[Athen] Google tests web search for blind
kestrell at MIT.EDU
Fri Aug 4 06:28:24 PDT 2006
I agree with feeling that tools such as the accessible Google one present the unfortunate possibility of encouraging the scenario for a "separate but (not-quite) equal" approach to Web site. design.
My best example at the moment is the Amazon accessible site, which doesn't seem to allow me to actually use any of the tools I always use, such as my wishlist.
----- Original Message -----
From: sean keegan
To: 'Access Technologists in Higher Education Network'
Sent: Thursday, August 03, 2006 8:28 PM
Subject: Re: [Athen] Google tests web search for blind
I have seen the new google accessible search and have some mixed reactions
about it. From the user's perspective, it is much easier to use with a
screen-reader and can be "reflowed" reasonably well. TV Raman seems to be
the one who really put some work behind this (he is the blind developer who
created Emacspeak), so it is not surprising that it is designed for those
My concern about this, however, is how Web developers will interpret this
new search function. There is a difference in search results between the
accessible search and the regular google search - the accessible search
relies on a different page ranking algorithm to identify Web sites that are
"screen-reader friendly". There is a whole field of Web "professionals"
dedicated to giving their company the highest ranking possible for the
google search results. It would be unfortunate if we saw the reappearance
of "text-only" sites in an attempt to get the ranking high on both the
regular google search AND the accessible google search.
It will be interesting to see how this plays out...
Web Accessibility Instructor
High Tech Center Training Unit, California Community Colleges
From: athen-bounces at athenpro.org [mailto:athen-bounces at athenpro.org] On
Behalf Of James Bailey
Sent: Thursday, August 03, 2006 2:43 PM
To: Access Technologists in Higher Education Network
Subject: [Athen] Google tests web search for blind
Interesting article at:
Here's a teaser:
"TV Raman, a research scientist at Mountain View, California-based Google,
said his project sorts search results based on the simplicity of page
layout, the quality of design and the organization and labeling of
information on each page."
Adaptive Technology Access Adviser, University of Oregon
1299 University of Oregon
Eugene, OR 97403-1299
jbailey at darkwing.uoregon.edu
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