Google is blind
A lot of people, including many SEO companies, are bemoaning that fact Google is constantly moving the goalposts in terms of how it ranks websites. I personally wouldn’t use the phrase “moving the goalposts” but would instead use the phrase “raising the bar”.
Why? Well to understand Google’s thinking, I suggest that it is important to look at Google in broad terms and understand their success.
In one sense it is simple: Google is currently worth over $380 Billion because it gives away its services for free and then monetises them. The Google search engine, Gmail and YouTube dwarf their competitors and Google continually strives to maintain total dominance in these areas: looking for stuff, sending / receiving stuff and watching stuff.
Google’s search engine is completely trusted: it instinctively knows what you are searching for and gives you the best of what is available. It will list websites that meet the needs of as many people as possible above other websites. If it doesn’t, it risks directing to you to a website that doesn’t meet your particular need. This, in turn, erodes your trust in Google and its value is diminished. If Google were to do this continually, you would soon be using another search engine!
Google cannot see what a picture looks like:
Neither can a blind person but if you label it correctly, they both can!
Google cannot follow broken navigation:
We can all see that this website has got two separate navigation areas. However, Google cannot. Neither can a blind person!
Google cannot understand poor coding:
Neither can a blind person using a screen reader!
So, in one sense, it is simple really.
Make sure that your website is friendly to all of your blind visitors, one of whom is Google!
Here are a couple of fantastic case studies which show how this actually works in practice; they are well worth a read!
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Managing Director – Access by Design
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