The favicon: A small icon with a big impact for SEO and usability

The favicon, a small but effective icon, is an essential element of any modern website. It is defined by the shortcut icon tag in the HTML code of a web page and appears in the address bar of a web browser next to the URL and in the tabs of modern browsers. With a size of usually 16×16 pixels, the favicon serves as a visual recognition feature of a website and offers numerous advantages, both from the point of view of search engine optimization (SEO) and user-friendliness (usability).

What is a favicon and why is it important?

A favicon (favorites icon) is a small symbol that is displayed next to the URL in the address bar of a web browser. It acts as a brand identifier and makes it easier to identify a website. Although it is only a small graphic element, the favicon contributes significantly to the recognition and branding of a website.

Example of the integration of a favicon:

<link rel="shortcut icon" type="image/x-icon" href="favicon.ico" />

Advantages of the favicon from an SEO perspective

  1. Increase in recognition value:
    • Brand identity: A well-designed favicon contributes to brand identity and helps users recognize the website at a glance, especially when multiple tabs are open.
    • Trust and professionalism: The presence of a favicon conveys professionalism and care, which strengthens users’ trust in the website.
  2. Reduction of bounce rates:
    • Familiarity: Users tend to stay longer on a website that they immediately recognize as familiar. This can reduce bounce rates and increase dwell time, which sends positive user signals to search engines.
  3. Improvement of usability:
    • Easy navigation: Favicons make navigation easier by helping users to identify and find their favorite websites more quickly. This is particularly useful in bookmark lists and when several tabs are open.

Relevance of the favicon in modern web browsers and mobile devices

In recent years, the importance of the favicon has increased considerably due to the further development of modern web browsers and the increasing use of smartphones.

  1. Browser tabs:
    • Visibility in tabs: In modern browsers such as Google Chrome, Firefox and Safari, the favicon is displayed prominently in the tabs. This makes it easier for users to find the desired website quickly, especially when many tabs are open.
  2. Bookmarks and bookmarks:
    • Quick recognition: Favicons appear in users’ bookmarks and bookmarks, which makes it easier to recognize and find favorite websites.
  3. Mobile use:
    • Home screen icons: On smartphones, the favicon can be used as an icon for linking websites on the home screen. This allows users to access their favorite websites directly from the home screen, significantly improving accessibility and usability.

Creation of an effective favicon

To take full advantage of a favicon, it should be carefully designed and correctly implemented:

  1. Design tips:
    • Simplicity: A favicon should be simple and clear so that it remains easily recognizable even at a small size.
    • Brand identity: It should include the brand logo or a strong symbol that represents the brand.
    • Color contrast: A high color contrast ensures that the favicon is clearly visible in different browser environments.
  2. Technical requirements:
    • File format: The most common format for favicons is .ico, but modern browsers also support formats such as .png and .svg.
    • Size: The default size for favicons is 16×16 pixels, but it is advisable to provide multiple sizes (e.g. 32×32, 48×48) to look good in different contexts.


The favicon is a small but powerful tool that can significantly improve the visibility and user-friendliness of a website. It contributes to brand identity, reduces bounce rates and improves usability. At a time when competition for users’ attention is fierce, a well-designed favicon offers a decisive advantage. By carefully designing and implementing a favicon, website owners can not only support their SEO efforts, but also provide a seamless and professional user experience.