On May 18th 2016, Searchengineland reported that Google was now supporting Emoji search functions, almost two years after Bing activated the same possibility in its search results.

Previously, Google would return a ‘no results found’ screen if searching with an Emoji, but now we get search results in small form, for SEO agencies like ourselves this poses an interesting development.


Searching in Emojis

Despite a recent drop in search share, Google still holds 71% of the search market, so any changes to search trends should be considered.

Now, as reported by Searchengineland, there’s a difference between Bing search results and Google emoji search results.

Bing will show results related to what the emoji is – for example a train search will bring up results such as National Rail Enquiries.

Whereas Google will show results about the emoji itself – meaning websites such as Emojipedia are likely to see traffic spike in the coming weeks as users toy with the new functions on mobiles.


What Does is it Mean for Search?

Within the search marketing world if Google makes a minor change now, it is likely a larger change is coming in the future and as mobile search continues to put itself in prime position to eventually be called just ‘search’, it is increasingly likely emoji search has a larger part to play.

However, in the immediate future it is more of a gimmick to highlight what Google (and Bing) can achieve for users increasingly attracted to mobile and emoji use.


Should you change your website?

Although it seems like there’s an indefinite amount of emojis being developed, and it has been billed as the fastest growing language of the modern age, actual emoji use in search is (and could continue to be) limited.

For example, a simple train search works fine, but searching for particular times, stations or locations isn’t possible through just emojis, meaning users are unlikely to switch ‘languages’ mid-search. So starting in emojis and finishing in English isn’t going to happen, users are more likely to remain in their native tongue.

On top of this there’s the use of Apps – such as the National Rail App, which completely removes the need to actually search.

Long term, it is worthwhile following any emoji based developments in search, but working with an SEO agency to achieve ranking in mobile is where resources should be at the moment. Elements such as user experience, website responsiveness and long term app development optimised for deep linking should all be considered.

POLARIS is a London SEO Agency with experience across multiple sectors. Our experience includes mobile first SEO, app store optimisation and ROI driven campaigns over the short, medium and long terms.

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