Besides delivering a critical blow to the competitive balance of two highly recognized and respected companies, it has inadvertently created a new form of optimization.
That's right. PDF optimization.
The main technology that Adobe wanted from Macromedia was Flash. Now that they have it, they will be able to incorporate all of the power of Flash into a PDF. With one fell swoop, they have changed the face of search engine optimization.
As a site owner, I can now potentially have my entire site reside within the content of a PDF. Sure, it was textually available before, but now I can even have compressed video, dynamically generated content and visually appealing content conveniently wrapped up into the web's only cross-compatible portable platform.
No more worries about having a Flash player installed -- that will be incorporated into the PDF reading software. No more worrying about needing Quicktime and Media Player versions of video clips. They'll all be in Flash.
Not only is the PDF web friendly, but it is also PDA and Kiosk ready. Now content can be delivered anywhere to any device that can read a PDF. It can also be included on CDs, DVDs and even on your cellphone.
From a user perspective, this is awesome. From a search engine perspective, it is great to push boundaries, but we may also see the end of optimizing for client sites -- instead a client will pay a one-time fee to optimize a PDF.
Anyone who makes a living optimizing sites can see the potential loss of revenue as companies move forward and place their marketing efforts into promoting a PDF instead of a website.
Why would a company not embrace this? While it's true that a site like Amazon would not be able to take full advantage of this, they could embed PDF optimization for DVDs and CDs sent to your cellphone, based on previous selections you've made.
It's a marketer's dream, and it makes a buzz agent's job even easier. Word-of-mouth marketing will be coupled with a portable demonstration of the product or service being sold.
While the general public may not become aware of this technology for a few years, those who reside on the cutting edge will find great ways to use this newfound freedom in promotion.
Now, instead of just watching a movie trailer, you could also have the script, actor bios and studio contact information. Maybe even after the movie gets released, you could get your PDF updated with box office results.
The benefits of storing information in a PDF are huge. Instead of storing all of that information in a database, you have everything you need as a portable document. No worries about server stability, access to the database or even an Internet connection.
By embracing this new development, it will be another service you can add to your SEO repertoire and allow for your business to adapt to this emerging technology.