Mobile searches have shown emojis for years – since 2012 in fact. They’re a popular feature of mobile communication where ideograms or smileys are used to express meaning.
Originating from Japan, the word emoji literally means ‘picture’ (e) + ‘character’ (moji) – picture character. It’s no surprise really that the use spread from Japan – much like the conventional smiley, people like expressing themselves through images. What better way to show sadness without seeming too sincere than with a sad face? Or to add a little more emotion to a statement that otherwise seems flat. ‘Nice to see you’, for example, seems a lot more genuine with a smile on the end. Emojis work on the same principle.
Now, it seems that emojis have begun showing up on desktop searches too. As reported by Search Engine Land, however, searching using emojis does not work on Google as it does on Bing.
A quick search for ‘emojis’ should now display the little symbols, and if you perform the search yourself you should begin to see where the problems may lie. They’re everywhere. Admittedly, the first two results are for sites dedicated to emojis so it’s no surprise that their titles and meta descriptions are full of them.
However, if other sites begin to show similar amounts of emojis then we have a problem – spammy emojis. What if spammers decide to use them to make their sites stand out above the rest? Anyone remember the overuse of MSN Messenger emotions? Imagine that, but in the SERPs.
Google, help us.