For a study, respondents were shown images of desktop search results with and without favicons; results were compared.
Google introduced “favicons” from websites to the left of a snippet for mobile search results in 2019. It has now been extended to desktop results. A Yard study used Google’s example of a search query for “online programming courses”, and studied three versions.
The results for “single ad at the top” indicated that 67% of users identified there was advertising on the page with the new favicon format, as against 63% on the old one. For “single ad at the bottom”, there was no change in results.
Only 57% correctly identified the “no ads” version, as compared to 65% in the old format. This indicates a drop in the number of people recognising ads from correct signals, while assuming favicons are ads.
[3 minute read]