Google has rolled out the site names, updated favicons, and sponsored labels on desktop search after launching this on mobile search last October. Google has been testing the desktop version since last November, and now it is officially live both on desktop and mobile search.
What it looks like. Here is a screenshot of the new Sitename and updated favicon in desktop search – note, the old interface just had the URL, not the site name or the favicon:
Here is the “sponsored” label that replaces the “ad” label:
Controlling site names. Google back in October explained that Google Search uses a number of ways to identify the site name for the search result. But if you want, you can use structured data on your home page to communicate to Google what the site name should be for your site. Google has specific documentation on this new Site name structured data available over here.
Upgrading the favicon. Google also recommended revisiting the documentation for favicons for the latest best practices. Google is now also suggesting you provide an icon that’s at least 48 pixels and follows the existing favicon guidelines.
Ads. This is also rolled out to the Google search ads on desktop, so the size of the site name, favicons, and also the ad label will be more prominent in mobile search. In fact, Google rolled out the “Sponsored” label in mobile search last October and today on desktop, officially replacing the “Ads” label from January 2020.
Why the change. Google last October said the difference is to help provide “even more information about the sites that you see so you can feel confident about the websites you visit.” Here is more from Google on these changes:
Why we care. With any change to Google Search and the design of the search results, searchers may click differently. So monitor your click-through rate in Google Search Console and see if you need to make changes to your site name and/or favicon to make any improvements to your click-through rate from Google Search.
This change went live on mobile months ago, but there is a possibility that it can impact desktop search differently.