The digital marketing world was excited (and a little apprehensive) when it was discovered that Google now allows websites to spruce up title tags with some emoji décor. Emojis in title tags could increase link visibility in desktop search results, therefore increase click-through rates (one of the top organic ranking factors). Emojis have been available in mobile searches since 2012, but were never been a possibility for desktop until last week.
Expedia, a massive travel search service, wasted no time and began experimenting with the icons almost immediately. Links to hotel offerings were accented by the hotel emoji, and the airplane seat emoji was spotted next to links advertising inexpensive flights.
However, emojis will most likely not be around long enough to adequately test if they have an impact on click through rates. Typically, Google takes action to minimize anything that can become spam, and the emojis are no exception. Although most thought leaders in the digital marketing sphere have speculated that this addition will be short-lived, John Mueller confirmed it during a Google Webmaster Hangout on May 5. He conceded that he too liked them at first, but agrees that some sites may become too liberal with their emoji title tag usage, cluttering search engine results pages. Google won’t be demoting the sites who use them, but the emojis will eventually be filtered out of search results, much like how Unicode symbols are filtered already.
In short, adding emojis to title tags may be a fun experiment for your digital team, but isn’t something time and resources should be put toward since they’ll be disappearing soon.