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You may have noticed it: Google displayed favicons on search result pages for a week. A favicon is an icon or logo displayed in your Web browser top tab. There’s an SEO interest as it’s displayed just before your Website URL and would be the first thing you notice when browsing Google, just before the title and meta description. Favicons are not displayed anymore, but our hack still works!

Google displays favicons in search result pages

Here is an example of our favicon displayed in Google search pages, also called a SERP (Search Engine Result Page):

favicon displayed on google search result page

To display it, follow this guide, or use a WordPress CSM like us, it’s kind of a “basic” feature.

But this isn’t the point of this article.

Our goal as SEO marketer is to get more clics on Google search result pages.

Our leverage:

  • Page title ;
  • URL, or breadcrumb (which is the website grouping as /categories/pages) ;
  • Meta-description (= 2 lines above the title).

January 28th update:

Google rolled back the favicon update, but our hack still works (even better!)… Don’t stop reading 😉

How to add an emoticon in the breadcrumb?

When Google last updated displaying favicons, we can now add emoticons directly in the breadcrumb, which looks like:

Emoticon displayed in the breadcrumb in Google SERP

We now have a little rocket displayed directly in the breadcrumb instead of /en/ from the URL.

How did we do that?

This hack emerged from a talk with Daniel Roch, owner of the agency SEOMix in Nantes (France). We needed to improve the way our homepages in English and French were displayed, which means replacing “>fr>” and “>en>” in our breadcrumbs.

Our website runs on WordPress, and we’re using Yoast SEO. This is in settings:

  • Go to WordPress back office, then click on “SEO” (Yoast Plugin)
  • Go to “Search appearance”
  • Go to “Breadcrumbs”
  • Activate if not
  • Change “Anchor text for the homepage”
  • Our website homepage isn’t on the root, but on /en/, which displays a little rocket between “” and the article category for our blog

How to add emoticon in your breadcrumbs using yoast seo in wordpress

Feedback and analysis

We’ll update this article with SERP CTR anytime soon, once we got the data from the Google Search Console. We’ve already seen that our french version of the article about b2b email marketing statistics is doing great, taking the zero position within 5 hours after publishing.

A few comments:

  • Emoticon doesn’t display for the zero position, but does on “classic” results.
  • Emoticon can be displayed on AMP pages with the “AMPforWP” plugin.
  • If the word spreads out, this can be the jungle, and we can bet it can play against us in the future, so let’s keep an eye on it.
  • The more Google robots crawl our article, the more it adds the emoticon. We can’t see a pattern but suspect that our “top articles” are updated more often and get the emoticon faster.
  • We are using data-vocabulary, which will be over by April 6,2020. We don’t know yet if this will be possible with schema-org structured data.

Have you tried this with something different than WordPress and different from data-vocabulary? Have you got some feeedback about this hack? Discuss it in the commentary below!

PS : we first wanted to use 🍆 for this SEO test, it’s good that we kept it clean…. 😅


Benoît Collet

Benoît Collet

He's our growth marketer, always seeking new acquisition opportunities and tactics, as well as new tools.