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OK here is a little pop quiz today. Spot the difference between the follow two blocks.
Did you spot anything? No? Correct! That’s because visually there is no difference at all.
Now try and select the type in each block. It’s easy in Block A but impossible in Block B. That is because block B is an image but block A is pure HTML with a little CSS styling. Just like your cursor, a search engine is blind to the words in block B but has 20/20 vision to the words in Block A.
The typeface used to generate these blocks is not one we would usually see on a web site. We web designers have had to stick to a small family of web safe fonts to ensure that the copy of a site can be read no matter what computer or platform you are using. Any use of a font outside this small family means that we have to use a “blind to search engines ” image.
However thanks to Google Font Directory the world of web safe fonts is coming to an end. The directory currently contains just a small number of more usual typeface that can be easily integrated into a web site, like Reenie Beanie above. It is not widely used yet but I predict the number of typeface added to the directory will rapidly grow.
- Smaller files sizes
- Easier and faster to update than pure images.
- More search engine friendly
- Much bigger family of “web safe fonts”
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