I have found numerous questions and blogs about including PDF files in an XML sitemap but cannot find a single one that gives a working example or which attributes to use:

What document types can be included in an XML sitemap?

Should I include PDF files in my sitemap.xml

On Google's Sitemap Guide it states:

The following table outlines the tags required for Sitemaps listing web URLs. To add more detailed information about specific content types, see video, images, mobile, News, and software source code.

Should .PDF be treated as a regular URL or News or is this out of date and there is one specifically for .PDF files?

Most of my PDFs are not news but brochures, case studies, and high resolution image files... speaking of should the high resolution image files be treating with <image:image> then set the <image:loc> to the .PDF?

1 Answer 1


Yes, you treat a .PDF as a regular URL. Googlebot crawl's PDF's just like any HTML page. You can see Google's own sitemap to verify that they do it the same way themselves.

  • And you think for ones that are just high resolution images should I use the <image:image> or no?
    – Ryan
    Commented Feb 26, 2014 at 19:32
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    You mean the only thing contained in the PDF is an image? Is it not possible for you to incorporate those as images instead of as PDF's? The reason being that PDF's that include only an image will be basically useless to Google because they contain no text, and the image in the PDF can't be indexed by itself... If you were able to link to an image type the image would be associated with the text on that page, but the image would be able to be indexed by Google Images. Does that make sense? Short answer: no, don't use the <image> for a PDF. Commented Feb 26, 2014 at 19:40
  • I have the image available for download as low res .jpg for web use and high resolution in .PDF format to maintain elements and transparency without having to give people .EPS files. For example our company logo is available for our dealers to download if they want.
    – Ryan
    Commented Feb 26, 2014 at 19:43
  • Ah, I understand. I'd keep the PDF as just a regular URL in that case. That's the only chance it would have of being indexed. If you were to list it as an image, Google wouldn't recognize it as a valid image type. Add as much meta data to the PDF as possible to help it get indexed and possibly rank. Commented Feb 26, 2014 at 20:04
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    I dont see any PDFs in google's own sitemap. please update your answer or delete it as it's wrong
    – bodacydo
    Commented Dec 1, 2015 at 4:43

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