Traditionally, PDF’s and search engines have not gotten along as well as most would like. While being indexed is not the problem it once was there have been difficulties in the rendering of those PDF’s from the SERP’s (search engine results pages).
Google today has moved closer to true harmony between the PDF and engine environment by introducing the Quick View link that is now applied to an increasing percentage of the PDF’s now indexed by Google. The official Google blog tells us
Today, we’ve added new links to “Quick View” PDFs in your browser with the formatting intact. The new links are based on the same technology that’s available in Google Docs and Gmail, as well as to webmasters through the Google Docs viewer. We’ve been rolling this technology out to the search results page since July, and as of today we’ve added “Quick View” links to more than 50% of the PDFs in our index. The new links appear at the end of the second line of the result, right underneath the title.
As a result you can now view the PDF in the browser while keeping all the formatting in tact. No longer is there a need to download the PDF to get all of the formatting or viewing the PDF in HTML which sacrificed all of the formatting for the most part.
This is pretty cool and a good move toward making some of the barriers that have existed between certain techniques and the search engines (can you say Flash?) less of an issue. Isn’t it nice to have less issues?