Last week, we reported that emojis have begun showing up on desktop as well as mobile searches. We also mentioned potential problems with this, in that spammers may begin to make use of emojis to attract users to their sites. Now, it seems that Expedia is experimenting with them.
Expedia.com is part of the Expedia, Inc. company dealing with global online travels. As such, it evidently is not a spammy site. It has, however, begun using emojis in title tags to increase visibility, which – when abused – can be seen as spammy.
Whilst Expedia have only used one emoji per title tag, they are nevertheless attempting to manipulate the search results in a way that could lead to search results filled with spam. Say, for example, that another well-known travel site also wants to stand out – so they ‘one-up’ Expedia and use two emojis. Say, the next webmaster uses three, then four and so on. Before we know it, the SERPs are filled with title tags overloaded with emojis, causing trouble understanding titles and general frustration.
What will be interesting to see is how many other sites follow suit. How many will snap up the opportunity to manipulate user behaviour without jumping up the ranks? How many will sit and wait to see how this new ‘feature’ fares? After all, it probably wouldn’t surprise any of us if Google ditch it before long. It’s asking for spam.
If you would like more information, or help with search engine optimisation, then talk to someone at Search Marketing Group today.