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Improving SEO Using Accessibility Techniques
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Making accessible block quotes


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Improving SEO Using Accessibility Techniques

with Morten Rand-Hendriksen

Video: Making accessible block quotes

When you read a magazine or newspaper, you will from time to time see offset quotes that are lifted out of the overall context of the page. These are sometimes called pull quotes and they are used to drag the reader's attention toward a particular quote in the text or to emphasize that this is a quote rather than just a regular part of the text. In HTML, we find the same type of elements in the blockquotes tag. When you build a web page, the blockquote element is used to indicate a quotation. It's usually used when you quote something off someone else's website or if you write an article that has a quote in it and you want to pull attention to it.
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  1. 3m 3s
    1. Welcome
      1m 4s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 59s
  2. 8m 16s
    1. Accessibility and SEO: A primer
      4m 58s
    2. Understanding the benefits of accessibility and SEO
      3m 18s
  3. 11m 26s
    1. Experiencing an inaccessible web site
      6m 4s
    2. Experiencing an accessible web site
      5m 22s
  4. 16m 28s
    1. Evaluating screen readers for Windows and Mac
      5m 56s
    2. Installing browser development tools
      4m 8s
    3. Pretending to be a screen reader
      6m 24s
  5. 7m 40s
    1. Installing SEO tools
      2m 30s
    2. Understanding how search engines search a page
      2m 45s
    3. Comparing sites that are SEO-friendly with ones that are SEO-unfriendly
      2m 25s
  6. 44m 6s
    1. Defining a language for a page
      5m 4s
    2. Defining meta headers for a page
      6m 10s
    3. Creating better semantic markup with HTML5
      3m 13s
    4. Using and hiding section headings
      4m 56s
    5. Creating content hierarchies with heading tags
      5m 29s
    6. Emphasizing content in paragraphs
      5m 36s
    7. Making accessible block quotes
      3m 22s
    8. Using some new HTML5 tags
      4m 47s
    9. Using ordered and unordered lists
      5m 29s
  7. 22m 17s
    1. Marking up links properly
      6m 48s
    2. Marking up images
      7m 23s
    3. Creating a proper image header with CSS
      8m 6s
  8. 32m 43s
    1. Creating an accessible menu with an unordered list
      6m 16s
    2. Creating and hiding nav headings and skip navigation links
      6m 59s
    3. Giving navigation links proper focus with style
      4m 39s
    4. Creating an accessible drop-down menu
      10m 46s
    5. Scrapping drop-down menus for better options
      4m 3s
  9. 3m 44s
    1. Next steps
      3m 44s

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Improving SEO Using Accessibility Techniques
2h 29m Intermediate Dec 06, 2011

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

This course focuses on two elements of web development: accessibility and search engine optimization (SEO), demonstrating why they are important and how they work. Author Morten Rand-Hendriksen also shows how good coding practices and modern web standards can make a site accessible and more visible to search engines and social networks.

Topics include:
  • Understanding the benefits of accessibility and SEO
  • Evaluating screen readers for Windows and Mac
  • Installing browser development tools
  • Comparing sites that are SEO-friendly and SEO-unfriendly
  • Defining a language for a page
  • Creating better semantic markup with HTML5
  • Marking up images and links properly
  • Creating an accessible menu with an unordered list
Subjects:
Business Web Accessibility SEO
Author:
Morten Rand-Hendriksen

Making accessible block quotes

When you read a magazine or newspaper, you will from time to time see offset quotes that are lifted out of the overall context of the page. These are sometimes called pull quotes and they are used to drag the reader's attention toward a particular quote in the text or to emphasize that this is a quote rather than just a regular part of the text. In HTML, we find the same type of elements in the blockquotes tag. When you build a web page, the blockquote element is used to indicate a quotation. It's usually used when you quote something off someone else's website or if you write an article that has a quote in it and you want to pull attention to it.

The blockquote is good for accessibility because it clearly separates a quote from the rest of the text, so that when you read the text, you can clearly either see or hear that this text does not belong in with the rest of the text in terms of who wrote it. And this is really important, because if you want to communicate that this is not what you wrote, this is what someone else wrote, you will use the blockquote. The SEO benefit of the blockquote is directly linked to this. Search engine rankings depend on a lot of different factors, two of which are the validity of your content and also the linking out to other sources.

So when you make a quote and you attribute it properly to the source, usually with a link attached to a name, then you tell the search engine, look, I am presenting you with proper content and here is where I got it from. So you are being transparent about it, and that's something that search engines like. Adding a blockquote to your text means to add the blockquote tag around some content. So I will go to my project site and open into my browser to find some content I want to wrap. And when I read it, I see that the fourth paragraph under Heading 2 looks like a quote, so I will just wrap this in the blockquote so you can see what happens.

I will open my file in Notepad and I will find the section I want to change. It starts here with I daresay, so I'll just go and simply change the

, which is the paragraph, to blockquote. Then I will end with the same thing

and save it. Now when I reload the page, you will see that the blockquote appears quite differently from the rest of text, and here's something important. The reason why it appears differently is because that's how I styled it, so if I right-click on this content, select Inspect Element, and look at the styles in the site here, you will see that I have a style called blockquote that controls the display of this content.

You will see that the font size is 1em, it's italicized, there is a bigger line-height, and there are more margins. Just like with the emphasized and the strongly emphasized content, the blockquote tag itself has nothing to do with how it's displayed. It's a semantic tag telling the browser what's going on with the content inside it. How you display that content varies depending on how you want to design it, and this is an important point. In the past, people tended to use the blockquote element to indent content. It was really used as an indentation function rather than a quote function.

This is not what it's for. The blockquote is for presenting block quotes, texts that are quoted either from a person, from within the text itself, or from a different source. If used correctly, the blockquote is a powerful tool telling the browser and the user that this content comes from elsewhere and is quoted. Combined with the right citation and a link to the originator, it can be an even more helpful tool both for the visitor in finding the original source, and you, in lending validity to your content.

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