Google has revealed that emoji will once again show up in search results snippets, reversing a decision taken in 2015 to remove the characters from its results. Further context was added with the announcement that emoji will appear “where relevant, useful and fun,” and we can expect to see more of them in future. This will apply to both desktop and mobile results. A search for something as on the nose as [emoji] reveals how we can expect some results to look: Why has Google made this decision now, how prevalent will emoji become in search results, and should marketers already be trialling this latest development? Google and emoji: A brief history Emoji are pretty much everywhere nowadays, and their uptake as a form of communication is not surprising. Our brains process visual information 60,000 times faster than text, plus they come with the intrinsic benefit of circumventing language barriers. Moreover, they’re pretty fun. Advertisers, of course, have sniffed an opportunity to connect with a younger audience ‘in their own language’, with some mixed results along the way. This is still a ubiquitous feature of online (particularly mobile) communication, with brands and celebrities routinely distilling their message into a couple of cute images on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. Google, however, had adopted a different stance. After seeing that some brands were over-indulging in the emoji trend in an attempt to attract more clicks, Google removed the characters from its results altogether in 2015. The offending parties were placing the characters…
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