Beware of Composite Emojis in SEO Titles

Emojis in SEO titles can improve your CTR, which is great. But, on the other hand, their display is unpredictable. Learn about one specific, very problematic, unpredictability, and how to avoid it.

Working on a yoga teacher site, I wanted to test adding emojis to SEO titles, for improving CTR. I chose an emoji named “Person in Lotus Position” (). This emoji has variations. One of them, named “Man in Lotus Position” (), better fit the site’s color, so I went with it.

While later discussing it with my client, the site showed up on the search results with the “Male Sign” () instead of the wanted emoji, which is less than optimal, to say the least.

Trying to understand what happened I visited Emojipedia and found out that:

The Man in Lotus Position emoji is a ZWJ sequence combining  Person in Lotus Position, ‍Zero Width Joiner and  Male Sign.

Man in Lotus Position Emoji – Emojipedia

And so I learned that some emojis are composed of multiple other emojis. This is called an Emoji ZWJ Sequence:

An Emoji ZWJ Sequence is a combination of multiple emojis which display as a single emoji on supported platforms.

Emoji ZWJ (Zero Width Joiner) Sequences – Emojipedia

What Google apparently did is deconstructing the emoji to its building elements, and showing only the last one (or was it the last by chance?).

So, I resorted to the elementary “Person in Lotus Position” () emoji, which can’t be deconstructed.

Conclusion

If you choose to add emojis to SEO titles, opt for elementary emojis, rather than composite ones. This will help you avoid unpredictable, potentially embarrassing, results.

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