1script - 9:04 pm on Feb 27, 2013 (gmt 0)
Hi guys, I'm looking for ideas from more experienced comrades on how to handle this situation:
I have a blog where I have a number of PDF files I've created as parts of tutorials on particular products. By parts I mean that the PDFs are not particularly useful if taken as a standalone source of information. Besides, the pages of the site that the PDFs are linked from, contain not only the rest of the (important) information but also some ads that I derive a tiny little bit of revenue from - nothing much but covers the expense of my doing the research on the product - something that I would like to continue. The PDFs contain mostly pictures and diagrams that would not be easy to use unless they are printed out, hence the PDF format.
Anyhow, what happens is: Google and that one other SE still standing are very happy to link to PDFs directly from their SERP pages and I see most of the usage of those PDFs as drive-by downloads. Meaning, a person just clicks on the link on Google, wastes anywhere between 500kB and 4Mb (depending on the PDF) of my bandwidth, reads the PDF out of context and probably understands nothing or very little, gets disappointed and never opens another URL on my site. This apparently is not working for anyone: I cannot imagine Google liking this much either and that probably even reflects badly on my site as a whole because user experience metrics should suffer from this use.
What I would like to do (if it's a valid HTTP protocol and will be understood by browsers) is a redirect of any request for a PDF that does not have my site as a referrer to a matching page of the blog that the PDF is linked to. Since the PDFs were uploaded as "media" in WP, I think I have enough information in WP database to take the requested PDF URL and translate it to the post URL where it's been used. I haven't looked at the DB yet but I'm not very concerned with the internal programming, I'll do it one way or another, more with how this will be handled by different browsers out there and of course, how Google will look at it (wouldn't want to be whacked for cloaking if they can take it that way)
So, is this something that's possible to do, and does anyone already use it perhaps? Any tips or things to watch out for anyone can offer?