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Access Serves You

Having trotted out the rationale behind many site owners' sudden interest in accessibility, let us hastily add that fear of lawsuits is the wrong reason to incorporate access into your design practice. These enhancements open any site to new visitors—and whose site could not use more visitors? Those locked out of other sites will be inclined to feel quite loyal to yours if you welcome them into it by making these adjustments to your markup. If other online stores block disabled visitors and nontraditional device users and your store welcomes them, guess who will be selling to those customers, and guess who won't be?

And don't forget, the more accessible your site is to disabled visitors and nontraditional Internet device users, the more available its content will also be to Google, AlltheWeb, and all the other crawler-driven search engines and directories that send visitors your way. Conversely, the less accessible your site, the less traffic it will draw from Google and its brothers. zeldman.com, A List Apart, and most sites designed by Happy Cog over the past few years tend to rank high in search engine results, not because we're doing anything fancy, but because these sites are built with access-enhanced structural markup.


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