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I maintain a small personal website,which is indexed by Google, with one PDF document (a curriculum vitae) generated using LaTeX. Currently, the PDF and the site homepage are the top hits for my name, but the PDF's search engine result takes the wrong title:

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I think that this is happening because the sole link to the PDF is ...as a PDF <a href="cv.pdf">here</a>. Is there a way that I can indicate to the Google indexer that the intended title for this PDF is not here, either in the link or in the PDF itself?

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The trivial fix to this is to just re-word the text on your website so that the link text says "my curriculum vitae" instead of just "here".

The current text on your site says:

My CV can be downloaded in PDF format here, and is embedded below

You might consider changing it to something like this:

View my CV below, or download the Curriculum Vitae PDF.

I know it's not ideal, but that's Option 1.

Attacking this from the other angle, you can see from the top of your embed that the title metadata in your PDF document is the following:

Andrey Akhmetov –

I would use a PDF creation tool to change that to something more relevant, like:

Curriculum Vitae of Andrey Akhmetov

Here's a one-liner to change the title using exiftool:

exiftool -Title="Curriculum Vitae of Andrey Akhmetov" cv.pdf

It's possible that once you have a more relevant title in your metadata, Google's crawler might just use it instead of trying to "make up" a relevant title by using the link text. I've had mixed results with that - it still tries to use link text for PDF titles for me - but it's worth a shot, and your title metadata should be accurate regardless.

For what it's worth, I had this exact same issue with my resume at one point.

  • The PDF already has metadata embedded; I guess my next step might be to drop the embedding page that has the link and just link to the PDF from the navbar--does this pose any new significant issues that come to mind? – hexafraction Oct 7 '18 at 17:10
  • I would recommend changing your PDF title metadata to be more relevant than it currently is though, as in my example. If you link the PDF directly from your nav bar, that means the link text will be "CV", which is likely to help solve the issue too. No problem with doing that besides the slight hit to website usability, which you can be the judge of. If you want to get fancy with it, I would create an HTML version of your CV so it ranks higher than the PDF version in search results, then you don't need to worry about the PDF's title as much. – Maximillian Laumeister Oct 7 '18 at 17:17

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