Google is currently testing larger favicons and site names for search results and Discover on mobile phones.
So let’s talk about favicons: they are basically small graphics that represent a website and are displayed on a browser tab. For example, if you access the Instagram website through a desktop computer, the tab that hosts it will display the platform’s camera icon. Favicons are just a bit of visual flavor that allows someone to identify a website at first glance without peeking at the relevant names and all. They can also (occasionally) help separate phishing websites from their real alternatives, as the former sometimes lack favicons. However, as cybercriminals have become extremely efficient in their work, this is no longer always the case. In a word, stay safe kids and don’t leak private information to strangers.
These days, favicons are not limited to desktop computers: Google has added them to the Chrome version of smartphones for quite some time now. They are not only part of the tabs, they also accompany the websites shown in Google Discovery search results and recommendations. The latter two, however, get no such treatment for the Google desktop. The platform attempted to rectify this a while ago and added favicons to desktop search results; however, the result ended up making each result look like an advertisement since the ads are also advertised with a similar favicon. Google eventually scrapped the idea and decided to take a closer look at both need and placement.
Now, Google has made it its mission to make favicons more visible on the one platform where they’ve been well received: mobile smartphones. The tech company has already started testing them, accompanying larger favicons with larger text for website names on search results as well as on a limited number of Android phones. While more noticeable, the extra size could prove detrimental, as smartphone resolutions are getting sharper these days, and favicons will end up looking pixelated.
Read next: Cited Google searches will now appear in bold so users can see the most relevant results