I see that there is a sharing option, "Public on the Web -- Anyone on the Internet can find and view":

sharing option

which can be found in the Google Docs file menu:

Google Docs file menu

as well as Google Drive file options.

Google Drive file options

I am interested to know the difference between this option and "publish to the web"

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My interest is caused primarily by the fact that both options make the document public on the web and indexable whereas I tried the first approach and nobody can explain how indexing works.

1 Answer 1


Sharing a Google file with anyone on the web will show the file in the Google Docs app, meaning that users will see the Google Docs toolbar and could see changes in realtime. Using Publish to the web creates a version out of the Google Docs app, users will not see the Google Docs toolbar, they will not see changes in real time, meaning that they should refresh the page to see updates, even they could see an older version if Publish to the web is set to manually update the published version.

For more details see Visibility of documents, spreadsheets, and presentations published to the web - Docs Editors Help

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