Robots Read Your Catalogs Too

Jul 3, 2012 by Jurian Baas

Robot scanning a magazine.

The key benefit of using Publitas for serving your publications is the superior user experience it provides. Putting a PDF of a paper catalog online does not do justice to the joy of flipping through a paper catalog. By using a specialized digital catalog viewer, we sensibly translate this experience for electronic devices, while giving easy access to links, shopping carts and multimedia. But what about less obvious benefits, such as the way we make your publication robot-friendly?

Google's army of web crawlers cannot make much sense of a PDF version of your catalog. The text inside is readable, but the entire PDF catalog is processed as one big page, which makes it harder for them to make sense of what each page is about. As a result, Google and other search engines deem 'normal' webpages more relevant than PDFs, which means PDFs rank lower than webpages if they have identical content. Each page gets the attention from Google it deserves when we convert and host your catalog. It removes the PDF penalty, and search engines will crawl through the extracted text and images webpage by webpage.

For the most part, this is the result of an automatic process. We extract, index and optimize all of the text inside your PDF, and direct all the major search engines to your fresh content. We also give you the option to edit the title fields and keywords on individual pages, which provides more context to search engines. Since their goal is to give their users the most accurate and context-sensitive results, your rating will further improve if you pick relevant titles and keywords.

From PDF to high ranking Google result
From PDF to high ranking search result in Google.


You can optimize your content further by including well-researched keywords in your copy. This is what search engine optimization (SEO) really is about. The basic concepts are fairly easy to grasp if you follow simple guidelines, such as the excellent Moz beginners guide.

Last but not least: SEO-friendly publications contribute greatly to the ranking of your company’s website. Search engines also rate pages by seeing how many (and which) sites link to it. Because we host your publications, links pointing to your company’s homepage or e-commerce section boost your PageRank.

We’re offering a free trial of Publitas, so how about giving it a go to see the results for yourself?

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