Do links in PDFs hosted online count as backlinks, and if they do does hyperlink text in a PDF count as anchor text for that backlink ?

  • But scribd can't detect Backlinks again Commented Mar 6, 2017 at 11:14

1 Answer 1


Yes, Google counts links in PDF files the same way they count links in HTML.

We know this because an online retailer got in trouble with it. They have an educational discount program. They gave a PDF brochure with special prices to educational institutions. Many of those posted it on their websites for their staff to use. That PDF file included anchor text rich links in a section at the end to many of the category pages. Google subsequently penalized the retailer for the practice.

Google has also confirmed that PDF links pass pagerank.

  • thanks, do you have a link to the article about the retailer and the PDF links. Do you know if the link (when not used as a category page) hold as much value as a normal on page link ?
    – sam
    Commented Jan 8, 2016 at 14:24
  • I was trying to find it, but I can't come up with it. It was around 2011 that I saw it, near the time that JC Penny was caught buying links. I did find a quote from Google that I added to my answer. Commented Jan 8, 2016 at 14:26

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