Firstly, this is a RANKING question, and is NOT a copyright question nor a technical issue question.
If a site owner created quality content in pdf ebooks or pdf whitepapers, would it hurt their chance at ranking well if they used that content on their site?
The site is for a city-based service. Most of the content on their site is poorly written.
They have a bunch of PDF ebooks and whitepapers floating around the web on free ebook distribution sites which have BETTER content than appears on their own site. They've been out for about four years now.
Would they be inviting a Panda slap if they took their own content and put it on their site? Much of it is unique RESEARCH that they conducted themselves.
Msg#: 4608142 posted 2:29 am on Sep 9, 2013 (gmt 0)
I'll see if there is some viable way for those PDFs to be taken down from the various sites that host them, but I think it might be a pretty big challenge.
Almost as good as the preceding in-my-opinion would be to ask the pdf content users to please give attribution and recognition to the source for search purposes by simply adding the following to their .htaccess:
<Files "the-path-on-their-server/to-the-pdf-file.pdf"> Header set Link: <http://www.example.com/the-original-pdf-file/file-name.pdf>;rel="canonical" </Files>
Added Note: When I make a request at all like the preceding I fill in all the necessary information for people so it's a copy/paste simple task and nothing more -- Meaning if I were making the request I would find the PDF file on the site using it then put that location in the <Files ...> container and also set http://www.example.com/the-original-pdf-file/file-name.pdf to the actual location on the originating website so adding the canonical location to the .htaccess and giving credit is copy/paste nobrainer simple for anyone to do.
Will the "reclaimed" content have significant change/updates which will result in content which is not "duplicate"? I've had good success in providing new/revised versions of earlier PDF texts as new presentation as HTML for some sites.