> Is there a prevailing wisdom in this matter?
> Content first? Or navigation first?

You're probably referring to this:
"It is our view, that a continuation of the practice of placing navigation
before the content of the page will benefit some screen reader users, in
particular those users who are still developing their skills with the

Bruce Lawson suggests otherwise:
"Personally, I use the visual layout of nav on the left, but at the bottom
of the source. With a huge nav like a blog generally has, I think Google
likes my content better if it¹s at the top of the source, and it¹s better
for screenreader users not to tab through endless nav."

Vision Australia suggests that source order should reflect the visual order
of the page where possible. So, if you had as header across the top of the
page, then three columns beside each other (such as navigation, content,
extra information), the source order should follow the same order. This
would mean (header followed by navigation, content and finally, extras).

Like many areas of accessibility, there are grey areas and differences of
opinion. :)

However, most people would agree that:

1. consistency across the site is the most important thing (changing the
source order on different pages could cause a great deal of confusion).

2. if navigation comes before content, skip links are valuable for certain
types of users.
"But for less experienced screen reader users, it seems clear that many are
likely to find skip links a useful device for moving directly to specific
sections of the page."

An endless debate. And this is before opening up the other aspect of the
debate... How source order affects Google rank  :)


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