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I'm looking for advice about favicons and their impacts on search engines. Recently I noticed a site which changes its favicon every time you load another page without losing overall recognition of the favicon style. I'd like to incorporate this into my site as well but am I taking any SEO risks here?

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Google Calendar has just started changing it's favicon on a daily basis (relating to the date). I'd say it's a safe bet that if they're doing it then it has no influence on the SEO.

  • Believe it or not, Google are far from the best at SEO. They are not just a search engine, and many of their products seem to be created without search engine optimisation in mind. A badly implemented favicon can have a big negative impact on SEO - see my answer. – Alex Harford Sep 27 '17 at 21:53
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Favicon is for human recognition of a brand. A search engine has little reason to pay attention to that file. What concerns do you have about rotating that file in regards to how a search engine indexes and ranks your site?

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The favicon CAN have an effect on SEO. I saw one case where a website had a favicon that was about 400kb in size - slowing the website down. Speed is a Google ranking factor and slow loading sites likely have poor metrics, which can also negatively affect SEO.

Also, most browsers automatically look for a file called favicon.ico in the root folder of a website - if the file doesn't exist a 404 Not Found error is returned - so it makes sense to have a small or blank file rather than nothing to prevent that extra server hog.

If you have a different favicon on each page, make sure to keep the file size as small as possible, to minimise the impact on download speeds.

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Favicons are just tiny images in the address bar. They aren't content. So how can they have any effect on SEO?

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I think favicon.ico helps. Search Engine bots will think that you customize your site and brand it well by putting its own icon. Another thing some social network sites are using your favicon to display preview of your site.

Spamblogs and Made for ads sites doesn't care about favicon or to effort to create a website logo. My two cents.

Source: my SEO experience

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I think its better to install a favicon on your website or webpage. It becomes clickable for human searcher but not for web spiders.

  • Favicons aren't clickable though. – paulmorriss Mar 12 '13 at 16:35
  • Maybe you mean "visible" rather than "clickable"? I've edited your answer for spelling and grammar, but maybe you could elaborate on what you think the advantages of a favicon are? – Stephen Ostermiller Mar 12 '13 at 16:53

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