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International Search Summit - Unlocking the power of emojis for International SEO - #IntSS

International Search Summit - Unlocking the power of emojis for International SEO - #IntSS

Slides for Unlocking the power of emojis for International SEO - #IntSS (International Search Summit), celebrated on the 16th November 2023.

Sara Fernández Carmona

November 15, 2023

More Decks by Sara Fernández Carmona

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  1. Hello! I’m Sara • International SEO Consultant • Admin at

    SEO Barcelona • Polyglot • Background in Translation and Localization • Master’s in UX/UI Design Here’s where you can find me 󰡸 by @sarafdez at #IntSS @sarafdez /in/internationalseo sara-fernandez.com
  2. Origins of emojis Shigetaka Kurita is an interface designer who

    created the first emoji in 1999. The word ‘emoji’ comes from the Japanese 絵 (“e,” picture), 文 (“mo,” write) and 字 (“ji,” character). Japanese characters, or “kanji,” are largely based on Chinese ideograms, meaning the language’s writing system is already highly pictorial. “Both emoji and kanji are ideograms, but I did not find inspiration for designing emoji in the kanji. In creating emoji, I found inspiration in pictograms, manga, and all sorts of other sources.” - Shigetaka Kurita. by @sarafdez at #IntSS https://www.cnn.com/style/article/emoji-shigetaka-kurita-standards-manual/index.html
  3. Evolution of emoji indexing by @sarafdez at #IntSS https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DeW-9fhvkLM&t=893s Google

    and other search engines originally avoided indexing emojis due to cost concerns and a presumption they weren't frequently searched. However, emojis attract over a million daily searches. Implementing this change was a lengthy process, and required modifications across several systems: link processing, spelling checks, and autocomplete among others.
  4. What does Google currently say? by @sarafdez at #IntSS “Including

    or excluding emojis in title tags or meta descriptions neither significantly benefits nor harms SEO.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a5J73nYDU8E&t=2062s
  5. An aesthetic choice 󰡈 by @sarafdez at #IntSS Google does

    not give any special preference or disadvantage to pages that use emojis in their titles or descriptions. It’s primarily an aesthetic choice. If you feel that emojis enhance the UX or make the content more engaging, you can use them.
  6. Avoid misleading usage 󰢄 by @sarafdez at #IntSS Google wants

    to understand the context and meaning of emojis, much like words. However, simply adding emojis won't necessarily boost the semantic value or relevance of a page. They should be used clearly and not mislead users; otherwise, Google will exclude them from search results.
  7. by @sarafdez at #IntSS “Emojis allow us to imbue digital

    messages with the non-verbal cues inherent in face-to-face interaction: they allow us to signify the emotional context of a statement which would normally be conveyed in vocal tone, pose or gesture, rather than just the words themselves.” — Keith Broni, emoji translator. They mimic face-to-face interaction https://www.cnbc.com/2017/07/17/meet-a-guy-who-makes-a-living-translating-emojis.html
  8. It’s the most popular language by @sarafdez at #IntSS Over

    3.2 billion internet users frequently engage with emojis on their smartphones, giving emojis a broader global reach than the English language, which has 1.5 billion speakers.
  9. by @sarafdez at #IntSS 36% of millennials (ages 18-34) who

    use “visual expressions” such as emojis, GIFs and stickers say that those images better communicate their thoughts and feelings than words do. https://time.com/4834112/millennials-gifs-emojis/ Emojis communicate feelings
  10. … And if users spend more time on your site

    or interact with your content, these signals could boost your rankings in search results. by @sarafdez at #IntSS They humanize your brand…
  11. They can effectively improve CTR Emojis don't directly improve rankings.

    However, they indirectly help your SEO efforts by improving CTR. They capture attention in search results (SERPs), encouraging clicks. More clicks = more traffic. Emojis help stand out against competitors, increasing chances of receiving more clicks. by @sarafdez at #IntSS
  12. They can even boost it by @sarafdez at #IntSS Sherpas

    observed enhanced CTR by incorporating emojis in titles and meta descriptions. The site, focused on the education niche, primarily targets students. Emojis and gifs are prevalent throughout, elevating its visual appeal and aligning with its core audience. https://sherpas.com/blog/
  13. A short-term dip, long-term stability by @sarafdez at #IntSS Simone

    de Palma, Tech SEO Executive: “The addition of emojis to title tags generated an imminent loss of clicks and impressions (26%, 36%). However, 4 days after the impact, impressions and clicks returned to growing at their previous levels.” https://seodepths.com/
  14. Emoji-based search queries by @sarafdez at #IntSS Search engines also

    support search queries with emojis. Try typing “🍕recipe” or “🍕 near me”. You’ll even find results that don’t contain the emoji.
  15. Using emojis for better UX by @sarafdez at #IntSS •

    Boost visual appeal and engagement without compromising professionalism • Enhance readability and navigation • Break up lengthy content for easier comprehension Key guidelines: • Break large text sections with emojis • Use emojis in moderation to avoid appearing spammy • Keep emojis relevant to content and brand
  16. Videos with emojis rank higher Videos with emojis in their

    titles, especially those that align with the queried emoji, tend to rank higher in search results. by @sarafdez at #IntSS https://searchengineland.com/emoji-seo-presents-opportunities-for-video-319615
  17. Google Business Profile posts Emojis # of Posts Clicks (GMB)

