According to a recent study, the most neglected aspect of technical optimization is website accessibility for the visually impaired and blind.
The study from Searchmetrics used Google Lighthouse to test the level of technical optimization of high-ranking websites.
For the most part, the results of the study are as expected. High ranking websites tend to be fast, use the latest web technologies, and provide an adequate level of security.
What stood out most was the fact that many highly-ranked sites on Google are not doing enough to make their pages accessible to people with disabilities.
The average overall score for accessibility for sites that appear in the top 20 positions on Google was 66.6 out of 100.
That’s the lowest score of the four website Lighthouse categories that were analyzed in the study.
The Google Lighthouse accessibility score is based on how sites perform on tests that measure areas such as color contrast and whether images, buttons, and fields in online forms have been tagged with meaningful names and descriptions.
Daniel Furch, Director of Marketing EMEA at Searchmetrics, speaks on these results:
“If you don’t make your site easily accessible to those with disabilities, including those with impaired vision, you cut yourself off of from a large group of visitors.
Not only is it ethically a good idea to be inclusive, but also obviously you could be turning away potential customers. And some sites have even faced lawsuits for failing on this issue.”
For more information about Google Lighthouse ranking factors in 2019, download the full study here.