Google has started to show favicons next to the website name in mobile search results. On Twitter, Google’s Danny Sullivan said that Google switches inappropriate icons into default icons:
I'd suggest you switch back ASAP. This wasn't unanticipated. In cases of inappropriate favicons — and this almost certain will be such — we can change the site to only get the default favicon https://t.co/wZYUBkW1Aa pic.twitter.com/W0kevj8EFw— Danny Sullivan (@dannysullivan) May 27, 2019
We have automated means and already can take reports by those who use the Feedback link at the bottom of the page or though our spam reporting page https://t.co/n8jLZFWVJ5— Danny Sullivan (@dannysullivan) May 27, 2019
If we think we need more specific tools, those might get added.
Google has guidelines for favicons
Google has guidelines for favicons. You must follow these guidelines to be eligible for a favicon next to your search results. Google does not guarantee a favicon in the search results, even if all guidelines are met:
- Both the favicon file and the home page must be crawlable by Google (that is, they cannot be blocked to Google).
- Your favicon should be a visual representation of your website’s brand, in order to help users quickly identify your site when they scan through search results.
- Your favicon should be a multiple of 48px square, for example: 48x48px, 96x96px, 144x144px and so on. SVG files, of course, do not have a specific size. Any valid favicon format is supported. Google will rescale your image to 16x16px for use in search results, so make sure that it looks good at that resolution. Note: do not provide a 16x16px favicon.
- The favicon URL should be stable (don’t change the URL frequently).
- Google will not show any favicon that it deems inappropriate, including pornography or hate symbols (for example, swastikas). If this type of imagery is discovered within a favicon, Google will replace it with a default icon.
Does your website use a favicon?
Among many other things, the website audit tool in SEOprofiler checks if your web pages contain a favicon link tag.The website audit tool finds errors that influence the position of your web pages in Google’s search results: