Monday, August 21, 2006

Google Accessible Search Engine

I found a search engine that I really like. It's called Google's Accessible Search and is in beta testing right now. Accessible uses Google's PageRank system and added an evaluation to determine how easy the web page is to use. This is a great step forward because Google has shown the ability to link PageRank to accessibility, and will make Accessible Search much more useful to a wider range of people.

I found the results interesting when I used the search term "family history," because Accessible returned no American website on the first page. The Cleveland Family History Society was #2 on the second page with 2 more before the end of the page. Google has no international on the first return page and only 2 international sites on the second page.

"Flowers" was the next search term I used, and again I found that Accessible had more international results (Google had none on the first page). Only 3 American companies showed up on the first page and a company from the UK had the first position.

Why is the difference so great between the two search engines? Accessible searches for sites that use Web Standards, and are in compliance with Web Accessibility Guidelines. In fact I learned that 2 of the 3 American companies on Accessible's "flowers" first return page used the same search engine marketing firm.

The next search term I used was "online marketing" and both Google and Accessible had USWeb as #1 on the first return page. I used "Internet marketing" as my next search term and USWeb was #2 on Accessible and #8 on Google.

It would make a lot of sense for Google to use these guidelines in their main search engine. A website that uses Accessible Search Guidelines is using a road map to a better site. When I am looking for a search engine marketing firm, USWeb's track record makes it the one I would choose.

Governement and education websites already comply with the Accessible Search Guidelines.

The link to a site that explains the guidelines is in the Link section to the right along with the link to Accessible Search. Go ahead and try it out and compare the two search engines.

Dale L. Edwards

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