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
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 + 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