I don’t know how long this has been going on. I don’t recall seeing any announcement by Google about this. It seems to me this is a major change and would have made a splash. Maybe I missed it because PDF is not interesting to me?
Previously, when encountering a PDF document in a Google search result, there was a View As HTML option. Now this seems to be getting replaced with an option simply called View.
What’s interesting about this is that it launches that PDF into Google Docs, where it’s now displayed as a full PDF, with all formatting seemingly intact!
Just plop PDF into Google’s search box and sample the change!