Brand elements, like logos, slogans, and taglines, are essential to creating your company’s identity. They differentiate you from competitors and enhance awareness among customers, being able to develop robust and unique brand associations, and elicit desirable brand judgments and feelings.
Visual elements, like logos and symbols, are especially valuable to create brand equity. An inconspicuous visual brand element are favicons — small icons that represent a website and usually are shown on the navigation bar. And, thanks to Google’s latest updates, favicons are bound not to be so inconspicuous anymore for the Search Marketing world.
On January 13, Google announced a redesign to its search results page (SERPs) on desktop, bringing favicons to the top line of the search result, before the domain name, on organic results. At the same time, the company changed the “ad” icon shown on search ads, making it less prominent. The mobile SERP went through a similar redesign last year, and the company explained that the idea behind it was to have a website’s branding “front and center, helping you better understand where the information is coming from and what pages have what you’re looking for.”
The backlash for the desktop changes was very loud, from pointing out that the visual was ugly to accusing Google of trying to make ads more discreet and of graying the line between ads and organic results. Last week, the company decided to give a step back and announced that it had heard the feedback, and it would be experimenting with new placements for favicons on desktop.
Search has a lot of potential as a branding strategy, and now, considering the trends that Google is bringing to the search, SEOers will need to consider how to apply the fundamentals of brand elements to the SERP.