issuu Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Overview and Tips

Many people discover great issuu content through searching on Google, Bing or Yahoo search engines. Search engine optimization (SEO) is a way of increasing the visibility of your content in search results. This help article discusses what issuu does to improve the SEO of your publications, and what actions you can take as a publisher to optimize your publications for search. For a more in-depth introduction to the field of SEO, check out this Moz guide.


How issuu Improves SEO

Text Extraction
When a publication is uploaded on issuu, we extract and expose all of the text so that search engines can easily understand it. That means the link to your publication on issuu will be displayed in relevant search results using Google, Bing or Yahoo search engines.

Suggested publications to the side or below an issuu publication help those publications get more exposure from both readers and search engines. It also signals to search engines that both the main publication and the related publications linked on the page are similar, relevant content, so it improves the chances of those publications ranking in search results.

With more than 30 million publications, 100 million monthly uniques and an enormous network of publications shared and embedded across the internet, issuu is the world’s largest digital publishing, reading and discovery platform. Any publication uploaded to issuu gets an SEO boost from being on the platform that you can’t get on any other digital publishing site. We even have an excellent 94/100 Domain Authority score from Moz.


How You Can Improve SEO

Optimized Text
Make sure that text inside your publication is selectable (vector, not an image) before publishing. We do not perform character recognition (OCR) on images, so this is crucial.


Title and Description
During the upload process, add a detailed, specific title and description for your publication. For example:

  • “Niseyknits Fall 2016 Knitwear Lookbook” is a better title than “Lookbook ‘16”
  • “New for 2016! Handmade scarves, hats, mittens and baby blankets by popular Etsy seller Niseyknits” would be a good description. 

Also make sure your issuu profile display name, description and website URL are up to date as well.

Relevant Links and Content
Put your readers first and search engines second. Search engines look for signals that people value and enjoy your content, which they won’t if it’s crammed with spammy, duplicate, keyword-stuffed text and links.

In your publications, only add links that would be relevant to your readers, whether it’s to your own site and social accounts, to an online shop or to an advertiser.

Sharing and Embedding
Be sure to link to and embed your publication on your site, blog and social channels. Use your website, social channels and email to encourage your readers to share your latest publications. This give search engines more signals about the relevancy and quality of your publication.


Troubleshooting SEO Issues

Not in Search Results
If you've just uploaded your publication, it can take a short while before search engines index your publication. Also, while we make all public publications available to crawl, search engines may choose not to index a publication if it doesn’t seem relevant. To help search engines get to your content faster, follow the tips listed above, and start sharing and embedding your publication right away.

Low Search Ranking
SEO can be a competitive field. For example it’s probably not realistic that your publication will rank on the first page for very popular terms like “Beyoncé” or generic terms like “dogs.” To help search engines evaluate the relevancy of your issuu publications, follow the tips listed above.

Outranked by
As explained above, has excellent search equity, which may mean your publication on issuu is listed above your own website in search results, even the page where your issuu publication is embedded. This might seem undesirable, but it is actually a very good thing. The important thing is getting your content in front of your audience. If you put relevant links in your publication to your site and social channels, and make sure to have clear publication description and title, and profile name and URL, it will be easy for your issuu readers to follow you outside of issuu. You can also optimize your own website for search to help it rank better. Again, this Moz guide is a good introduction.

Unlisted Publication Showing Up
Unlisted publications are not shared with Google and other search engines. If you discover a private issuu document in search results, it's because someone has shared the link on another site or social channel. You can delete your publication and re-upload with a different file name to remove it from search results, as detailed here.

Embedded Publication Not Helping Rankings
Search engines will see the content inside an embedded publication as living on, not on your site or blog. This is because the actual content (text, articles, images) are not included in the embed code, and the actual content is always hosted on issuu. You can optimize the rest of the page content and metadata to signal to search engines that the page is relevant to the same topics as what’s in your publication. Again, this Moz guide is a good introduction to SEO.


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