Pdf's are not SEO toxic

Sometimes you have to admit your wrong. I admit i was wrong regarding the crawlability of pdf’s. I convinced my self and others that pdf’s were a bad Idea to have in a website if you wanted that content to turn up in the SERPS.
But low and behold, dunce hat comming my way. When you enter “Water logic base cabinet” in google search the website I work on pulls up SERP position 3 for a pdf! Eh i thought pdf’s were totally un crawlable thus SEO toxic.

If anyone could offer any insight and enlighten me why pdf’s are not SEO toxic in light of the evidence I’d be gratefull :slight_smile:

Nobody said that search engines can’t crawl PDFs (they’ve been in the index for years). The problem PDF’s have is that they don’t have any markup that search engines can interpret.

Also, depending on how the pdf was created… Some pdfs really may not be crawlable.

If you create a pdf out of a Word doc, for example, the text is still included in the pdf as text, and it will be crawlable. But if you scan a piece of paper that contains text, pdf it, and put it on the web, the “text” is not contained in the pdf as text. I don’t know if Google is attempting OCR scanning of pdf files, but if it was something that mattered, I sure wouldn’t count on that.

If Texts are entered in PDF as Text on an image then SE will definitely crawl it.