    Clicks (GA) Average Conversions Yes 50 3.06 0.62 0.13 No 987 1.53 0.89 0.09 Posts that contained emojis got twice as many clicks and also got more conversions. by @sarafdez at #IntSS https://www.sterlingsky.ca/google-posts/
  18. Emojis in URLs by @sarafdez at #IntSS It’s possible to

    integrate emojis into website URLs or specific URL strings. Not a traditional use, but supported by search engines like Google.
  19. Emojis in URLs by @sarafdez at #IntSS Implementing emojis in

    URLs can be complex. Browsers might display them as unintuitive URL codes.
  20. Domains: Icann recommendations by @sarafdez at #IntSS https://www.icann.org/en/system/files/files/sac-095-en.pdf The Internet

    Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), responsible of managing the Internet's domain name system, doesn’t recommend emojis in domains.
  21. Icann: main challenges for domains by @sarafdez at #IntSS https://www.icann.org/en/system/files/files/sac-095-en.pdf

    Using emojis in domain names poses challenges: • Compatibility: Emojis may display differently across systems or browsers • Internationalization: Emojis' meanings can vary across cultures, leading to misunderstandings • Security: Similar-looking emojis can be used for deceptive phishing attacks • Accessibility: Screen readers might struggle with emojis, hindering users with disabilities
  22. Always consider your audience Using emojis is more suitable for

    certain niches and generations. Emojis can enhance a summer cocktail recipe page, or a blog about travel tips. However, using a syringe emoji on a healthcare page or a dollar sign emoji to a financial report could negatively impact your brand's image. by @sarafdez at #IntSS
  23. Don’t use emojis to replace words by @sarafdez at #IntSS

    Given the significant number of people dependent on screen readers globally, we can’t forget accessibility. It doesn’t matter how clear or descriptive your emojis are. They shouldn’t replace words because users are forced to interpret the meaning of the emoji instead of being told. Whenever an emoji is used, ensure that there's a text equivalent nearby. For instance, instead of just displaying an emoji of a checkmark, include the word "confirmed" or "approved" next to it.
  24. Mind differences between devices Emojis may display differently in color

    between Android and iOS. When communication relies heavily on color, this can lead to misunderstandings and accessibility challenges for users. by @sarafdez at #IntSS https://twitter.com/kremaster/status/1713990317601431950
  25. Why do emoji differences exist? iOS Android • Licensing: Emojis

    are copyrighted. OS developers need licenses, leading to diverse interpretations and designs. • Style: iOS may lean towards realism, while Android might opt for a bolder style. • Market adaptation: Designs cater to target audiences; e.g., vibrant colors for Asian markets due to cultural significance. by @sarafdez at #IntSS
  26. Common misinterpretations by @sarafdez at #IntSS 🤣 mistaken as weeping

    face by some older individuals 💅 it’s gone beyond the simple act of applying nail polish to convey displays of class or to demonstrate a lack of concern Japan: 🏩 misinterpreted as a hospital; it's a love hotel 💸 carries a negative connotation, it denotes the loss of money 💩 symbolizes good luck 💁 originally an information desk attendant, now seen as sassy
  27. Be careful with hand gestures by @sarafdez at #IntSS 🙏

    perceived as a high-five or prayer hands in Western countries and India, and as 'thank you' in Japan 🖐 interpreted as hurling curses in Pakistan ✊ in Mexico, similar to the U.S. middle finger 🤘 ‘rock on’ world wide, or an indication of adultery in countries like Italy, Spain, Portugal, and some Latin American nations ✌in Argentina, linked with Peronism due to Juan Perón 👌 in the US, it evolved from agreement to a symbol for the far-right
  28. As society evolves, emojis evolve by @sarafdez at #IntSS Syringe

    emoji💉: Original depiction showed blood dripping. During the pandemic, it was transformed to display a clear liquid, symbolizing vaccines. This adaptation made it a popular representation for vaccination among users. Gun emoji 🔫: it originally represented a realistic handgun. However, due to concerns about online misuse, it was changed by many tech companies, starting with Apple in 2016, to resemble a water pistol. This shift prompted discussions on the role and influence of tech firms in shaping online communication.
  29. When in doubt, it's always a good idea to ask

    a local or someone familiar with the cultural nuances. It's essential to research and ensure that the chosen emojis convey the intended meanings across different cultures to avoid misinterpretations or cultural insensitivities. by @sarafdez at #IntSS
  30. by @sarafdez at #IntSS Otherwise, they can get your business

    or even you in trouble https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/local/wp/2016/02/27/a-12-year-old-girl-is-facing-cri minal-charges-for-using-emoji-shes-not-alone/
  31. Emojis can infuse personality into content, making brands more relatable

    and human-centric across diverse audiences. by @sarafdez at #IntSS
  32. When displayed, emojis can make title tags and meta descriptions

    more visually appealing, potentially boosting click-through rates. by @sarafdez at #IntSS
  33. Find hidden treasures by @sarafdez at #IntSS The "intitle:" search

    operator can indeed be used to find results that display a specific emoji in the title. This can be a fun way to discover content that is intentionally marked with certain emojis by creators.
  34. Thank you for bee-ing here! 🐝🐝🐝🐝 by @sarafdez at #IntSS

    @sarafdez /in/internationalseo sara-fernandez.com Any questions? 💡