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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.
In this course we've talked about two important topics, Accessibility and Search Engine Optimization, and how they can work together to make your website more accessible, more findable, and more useful. But we've barely scratched the surface of these topics. There's a lot of interesting stuff to learn about both accessibility and SEO, and where better to start learning than on the web? The first page you should take a look at for accessibility is the W3C's standards page for accessibility. The W3C or World Wide Web Consortium is a group of people that make decisions on how the web works and how it should work, and they have this bucket page with tons of information about accessibility, about the principles behind accessibility, and about where to go to read about accessibility.
It's a great resource to start with to really get an idea of the depth of this field. When you're done with the W3C accessibility standards page, jump over to the Web Accessibility Initiative page. This is also part of the W3C and there's a link from the first page to this one. The Web Accessibility Initiative have concrete examples of how to do design, how to include accessibility in your sites, they have before and after examples and direct examples on pretty much everything we've been talking about here in this course, plus a lot more.
This is the number one resource to go to when you really want to dive into accessibility and understand not only why it's important, but how to implement it and how it will make your sites better. As for Search Engine Optimization, there are a million resources and there is a lot of confusion about what it is and how it works. This is because the search engines change all the time, and Search Engine Optimization companies are always trying to figure out how the search engines work so that they can optimize their sites for them and trick them into giving you better results.
My approach to search engine optimization is that if I create quality content and mark it up right, and make it accessible to the search engines, they will get good ranking on search engines. And truth be told, this actually works just as well as using some black magic to make your websites more search engine friendly. If you just follow web standards and follow what is provided by the search engines themselves, like for instance, what you can find on the Google Webmaster Central website, you will find that your website will be indexed on the search engines and people will find them.
When it comes to SEO, following the rules and playing your cards right and in the right order is extremely important. And going to Google Webmaster Central and using the tools they have will get you pretty much all the way there. If you want to really dive into search engine optimization, you should also check out the Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide published by Google. This is a PDF document you can download and read that outlines not only what search engine optimization is, but also how search engines work and how your website interacts with them and they interact with your website, to give your firm understanding of how this all works. Because like I said in the beginning, although we are covering search engine optimization in relation to accessibility, this is just the tip of the iceberg, and following these principles alone will not get you top ranking on Google.
To get top ranking on Google, you have to have excellent content, good links, and people who really love your site. Now that you've seen how some simple accessibility principles can not only make your site accessible to more people, but also make it more findable through search engines and social media, it's time to start making accessibility an integrated part of your web development process. It may sound cheesy, but with better accessibility, everybody wins.
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