You may not care for emojis, but they’re here to stay, and they’re growing in usage and choices. Emojis are frequently used on social networks like Twitter and messaging apps like Slack to express sentiment, react to posts, and efficiently communicate without words. They are also used in email subject lines to bring more attention to messages. Where emojis aren’t frequently used are on web pages.
There’s an opportunity for publishers to use emojis to bring more attention to their content on Google Search. At the 2019 Google Webmaster Conference in Mountain View, CA, Paul Haahr confirmed in his presentation, Improving Search Over the Years (PDF via IPFS), that Google Search fully comprehends and uses emojis.
For SEOs, emojis represent a way to disambiguate content further when used contextually. Coupled with the potential for improved search rankings, they help make search snippets stand out from competing results. Here are examples of how sites can use emojis to make their content more visible in Google Search.
📑 Table of contents
🍞 Emojis in breadcrumbs
Including emojis in
BreadcrumbList Schema.org structured data can result in Google displaying them in the search snippet. This code example shows how to incorporate them into the JSON-LD.
📰 Emojis in page titles
Emojis can also be used in page titles. Keep in mind that emojis in page titles and other page elements won’t guarantee Google will display them. However, if the emoji are relevant to the content and are used contextually, I’ve found it will increase the chance of Google including them in search snippets.
📝 Emojis in meta descriptions
Google gives meta descriptions emoji love too. While emojis can be included in the meta description, it’s important to remember that studies have found that Google rewrites meta descriptions 60-70% of the time. So if you want to increase your chances of Google including emojis in the search snippet’s description, consider using emojis in relevant areas of the page content.
✨ Emojis in rich results
Emojis aren’t confined to breadcrumbs, page titles, and meta descriptions in the search result snippet. They can also be displayed in rich results. For example, Google Search sometimes displays emojis used in table cells. The same is likely true for lists and other structured content patterns and data.
🌐 Emoji domains
Like QR codes, Emoji domains never became popular, but they are still very much a thing, and they keep trying to make a comeback. More importantly, Google Search supports them.
Google Search Console also supports emoji domains.
And Cloudflare supports emoji domains too.
Emoji domains are limited to a handful of top-level domains (TLDs), but they’re fun to use. While they may not be the best choice for a primary site, they can be used for microsites, a marketing campaign, or a URL shortener.
I use the emoji domain
🐺💡.to with YOURLS for a URL shortener. It works on Twitter and allows me to display a unique looking URL on posts: https://🐺💡.to/neeva
ℹ️ Emojis and Google Search
Using emojis doesn’t guarantee Google will display them in its search results, and they’re not for every site. However, they’re worth testing to see what works and what doesn’t, and to make sure you aren’t missing out on better visibility and more traffic.