Searching across multiple PDF files at the same time can be a tricky task. If you have PDF files on your website and want your site search to pick it up then Google Custom Search PDF is not the right way to go. The problem is that with Google Custom Search, you do not have any control over the indexing process. Google missing out on PDF files is a pretty common issue faced by users of Custom Search. Also, if the PDFs are hosted somewhere Google does not index, using GCS will not be an option.
This blog will discuss how you can make a PDF search engine. Note that for this method to work, the PDF files should be hosted with a publicly accessible URL.
Create a Google Custom Search PDF Alternative
Here we will visit the steps required to add the ExpertRec Custom PDF search engine. This is one of the easiest setup processes of all the available options out there and is highly recommended.
- Navigate to https://cse.expertrec.com/newuser?platform=cse and signup with your Google ID.
- Enter the URL to where you hosted your PDFs when prompted. You can select a server location near you and add the URL of your sitemap if you wish to. These will be auto-detected otherwise.
- You can play around with the settings and customize the UI as the crawl runs. Once it is complete, you can check out a fully functional demo before taking the search to your website.
- You can take the search to your website with little to no effort. All you need to do is to paste the code snippet available on the dashboard on your website.
ExpertRec comes with more customization options that you can explore. You can read this article to find a more detailed guide on the installation and configuration.