SEO for Emoji, Photos, Visuals, and Graphics: Can You Rank for Emoji-Based Searches?

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Emoji Marketing

For the Generation Z, things have actually changed a lot – meetups have now come down to conference calls and facial expressions have been replaced by the even more expressive emojis and gif exchanges over the chatting.  And in the times when photos, graphics, visuals, and emojis are being preferred more as a communication medium by the millennium rather than even typing a message, marketers really need to pay attention to this changing online culture. 

Remember the times when website domains have just started coming in and there were just a handful of people who had invested in common word domains like greetings.com, holidays.com, and pizza.com? Well! They turned out of being the smart ones and they earned profits of millions of dollars by selling those domains when the internet became all about how we do the businesses.

Emojis may have the same fate. In fact, if you would have noticed Google started allowing its users to search for anything by using emojis from 2016, while Yahoo, Yelp, and Bing were already providing emoji search since quite some time now.

But before we get started with how the emoji and graphic culture is going to benefit the marketers to promote their websites, let’s first understand that what does the terms photos, graphics, visuals, and emojis actually refer too.

Yes, people! Though we often use them as they are not interchangeable terms.

·         Photos are the original pictures that are click first hand
·         Graphics are designs created on some surface like canvas, wall or to illustrate
·         Visuals are the created imageries outside the live action context
·         Emojis are the smileys and ideograms used in the electronic communication modes

The Rise of Emoji SEO


If you would search by using emoji in Google’s Image search engine can provide you the results, then it will bring you the real images of the emoji used. In fact, many of the top results show the emoji itself too. In fact, even if you will search using an emoji in the general Google search engine, it will show you the results and businesses relevant to that emoji.

For instance, if you would search by using ‘cake emoji + near me’ and your location is on, then it will show you the results of pizza places that are near your area. However, the thing worth noting here is that the businesses which show in the result have neither used any of the emojis on their website and nor in their meta description.

And since the trend of using emoji just seem to be on a rise, with more than 92% people using the internet finding it easier to use emojis to express their thoughts and views rather than typing, marketers sure have a bandwagon to jump on and benefit from. And with recent popular marketing campaigns like Deadpool’s billboard putting emojis to perfect use, it seems like the adorable smileys which are present in different genres including facial expressions, products, and foods are just going to expand the creativity horizon in the future.

Incorporating Emojis in SEO


So, now comes the major question that how can the emojis be used for online content to ensure that a website is SEO oriented. We have been seeing the use of emojis in a various marketing campaign, but how can they be used for ranking? Or how can they be beneficial in domains as GoDaddy has now started allowing the user to register a domain name consisting emojis also?

Emojis is Search Terms


When a user searches for anything online, there are different types of search terms being used and currently, emoji searches for each type of term seem to be showing different results, which we are going to discuss:

Local Searches


If you would use just the cake emoji in the search box, then there is a higher probability of it showing the results related to that emoji or its description. However, just adding terms like ‘near me’ or ‘around me’ along with the cake emoji provides the results of places which provide cakes around the location detected.

Branded Searches


Using a ‘cycle emoji + for sale’ surprisingly didn’t necessary show any results of businesses selling a cycle. Rather, Google currently lists the posts which have an emoji of cycle used in them and have the word sale in them, including all the YouTube videos and social media posts.

City Searches


Even if you are not searching for something locally but you use an emoji of pizza along with any city name, say Ontario, then the Google shows up some relevant results with a list of places that serve pizza in the Ontario city.

Based on these search result, you must be wondering that Google is simply translating the emoji to its textual meaning to search for the relevant results, but that is not the case. The results are shown with search terms “Pizza Near Me” and “pizza emoji + near me” are actually quite different if you would look up on Google.

This implies that Google is using different algorithms while searching for emoji inputs than their text equivalents. So, there lies a huge potential in figuring out the methods to optimize emoji searches and if you can come up with some relevant theory, you will surely get the first-mover benefit.

Final Thoughts


If you are thinking that why would people search using emojis when they can type (and are used to it) then you are certainly ignoring a huge lot of the online audience which likes to communicate only through emojis, and the number is only increasing. And being a marketer, you certainly cannot afford to miss on a trend that is on rising and seem to have huge future potential.


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Author Bio
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Ashish Sharma
Ashish Sharma is a Content writer and Key Account Manager, looking after Marketing Strategies and building new business tie-ups at WeDigTech - A Mobile App Development Company in India. Focused on helping enterprises StartUps from domestic to MNCs.





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