Earlier this month we reported on Google’s test of favicons in Germany and Poland in AdWords. Subsequently I was alerted by someone in email that this was happening in the UK as well. Dave Naylor noticed it today in the UK and has some screenshots. I was unable to find any conducting various searches on Google.co.uk.
In addition Blastmodo found them in AdWords in the US:
Previously Barry also noticed favicons being tested in organic results.
So why is Google doing this? A cynic would respond it’s to boost CTRs, which the Checkout icon has reportedly done in many cases for companies that participate. However I believe there are a number of issues converging here:
- The pressure to allow “branding on SERPs” (a la Search Monkey)
- The shift to a more “visual” SERP via universal/blended search
- And . . . the desire for higher CTRs
Assume that Google rolls this out. If everyone gets to do it and/or they’re inserted with all ads it could result in clutter and “favicon blindness” to some degree. But I believe that we will see favicons on SERPs.