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April 22, 2010

SMX Sydney- When Google Guidelines and screen reader accessibility collide

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This session is given by Chris Dimmock and maybe Greg Grothaus because he is standing up there.

There has been a bit of a shuffle here today.
How does google know when you are being spammy in terms of accessibility?
Web accessibility is making the web available for people with disabilities.

Chris gives us some history on battles between organisations and the government in terms of accessibility.

Google does not like hiding text behind images, rather use alt text. Put the text in a comment tag if you are using JavaScript. Google uses algorithms and manually reviews to ascertain whether a site is trying to be malicious or hiding text because of accessibility. Google is trying not to throw out the “baby with the bathwater”.

New W3C guidelines stipulates how to hide links and how to use CSS to replace text with images of text.
What does a white hat do ? Do you comply with Google or the government ?

Need to find something that works in all cases, use CSS so that if a search engine can read it, users must also be able to read it. Things can’t be different, text must be identical. Make sure text is not in java, flash etc, keep content in text format.

There are compromises between webmaster guidelines and accessibility, you just need to tread a fine line when doing this.





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