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Shauna Armitage

Emojis are Being Booted from Google Search Results

Shauna Armitage
Emojis are Being Booted from Google Search Results

You know what I’m saying?

Wait — you don’t? That’s strange. I thought that I had said it all quite clearly.

Once upon a time, people used to talk to one another. Then they started texting instead. Today, it’s impossible for us to rely completely on the written word to express an idea or thought — enter emojis.

It’s no secret that emojis are taking over. The little visual representations of thoughts, ideas and feelings had their debut way back in 1999, but in many cases have proved to overtake all other forms of communication. There are many of options available today when it comes to expressing ourselves visually — from crying yellow faces to smiling excrement.

The emoji fad had become so popular, that Google decided to include it in their search results.

So Many Problems, So Little Time

Emojis are fun to use because sometimes, there just aren’t words. When it comes to a Google Search, however, there should always be enough words.

It’s our job as SEOs to find the right words (keywords, long tail keywords, etc.) and offer value to our readers. It’s through that value (as well as some exceptional writing) that Google finds our work and offers it up as an answer for search queries. What happens, however, when emojis can be used as search terms? Spam happens, that’s what.

John Mueller of Google Switzerland recently said:

“I thought that looked really cool when I saw the first pages that were using that, but I think it’s really easy to over do that, so I think it’s something we’ll take action on it at some point… So it’s definitely not something I’d recommend as a strategy going forward, not something I’d recommend putting a lot of energy into to adding this into your site. It’s a lot of work and essentially soon they just won’t be shown at all. So it’s like a waste of time, you might as well focus on things that will give you long term results to improve the quality of your site overall rather than just mess with the snippets.”

So there you have it. It’s time to get back to relevance, quality, and value with our SEO work.

Putting The Relevance Back Into SEO

SEOs and the lay content marketer alike can throw some money bags and fist bumps into their page titles and body text to help make their brand more visible. While the goal of many businesses is to generate traffic, that traffic means nothing if it isn’t relevant.

Unless you are a magazine or a blog that gains sponsorship based off of your numbers, random traffic isn’t useful. (Even then, the emojis aren’t likely to make your site look all that professional, which may mean no repeat traffic.) Most of us aren’t just focused on traffic alone. Instead, conversions and revenue are the determining factors for a brand’s success online — neither of which can be obtained with an audience who visited at random with no context and no intention.

Because emojis don’t really give any context in a search or in results, they aren’t likely to drive qualified leads to landing pages, which is what businesses are ultimately looking for. They may look nice, they may be fun, but emojis don’t provide any real value. Without value, you can’t expect to build trust and drive sales.

Back To Basics

The good news for everyone who has spent time decking out their posts and pages with sunglasses, skulls, and little yellow people with bad attitudes is that Google won’t be penalizing pages with emojis on them — just removing emojis from the search result equation.

This brings us all back to reality a bit. We’ve got to write our content with real people in mind and contrary to popular belief, real people still read stuff. In fact, many enjoy getting information this way. Emojis are on their way out of search results because they weren’t doing anything good for brands, searchers, or Google.

We can’t say that we’re sad to see them go. We’re happy to refocus on the parts of SEO that bring real value to searchers and businesses alike.

✌️ emojis. It’s been real; just not real relevant.

Image credit: Emojis & Canva

Shauna Armitage is the Director of Inbound Marketing at Derek Palizay & Associates, a full-service digital marketing firm that focuses on making all businesses successful. She is also the co-founder of PureWander.com and a HubSpot-certified professional. Connect with Shauna on Twitter. Her last article for SEMrush was “Emojis are Being Booted from Google Search Results."

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