When using a website to promote a business or brand, it’s vital to use all of the features that can help your site stand out. Current site designs contain many small elements that may seem insignificant, but that makes a site look complete and helps the website to make an impression on the visitor. To encourage people to use favicons, and to get more use out of the ones already created, Google will begin adding favicons for a website in the search results.
A favicon is a small icon that is associated with a website. When visiting pages on the site, the favicon will show in the tab, right before the name of the page. Typically, the favicon is a much smaller version of the company logo for the business running the website. For example, the YouTube favicon is a small logo for the platform.
In cases where the company’s logo is too detailed to be shrunk down, another image should be used for the favicon. This situation happens most when a company has a lot of text in their logo. When the image is shrunk to favicon size, the words become too small to read. Web developers faced with this problem either use a different image or skip the favicon all together.
Google is making favicons more meaningful by including them in the search results. Just as a site without a favicon looks incomplete compared to sites with a favicon, sites in search without a favicon will look less legitimate compared to websites that do. Including the image also works to improve brand awareness.
As Google explained in a blog post announcing the change, “With this new design, a website’s branding can be front and center, helping you better understand where the information is coming from and what pages have what you’re looking for.”
The name of the website and its icon appear at the top of the results card to help anchor each result. Google believes that this set will mean consumers can “more easily scan the page of results and decide what to explore next.”
This redesign may be the start of more significant changes to come to Google Search in the near future. Google plans to use the new design to add more action buttons and helpful previews to search results cards. It will give everyone a better sense of the web page’s content with clear attribution back to the source. This thinking also applies to advertising in search results. Google will include a bolded label to make it more clear which content is an advertisement and who is paying for the ad.
The new design for favicons and search results will be available very soon. According to media reports, Google’s new look for search results will be coming to mobile first, then rolling out over the next few days. Take some time to ensure your website has the proper favicon and that it looks the way it should in search results.
For more recent news about changes and updates to Google, read this article on Google’s recent redesign for Google Shopping and how these changes will affect the experiences of consumers online.