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emoji search seo

Emoji SEO

Have you ever struggled with the concept of getting your website to the top of the Google rankings? This blog reveals all you need to know about SEO, you won't believe how simple SEO can be - LOL.

Finding the perfect emoji

You know how it is, don't you? You're writing a PMSL message about the funniest cock-up you've ever seen at work. You were working when it happened so you couldn't have taken a photo of it but you want this message to have an impact so, in order to make others ROFL, all you need before sending the message is to find the perfect emoji.

But, despite the massive amount of emoji choice that our smart phones and tablets now offer us, you just can't seem to find that elusive emoji. Finding the right emoji that illustrates precisely what happened will soon begin to take longer than writing the message itself takes. If you're anything like me then this begins to frustrate you and, so, the longer you spend looking the less funny writing the cock-up message becomes ??????

If only I could search these emojis! ?????

Great idea! Now, picture this: imagine yourself as the person who develops the software on your phone - specifically, the person charged with the task of enabling you to search through your emojis.

As a software developer, the first thing you're going to need will be a reliably consistent description of what all the emojis really mean - thankfully there's a very precise description of each and every emoji hidden inside your phone. For example: the correct description of this emoji ??????_ is face with look of triumph. Really? Until writing this blog post I always assumed that was an emoji about being really annoyed. Didn't you?

Emojis mean different things to different people

Thankfully emojis mean the same thing to the sending and receiving phone software. But imagine just how badly this would go wrong if phones didn't stick to the rules and, just like humans, had their own interpretation of emojis. Imagine how awful it would be for me to send you a message of condolence with crying face emoji??????? only for your phone to choose to use face with tears of joy??????_ instead?

Emojis, standardly ??????

Emojis allow us to be a little more expressive with our communication. Yet, regardless of how frivolous and cheeky we choose to be, we could never use emojis without there being rigid standards in place. The standard in question is Unicode that is maintained by the Unicode Consortium. The Consortium administers which emojis are released and where they appear in the Unicode dataset. Good news, for those of you desperate for a clown face to improve messages about workplace cock-ups, you should know that U+1F921 has been released and will soon be on its way!

You may be forgiven for thinking that, because of Unicode's reliably consistent description of what all the emojis really mean, our software developer tasked with creating an emoji search on your phone will have an easy time of it. The reality is that the emoji search is incredibly complex. Let me explain. I know this ???????? to be a fist bump, so if I was to search my phone I'd search for "fist bump". Trouble is that the Unicode standard describes this emoji as fisted hand sign. You see, someone with street knowledge who's most likely to use a fist bump emoji will search for it with words which describe the way they're feeling which won't, critically, be the words used for the official description. So, in order to make the search a meaningful experience, our software developer needs to assign a whole bunch of keywords to each emoji which make the emoji accessible (findable) by relating the emoji to the user's own use of language such as: yeah man; true dat; safe; for real; strong; fierce; standard; tumps; nuff said...

Meanwhile, back in the context of the workplace cock-up

Imagine that the cock-up was a work colleague, standing at a water cooler, who had forgotten to put a cup under the tap and ended-up with a soaking wet crotch LOL! So, thinking about the task of the emoji search software developer, ask yourself: which words would users search with? Because the things users want to search for will not be literal. In the context of this search it's entirely right for me to use a fish emoji but I might begin a search with words such as: wet; soaked; flood; water; soggy; drenched; sopping... although none of these describe the fish now, do they?

Think like the Customer ?????????????

When optimising a website for search engine traffic, it's wrong to write exclusively about the dull features of the things you sell. Write, instead, about the benefits a Customer wants to experience. For example, if you sell fiction then why wouldn't you write about books that let you escape from the noise of the kids? Whether you are selling fiction, working with emoji search on a mobile phone or optimising a website for search engine traffic, you need to be fully aware that the words you use to describe the widgets you wish to sell on your website are unlikely to be the same words that your Customers would use to describe the things they want to buy. Now, here's the bit where you learn about SEO

SEO success starts with knowing what the Customer would search for in the first place. It's all about context. Put yourself in the situation of a buyer. Ask yourself about the context of their search - what's their problem and how will you write about the things you sell in a way that illustrates how these things can help in the context of the Search? Only when you begin to think like a Customer (and come to understand the words they use to describe the things you offer) will you have any real chance of securing a #1 Google rank.
 
This is The Art of Search®. Buy on iTunes Buy on Amazon

Steve Whiting, Sub@omic Ltd avatarSteve Whiting, Sub@omic Ltd30th November 1999
[UPDATE] So, last Friday I upgraded to iOS 10.1 and spent the next few hours tapping my phone to see what bits of the UI Apple had changed/improved/worsened*. My considered conclusion? New emojis. What, for me, was the most notable difference might send Apple's software engineers crying into their share options were it not for one thing: iOS 10 offers a better way for inserting the right emoji.
 
The genuine first world problem I wrote about last month had already been solved by the time I came to realise it was a problem.
 
Someone at Apple has now developed and assigned a list of keywords to each emoji. Type one of these words and it'll turn orange to indicate that there's an emoji assigned to that word. This intuitive solution's far more elegant than a cumbersome search, although it's not without wrinkles. Try it yourself, type in the word triumph and be disappointed when you don't get shown 😤 - You see, even to an Apple software engineer, the face with look of triumph emoji is associated with a word that's far from triumphant 😏 I'm not alone then. LOL
 
pissed off face with look of triumph?
* delete as applicable
Author of 'The Art of Search' - the SEO strategy book 2,500 years in the making.http://www.theartofsearch.co.uk
Steve Whiting, Sub@omic Ltd avatarSteve Whiting, Sub@omic Ltd30th November 1999
Just read this lovely article about Emoldjis that illustrates how, to become useful and truly inclusive, the character set needs to evolve to reflect the life experiences of users. The ambiguity which standards eliminate doesn't mean that standards are not flexible.
Author of 'The Art of Search' - the SEO strategy book 2,500 years in the making.http://www.theartofsearch.co.uk
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