Do you know what Lynx is?

Lynx is a text-based web browser, first released in 1992! In my mind there is no better window to what search engines see of your websites than running them in Lynx. Now the web is full of images and video and stunning in-page interactivity, but it’s really a text delivery system.

On the left of this image is what you see when you log into LinkedIn with Lynx. Kudos for allowing authentication to work at all! But it’s not usable. I’ve not inspected the underlying code to know why all that JSON is visible but I expect that’s source data for the single page app that runs the landing page. I trust LinkedIn knows that supporting text-only for logged in use is of marginal value considering even the lowest end smartphone can run JavaScript.

On the right is what a web crawler for a search engine would “see!” And it’s not bad at all! No errors, no accessibility issues, a minimum of duplication. At core, SEO is about whether your text is well structured and available to the web crawlers. And that screen shows the goods. Kudos again, LinkedIn.


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