Question: How does Google index favicons?


Favicons, those tiny icons you see in browser tabs next to the page title, are not just there for aesthetic purposes; they also play a role in branding and user recognition. But how does Google handle these icons when it comes to indexing?

Understanding Favicons and SEO

Google doesn't directly use favicons as a ranking signal in their search engine results pages (SERPs). However, they do help in brand recognition and can influence click-through rates when users recognize a familiar brand icon in their bookmark bar or browser tab.

How Google Fetches and Displays Favicons

  1. Fetching: Google fetches a website's favicon primarily for display purposes in Chrome browser tabs, bookmarks, and certain user interfaces like mobile search results.
  2. Display in Search Results: In recent years, Google started displaying favicons next to the URLs in mobile search results. This is intended to give users more context about the website they are looking at, potentially increasing trust and click-through rates.

Best Practices for Favicons

  • Size and Format: Ensure your favicon is clear and legible even at small sizes. Google recommends a size of at least 48x48 pixels. The ICO format used to be the standard, but PNG or SVG formats are now recommended for their scalability and color depth.
  • Accessibility: Use colors and designs that stand out well against various backgrounds since they might appear on different user interfaces.
  • Location: Place your favicon in the root directory of your domain or specify its location using the <link rel="icon" href="/path/to/favicon.ico"> tag in your HTML.


While favicons are not a direct SEO factor, they are a crucial part of the user experience and brand identity online. A well-designed and correctly implemented favicon can contribute to improved user engagement and recognition in a crowded digital space.

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