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Re: Sample Sites

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From: Tom Gilder
Date: Aug 30, 2002 12:33PM


On Friday, August 30, 2002, 7:26:08 PM, you wrote:
> > > http://1stpc.org
> > The site is great. I viewed it without style sheets and noticed that
> > when linearized the page content comes first and then the left hand
> > links. Is this intentional -- I normally do it the other way around.
>
> 1) lynx and screen readers: If you have used lynx a lot (and I have, it
> was my primary browser for some time) you know how awful it is trying to
> get to the 'meat' of a page because there's usually so much fluff before
> it -- OR you get the same navigation menus over and over again on each
> page, which gets annoying fast

However, what if you *want* to get to the navigation quickly using a
screenreader? In that case, you have to listen to the entire page
content beforehand.

In my opinion it makes more sense (visually, at least) to have
navigation before content - and then provide a "skip navigation"
link. You could also solve this problem with a "jump to navigation"
link near the start of the document.

This is a bit of an accessibility hack, and I feel future versions of
XHTML need to allow authors a standard way to label what is content
and what is navigation, to allow screenreader users to quickly
navigate between the two (I put some thoughts on that issue up at
<http://tom.me.uk/2002/8/dividing-pages.html>;).

> 2) Google loves me. I'm not sure why, I haven't done anything
> special at all to appeal to them, but my site (www.tntluoma.com) is
> near the top of a number of keyword searches.

Google tends to rate pages higher if the content is nearer the
beginning of the document. It also pays attention to headers (I do
hope this won't lead to <body><h1>...</h1></body> to try and get
better search engine ranking though).

> My guess is that if we (folks who care about accessibility and
> standards) could show others (who don't know or don't care) how much
> improvement they would have in search engine placement by following
> standards, they'd probably listen more.

When I have tried to explain to people in the past why something like
<h1><img src="logo.png" alt="My Company" /></h1> makes sense, they
often haven't cared much until I've gone "oh, and it might well
increase your Google ranking too".

If you can come up with a benefit of accessibility that marketing
people speak, then they are far more likely to listen :)


Cheers
--
Tom Gilder
http://tom.me.uk/


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