PDFs Out-ranking Website


HurricaneK8

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We have a chiropractor client who has written unique, well written articles and posted them on her website. To make it easier for clients to print these articles out, she's made them into PDFs.

The problem now is that the PDFs outrank the pages that are on the website. The PDFs obviously don't have any links back to the main site, and have a lower PA (10 vs 20). We have a few solutions: Put re=canonical tags on the PDFs or no-index the PDFs.

I'm just wondering if there's any reason Google would rank a PDF with lower page authority over a webpage with higher page authority, and links to the rest of the website, if it's the exact same content?

---------- Post Merged at 10:37 AM ---------- Previous Post was at 10:36 AM ----------

I should mention: The PDFs don't have any backlinks built to them except the one from the main site
 
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Kate, would you be willing to share what your SERPS via PM or public. we are about to SEO 30 pdf files and I would like to see what is going on....
 
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I think I've seen PDFs rank a couple times. But this seems like an extreme case.

Would love to see too if you can share Kate.

Otherwise please post in the private forum so just Pros can see.

But then if we have any feedback or reasoning, we'll post it here in public for others to see that may be struggling with the same issue.

Thanks!
 

HurricaneK8

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JoshuaMackens

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Canonical tag seems like it might work. You might also want to link from the PDF to the page you want to rank well.

Should do the trick.
 

HurricaneK8

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Thanks Joshua,

As I mentioned-- we have a few solutions to the problem that will work and that's not what I'm after. What I wanted opinions on is what does Google dislike about the website SO much that it would rank the PDF higher instead... I haven't been able to find anything glaringly obvious.
 

Howell

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I'll venture a guess that it's due to the Hummingbird update and it's love for long tail keywords.

I've had PDFs recently start showing up even though they were loaded up before Hummingbird started flying.

Google wants to become the "answer machine" and PDFs have that content.
 
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Any kind of penalization in the websites past? Also, which page ranks higher for keyword searches that are not quotes lifted from the page? Still the pdf?
 

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