January 29th 2020

Accessibility accuracy improvements

We've launched a wide range of enhancements to our accessibility testing today.

The vast majority of websites shouldn't experience more than a 2% change to their scores, but low quality websites may notice their score go down more.

Mobile support more important

Pages which completely fail to work in mobile, including pages using Flash, are now penalised more heavily. This reflects the increasing importance of mobile to UX, Accessibility and SEO.

New accessibility check for "skip to content"

We now automatically flag pages which omit the ability to skip to the main content of the page via either (a) a skip to content link or (b) the main role.

New accessibility checks for tables

Silktide now checks that data tables include appropriate headers and scope attributes.

Historically the use of tables has been hard to evaluate reliably, as WCAG permits the use of tables for layout which don't have these requirements. However, our data shows that in 2020 the use of tables for layout is almost non-existent, so we have defaulted to assuming most tables are for data.

New accessibility checks for semantic HTML

The absence of basic semantic HTML will now reduce accessibility scores. For example: websites which use large text in place of heading tags.

Placeholder links are now flagged

Under the Quality section, we now highlight links which appear to point to nowhere, and which are often left behind by mistake, e.g. <a href="#">. These links currently have almost no impact on your score.

Using the new checks

These checks will appear automatically the next time you run a report. On average they will impact your score by less than 2%.

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