm on Dec 9, 2011 (gmt 0)

I think the basic question boils down to how can we best monetize PDFs without any SEO implications.

I'm still chewing on this myself. Everyone that see that tries to monetize PDFs end up destroying their rankings.


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Msg#: 4395762 posted 4:10 am on Dec 10, 2011 (gmt 0)

For the last three years, G (Bing to a lesser extent) are reading PDFs okay, but to OP's original question, best I can offer is that G/B do read links... and a PDF is a link... in iframes. What value can result I cannot say. I only use PDF for a print specific structured presentation of an equally available HTML file, ie. I present both.

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