Why is Accessibility important for SEO?

Profile picture of Arjan Schouten, author of the blog post.
Author Arjan Schouten

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SEO professionals aim to drive targeted traffic to websites through search engines and optimize the website to ensure conversions. What is the effect of Accessibility on SEO? Should you care as an SEO professional about Accessibility?

1. Is Accessibility a direct ranking factor for SEO?

Accessibility is not a ranking factor for SEO. In an interview in 2022, John Mueller clarified that Accessibility is not a direct ranking factor. At the same time, he says it might be at some point, but there are no plans for it.

However, Google is committed to promoting Accessibility and helps web developers to address Accessibility issues on their websites. We see this commitment in the fact that Google added Accessibility testing in Chrome Lighthouse. Chrome Lighthouse is a part of the Chrome Devtools.

Accessibility is not a direct ranking factor for Google.

2. What is the Positive Impact of Accessibility on SEO?

Improving the Accessibility of a website has an indirect impact on SEO. The indirect benefits of Accessibility on SEO are:

  1. Improved User Experience
  2. Larger Target Audience
  3. Brand reputation
  4. Strengthening Technical SEO

Improved User Experience

Improving accessibility can have a positive effect on people without disabilities as well.

An example of a common accessibility issue is insufficient color contrast. Adequate color contrast between text and background makes the text readable for people with visual impairments. However, improving color contrast also makes it easier for people without visual impairments to read the text.

This positive experience leads to lower bounce rates, and higher conversions - all of which search engines like Google consider when ranking websites.

Larger Target Audience

According to the World Health Organization, around 15% of the world's population experiences some form of disability.

If you don't address accessibility on your websites, you might have a smaller target audience.

Brand reputation

Optimizing for accessibility demonstrates a commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility which has a positive impact on brand reputation.

Strengthening Technical SEO

Accessibility guidelines have a positive impact on technical SEO.

For instance, providing alternative text (alt text) for images not only benefits visually impaired users but also assists search engines in understanding and indexing your content accurately.

Another example is the usage of landmarks. Landmark elements such <main> or <nav> provide context for Assistive Technologies such as screen readers. At the same time, Search Engines have a better understanding of the content on the page.


Although Accessibility is not a direct ranking factor, it is important enough to address for a website. Accessibility might have a positive effect on SEO indirectly because of improved user experience.

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