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  • the file has a meaningful name, possibly dash-separated (e. g. f4538945ertg_bis.pdf is a bad name, commission-module-for-environmental-protection-ID-4538945.pdf is a better name)
  • specify a meaningful meta description for the file
  • specify an author for the file (either a person or a DG)
  • ensure that the file is reachable from a page on the website
  • once the file is not relevant any more remove it from the website
    • The only exception to this rule is when the file has to be kept online for legal or historical reasons. In that case an archived version of the website has to be created and the page can be moved there.
  • ensure that the links contained in that file are reachable.
    • If they aren't try to correct the original file
    • If you can't edit the original file anymore, set the X-ROBOTS-TAG header of that file to index, nofollow. In this way the HTTP response of the file will discourage crawlers from following the links contained in the text
  • keep the file size as small as possible
  • always specify the file size from the page that links to that file (usually this is done automatically by the CMS)


  • if possible, offer an alternative HTML version of the file
  • for PDFs
      • make sure they follow the PDF/UA standard (this request can be added to contracts with third parties)
      • add extra meta tags to describe the page as clearly as possible
      • keep the layout simple
      • don't use images to represent text, as they require an extra step to be parsed
      • Never use xxx for user data's placeholder. Use the a more informative version (e. g. insert your name / surname / age instead)


When creating and linking these files you must respect the accessibility guidelines.

Contact and support

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