Search Engines are blind. Consider the fact that whenever you use Google or Bing there is no set of human eyes “on the other end” looking at all of the websites in the world to deliver you the most relevant and authoritative results possible (in just a second or two). No, there is a machine that is algorithmically “reading” indexes of websites at lightning speeds. Indexes is an acceptable way to make index plural, by the way. Indices just sounds weird.
Now consider that the vast majority of blind web users (there are millions in the U.S.) utilize a tool commonly known as a screen reader in order to understand content on the internet. Because they cannot see, a machine will read through code of a webpage and “read out loud” what it finds to the user. Awesome technology, right? The screen reader and the search engine share an important component - a machine “reading” website code to process the information and provide human-understandable output.
However, if you are not intentional about making your site screen reader friendly, it can be like those broken English instructions you get with some Christmas presents. Or worse, like Sylvester the cat trying to read to you a conversation between Elmer Fudd and Yoda. You get the (audio) picture.
What does this mean for you and your website?
Thanks for taking the time to read this little blurb. If you enjoyed it, be sure to check out our other content regarding accessibility and SEO!