It should come as no surprise that emojis are finally finding their way onto the Internet. They’ve become our culture’s way of representing emotions and translating thoughts into short, easy text messages. Some people even have entire conversations using emojis! So how are they being used and perceived online? Bing and Google are handling them differently.
Google may be king of the search engines, but Bing actually beat it to the emoji race. Nick Roberts, Microsoft’s senior program manager of Bing, encourages using emojis in search. His take on the subject: “With the explosion of mobile devices and the ubiquity of texting, it has become a shorthand language used by billions of us around the world.” Roberts believes that we should be able to search the same way we communicate every day. Beginning in October 2014, Bing allowed users who do not want to type out entire words to use emojis instead for search. Bing recognizes the images used and comes up with what they’ve deemed are the best semantic search results for that user. For example, searching the kissing face emoji brings up the Wikipedia page for “kiss” as well as videos on tutorials and the history of kissing. And searching just one emoji isn’t Bing’s limit. Users can combine several emojis in one search, whether it’s strictly images or mixed with text. For example, typing “When is the” followed by the dolphin and football emojis shows the Miami Dolphin’s season schedule and other related news. The only catch for now is that emojis only work on Bing mobile search, due to the fact that emojis are most often used on mobile devices.
Google Search Results
While Bing is allowing users to use emojis in searches, Google is displaying them in titles and descriptions of actual search results. Simply search “emoji” and you’ll see plenty of examples coming from various emoji-related websites. The same goes for mobile search results. And though this is a fairly new development, companies seem to be wasting no time testing the waters. After all, if additional imagery leads to more visibility and higher click-through-rates, then why not? Expedia seems to be the first company people are noticing emoji use in search results. It appears that Expedia is only testing specific pages, so search correctly and you’ll see what I’m talking about. Some examples to try are “cheap flights to portland,” “hotel wedding venues” and “car rentals.” There’s plenty more to see, just visit this article from the The SEM Post.
In addition to search results, Google is also allowing emojis to appear in PPC advertising. But which emoji symbols does Google allow? By running a series of tests on some of its consenting clients, online advertising resource WordStream found that there’s no clear rule on which images are accepted and rejected by Google as “punctuation errors.” As seen in a test below, the ad that includes emojis received more clicks, impressions and a higher click-through-rate than the competing standard ad. And if you’re wondering how to add emojis, it’s quite simple! Just go to getemoji.com, find the image you like and copy and paste – it’s that easy. Keep in mind, however, that some ads may not be approved. It’s a matter of going through the selection of emojis you want to use and seeing if Google approves. But we can assure you that emoji ads do exist and are running.
An Emoji Driven Future?
Because Google isn’t providing much in the way of insights or announcements, there’s no guarantee that emojis will stay on the Internet in the long run, especially for PPC advertising. But there’s no denying the benefits of searching with emojis or using them in ads, titles and descriptions to stand out and get noticed.
As with any great Internet marketing strategy, it’s all about taking advantage of new opportunities as they come. If you’re ready to try something new, get in touch with us at Sage Island. We’re always pushing the boundaries so our clients can succeed in our ever-changing, digital marketing world.
Mike Duncan co-founded Sage Island in 1997, and since then has evolved the agency’s scope to include marketing strategy, creative design, technical development and a wide range of digital marketing services. With an integrated approach that leverages the power and measurability of the internet, the savvy Sage Island team develops strategies, builds brands, writes killer copy and delivers to clients all over the world. And they have an awesome time doing it. Sage’s collaborative working environment keeps creativity and innovation at the heart of the concept. With a 17-year history in Wilmington and beyond, Sage Island shows no signs of slowing down. To learn how Sage Island can grow your business, check us out at www.sageisland.com. To stay updated on the latest in digital marketing, follow Sage Island on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SageIsland, and on Twitter at twitter.com/SageIsland.
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