Google Ads is testing including small favicons next to links in ads shown on search results.
Over the weekend, some users noticed that ads for food delivery service UberEats were including a small icon of a pizza slice when they appear in search results.
This was particularly notable because the icon looks like a typical emoji for pizza when emojis are “invalided or unsupported characters” according to Google Ads policies.
Thankfully, Ginny Marvin, Google Ads’ product liaison, has clarified that the icon is actually a favicon – a small visual icon associated with a URL. These icons already appear on many search results, as well as within many browsers when visiting a website.
Marvin went on to confirm that the company is testing using these icons in ads on search results to make advertisers more identifiable:
Currently, the test appears to be limited to a very small number of advertisers on a small number of search results for some users. Still, the immediate interest in these ad favicons across social media likely reinforces that these icons not only make it easier to recognize advertisers. They make ads more attention-grabbing for users.