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Q: Google usability impact ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   0 Comments )
Subject: Google usability impact
Category: Computers > Algorithms
Asked by: cqlmark-ga
List Price: $5.00
Posted: 31 May 2004 13:24 PDT
Expires: 30 Jun 2004 13:24 PDT
Question ID: 354367
Does a webpage designed for usability have greater success in being
well read and indexed by Google?

Clarification of Question by cqlmark-ga on 31 May 2004 13:26 PDT
I mis-spoek myself.  I meant to ask if accessibility would impact the
page, not usability.
Subject: Re: Google usability impact
Answered By: serenata-ga on 31 May 2004 21:41 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hi CQLMark !

Your question as you clarified it is whether or not designing for
accessibility would impact the page (ie., getting read and indexed by

The answer to that would be a resounding "yes", for Google recommends
designing a page for the user (not search engines) and recommends the
following in its Guidelines,

     "* Make a site with a clear hierarchy and text links.
        Every page should be reachable from at least one
        static text link.
      * Offer a site map to your users with links that
        point to the important parts of your site. If the
        site map is larger than 100 or so links, you may
        want to break the site map into separate pages.
      * Create a useful, information-rich site and write
        pages that clearly and accurately describe your
      * Think about the words users would type to find your
        pages, and make sure that your site actually
        includes those words within it.
      * Try to use text instead of images to display
        important names, content, or links. The Google
        crawler doesn't recognize text contained in images.
      * Make sure that your TITLE and ALT tags are
        descriptive and accurate.
      * Check for broken links and correct HTML..."
   - ://

Google even goes so far as to recommend the use of a test browser such
as Lynx to examine the site. Although they recommend it so see what a
search engine crawler might see, Lynx is an accessibility browser and
the more you can conform to Lynx, the easier you make it for both
users with accessibility issues and Google's crawler.

Compare that to this instruction form from Penn State University on
the creation of accessible websites, especially with reference to the
above items,

You start to get the feeling for how to make the site both user and
search engine friendly.

In addition to the above, Jill Whalen's High Rankings Advisor carried
an article by Scottie Claiborne, "Accessibility Issues Make a

Lastly, there's an entire section on Net Mechanic about accessibility
issues, and as you explore, you'll notice how well they mesh with
Google's recommendations on how to design a crawler-friendly site. The
two go hand in hand, really.

Search terms used -
   * accessibility
   * accessibility + search engines
   * accessibility + SEO
   * accessibility guidelines

In addition, I relied on material which I use in my daily business as
a web designer and SEO consultant.


Google Answers Researcher
cqlmark-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
Exactly what I needed.  Thanks.

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