PPP or Pay Per PDF White Paper

After Tim posted his findings regarding the indexing of flash websites, I suggested to him that he should carry out similar research on PDFs, because you can’t nofollow a link in a PDF.
As it happened he was already running a test, and he has just published the results to his PDF SEO research

Companies already pay for hosted pages, why not pay for hosted white papers or product catalogues?

On the negative side, PDFs when distributed virally might end up pointing to old resources, and it is hard to track them if you use direct links to resources. You should always at the very least use a redirect link with a 301, but preferably something with built in tracking.

Best practice? Always have lots of links in every PDF you create

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  1. says

    I think PPPdf has been around for a while, for example, Knowledge Storm will charge you a pretty penny for hosting your white papers, pay per lead, you might call it.

    I think it’s great to put out some information to help white paper marketers (B2B marketers) optimize their downloadable content when it’s hosted elsewhere – including links etc.

    Looking forward to that info!

    *Question – will Google consider those “paid links”? LOL

  2. says

    PDF is already a great tool to begin with. However, additional features like live links will be definitely an awesome add-on.

  3. says

    This was a great post. I have a top ranking for the keyword affiliate marketing for almost one year now, and I’ve just added two links on the home page for my pdf.

    I hope it won’t hurt.

    • says


      To be honest I would nofollow them. This is more use providing affiliates with free branded PDFs, that contain affiliate links that in some way you 301 redirect so you get the juice

  4. says

    What is next now? It was Flash, PDF…maybe Word documents?
    These are the kind of experiments I would like to see the real data ..but I am not sure they will show it to the public, right?

    • says

      Hi Matt,
      It’s always a balancing act between reporting conclusions and discussing data. While I have no real qualms about releasing the data it would without terms of reference and explanation of each test be totally meaningless much like me saying the answer to the question was 4. Instead I choose to explain the methodology in enough detail that others can choose to replicate the experiments and then draw the conclusions if I had to explain the method, the results and the data as well as draw conclusions the posts would be pages long and I have neither the time or the inclination to do so.

  5. says

    SE indexing of Flash isn’t even totally there yet, gonna be a while longer for PDFs. Ultimately, I wouldn’t see much of point using PDFs. Everything a PDF can do, html can do…simple as that. One advantage PDF may currently have though is that they do seem to convey more “trust” (that is whether paid advertising or not, PDFs carry more authority IMHO to the user).

    a)there’s the indexing problem,
    b)if and when PPP becomes wide-spread PDFs will lose whatever autority they currently convey and therefore negate their only advantage.