Scene On The Net

The hidden truth about Accessibility — Part 2

By Max Brockbank

Filed under: General
Page updated 8:36 am: March 25, 2009

In my last blog post, I talked about using accessibility standards to improve the SEO  of any web page. The theory is that because search engines like Google, Yahoo!, Windows Live and Ask are “blind”, constructing your site to work well for Buy Cialis Online those with visual impairment makes them ripe for the Search Engine Spiders too.

But we can take this a stage further; making the site even more accessible AND giving the Search Engines more content to index. Levitra venta

In fact, the use of CSS-styling to add extra content to the page which does not show unless the stylesheet is removed can drastically improve the amount of spiderable text on a web page whilst remaining within Search Engine rules about “hidden” content.

Current W3C standards include the display attribute, which includes the value none. If this style is correctly applied to an element it will not show up in a browser which uses CSS. Opinion levitra

For example, we can define a style called .accessible thus …

.accessible { display: none; }

This can be applied using SPAN tags thus …

Now you see me <span class="accessible">, now you don't!</span>

In a CSS-compliant browser such as Internet Explorer or Firefox what is seen is

Now you see me

But remove the style sheets for the page and you see

Now you see me, now you don’t!

This means that text can now be embedded in a web page which only shows up in “accessibility” mode (i.e. when the style sheets are not used).

An example of this might be the addition of explanatory text to a web page link …

<a href="/eng/support/" rel="Get help with your BlackBerry device, software or billing, and read about BlackBerry training and how to get technical support"><span class="accessible">Get help with your BlackBerry device, software or billing, and read about BlackBerry training and how to get Technical </span>Support</a>

In the browser, with a style sheet applied, this shows as …

Support

Without a style sheet applied, this shows as …

Get help with your BlackBerry device, software or billing, and read about BlackBerry training and how to get Technical Support

This Buy serevent online Buy Viagra Professional Online Pharmacy No Prescription Needed not only makes more sense to a screen reader, it also provides more spiderable text for search engines Levitra efectos secundarios to index. Potenzmittel viagra


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The hidden truth about Accessibility

By Max Brockbank

Filed under: JustWebContent.com,SEO
Page updated 8:27 am: March 23, 2009

Since 2005, European legislation has required EU websites to take reasonable steps to improve disability rights access.

A common myth about Opinion levitra Accessibility is that it caters to an insignificant minority. According to the RNIB, Tesco.com gained £13 MILLION a year in new business by making its site accessible site. Levitra efectos secundarios

While it may be great to get more business like Tesco.com, the real Buy Viagra Soft Tabs Online truth about accessibility is much more subtle — and valuable.

Right now there is one class of “blind” web users who have TRILLIONS of dollars at their disposal and can influence entire societies. They will never “see” the elegant roll-over navigations and have Buy Buy mobic online Wellbutrin SR Online Pharmacy No Prescription Needed no interest in colour combinations. And they’re not in the slightest bit w orried about flashy animations Levitra venta or clever scripting. Potenzmittel viagra

They are the Search Engines — Google, Yahoo, Windows Live! and Ask, to name just four.

The unspoken truth about Accessibility is that it is perfect for SEO. All the “best practice” techniques aimed at making the Internet experience good for people who cannot see hold doubly true for the Search Engine Spiders.

An example of this is related by spoonfed.co.uk, a London listings website which discovered that content it syndicated to other websites appeared in Google HOURS before the same stories featured on their own pages. Quite simply, the syndicated sites were using more Accessible designs.

How you can use CSS to improve Accessibility AND Content is the subject of my next post.


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