Quickly view formatted PDFs in your Google Search results
Google understandably wants users to have a streamlined experience when using its search engine. While users spending more time on the site means potentially more money from the ads it serves, providing a seamless search experience will make them return a second time proving to be more financially wise in the long run.
The strategy obviously works as Google is the dominant search engine in almost any market and now it has launched a new feature that will allow users to easily view PDF files online without requiring an additional add-on or application.
"Google search results sometimes include documents that were not originally formatted to be viewed in a web browser, such as PDFs. In the past, the only way to view these documents was to download them and open them in a separate viewer application. To provide an alternative, we made it possible to quickly and easily view these files as HTML right in a web browser by clicking 'View as HTML'," Krista Davis, software engineer, and Raj Krishnan, product manager, wrote.
Unfortunately using the HTML converter usually meant losing out on much of the details and advanced objects like tables or graphics so Google came up with a better solution. "Today, we've added new links to "Quick View" PDFs in your browser with the formatting intact," they added.
PDF files often show up in searches especially for more official documents. But actually viewing them was somewhat frustrating even with the browser add-ons, which allow them to be viewed in a new page inside the browser. While they are more convenient than downloading the file and using a desktop app to view it, the add-ons are usually slow and inconsistent with the browser.
With the new integrated PDF viewer from Google, users will be able to preview the files inside the browser using the simple and lightweight interface. The tool offers all of the basic features of a PDF viewer: users can go to the page they desire, have a thumbnail preview in the right-hand side and zoom in and out of the document. The files are rendered as they were intended and there is no quality loss. The viewer is based on the same technology Google uses in Gmail and Google Docs to handle PDF files and has now been enabled for some 50 percent of the files in the search engine's index. Google plans to roll out the feature for all documents and additional file formats in time.