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PDF user manuals outranking my product pages

     
1:58 pm on Nov 3, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I have many PDF product user manuals on an eCommerce site. Many these PDF manuals are found on the first page of Google results. The product HTML landing page (where these PDF files are on) nowhere to be found in the search results. Obviously I cannot sell anything from a PDF user manual on an eCommerce site.

1) Remove PDF files from Google index - will Google replace the PDF file with the product landing page in search results? or Will I loose my ranking all together?
2) Add something like "Buy Now" link in these PDF manuals
3) Do nothing

Suggestions?
8:41 pm on Nov 3, 2015 (gmt 0)

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1) Remove PDF files from Google index - will Google replace the PDF file with the product landing page in search results? or Will I loose my ranking all together?


I suggest that you try this out on two or three PDF files and see what happens. In other words, add the noindex tag to two or three of the PDF files as a test. You can also use Webmaster Tools to remove a page from Google's index, but that's primarily intended for temporary removals, so in this case I would use the noindex tag.

I've always felt that it's best to avoid sudden major changes on a site, such as de-indexing a lot of pages all at once. So that's another reason to do a small test initially and see what happens. If that works out, than you can continue to add noindex tags to a few pages at a time until you've done all of them.
8:58 pm on Nov 3, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Do you have alternative help or support text in html, perhaps in related pages you link to from the product pages?
9:06 pm on Nov 3, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I'm an Acrobat Pro user and password protect changes on each PDF, except for the metadata. That allows the search engines to see what the PDF is about and not the whole PDF. My pages ALWAYS rank before my PDFs. You may want to check your PDF security settings.
9:55 pm on Nov 3, 2015 (gmt 0)

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>>password protect changes on each PDF, except for the metadata. That allows the search engines to see what the PDF is about and not the whole PDF

By adding a password, the search engine cannot see the content of the PDF? Does it rank at all?