Google switches inappropriate favicons into default icons

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:

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:

Check your website

Johannes Selbach

Johannes Selbach is the CEO of SEOprofiler. He blogs about search engine optimization and website marketing topics at "http://blog.seoprofiler.com".