Accessibility and SEO

You probably didn’t know it by now, but accessibility is quite important for Google rankings. It’s so important that Google has even created a special engine that lists only accessible sites to provide for a better user experience for the visually impaired people and for other challenged web surfers.

Google calls its new engine Accessible Web Search for the Visually Impaired.

When I look at the results and compare them to the regular Google search results, I see a clear similarity. With a few exceptions, there are always the same sites leading the pack. I compared, tested a bit and the conclusion is clear: all these sites respect elementary web accessibility standards and do validate.

Since valid HTML is the foundation of accessible websites, it’s only natural that the accessible sites validate. I said “foundation” and not “requisite” because there are enough websites that pass the automatic standard accessibility tests but fail the W3C validation test. Yet I am not going to discuss those now. I am just emphasizing that, for the future, if you want to keep your Google rankings you’d better validate those codes and start addressing the main accessibility and usability issues.

Although the Google Accessible Web Search is still in a testing phase, are you sure that the Giant will not wake up one day deciding that accessibility is the most important part of the new algorithm? No one can tell Google what to do… so be prepared. Need help? Contact SEO Ltd. today!

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