Although Google supports emojis in search results, it may choose to filter them out in certain circumstances.
The topic of emojis in search results came up during a recent Google Webmaster Central hangout with John Mueller.
A site owner was concerned about emojis not showing up in search after being added to his site’s meta descriptions.
Googlebot seems to have picked up on the new meta descriptions, it’s displaying everything except for the emojis.
The site owner was particularly frustrated because emojis are being displayed in a competitor’s meta descriptions, but not his.
So, what’s the problem here?
Mueller says there are two different aspects to this issue.
Why Google May Not Display Emojis in Search Results
Google does support emojis in search results, however, they will only be displayed when considered relevant to the query.
Mueller gave several examples of why Google may choose to filter emojis out of a meta title or description.
Emojis may be filtered out if:
- They’re considered misleading
- They look too spammy
- They’re simply out of place
Site owners should also keep in mind that Google does not always display exactly what is provided as a meta title or description.
SERPs can end up being displayed in different ways depending on the query.
So you may find that emojis are showing up for some searches but not for others.
With all of that said, there is nothing inherently wrong with using emojis in meta titles and descriptions.
Just don’t expect them to be shown in search results 100% of the time.
The full question and answer can be heard in the video below (starting at 1:04:06):
“There are two aspects there. We don’t always show exactly what is listed in the description and title. So that might be playing a role there.
With regards to emojis we also filter some of these out in the search results. So, in particular, if we think that it might be misleading, or looks too spammy, or too out of place, then we might be filtering that out.
So depending on what you’re showing, and what you’re seeing otherwise in the search results, if the same emoji is being shown in other sites then we could be able to show it for your site as well.
It’s probably just a matter of us picking up the title and description and actually showing that to users.