Why does my meta description text look different in Google search results?

By January 14, 2020 No Comments

Does your meta description text not match what you wrote in our app?

Here are 3 reasons why this might be happening. 

REASON # 1 It takes time for Google to display your new meta description

Results are never immediate when it comes to the world of Google. Google has over 1 billion websites to visit and manage. If you change your meta description, you need to wait 4 days (or sometimes even a couple of weeks) for Google to visit your website, noticed these changes and then show them on search results. One way to speed up the process is to submit your XML sitemap to Google Search Console.

REASON #2 Your theme has an incorrect meta description HTML tag 

If the meta tag codes on your theme are incorrect, this can certainly effect the way your meta description gets shown in search results. This is an issue with your theme and/or another SEO app you’ve installed.

You might have: 

  •  No meta description HTML tag (so Google is not given any text to work with)
  • Multiple meta description HTML tags (so now Google has too many conflicting texts to work with and doesn’t know which one to display)
  •  An incorrect meta description HTML tag (that was inserted by a second rate SEO app ) and so it displays the wrong text to Google like your product description and not your actual meta description (yup, we’ve totally seen this happen!)

How do you find out which one is causing this? Our app will tell you if your meta description tag is missing or if you have more than one. 

If your meta description tag is incorrect, this is a little bit more tricky and needs to have a coder inspect the code. 

Feel free to send us an email at [email protected] if you want to have us check your theme.

REASON #3 Google re-wrote your meta description

If all the above reasons have been ruled out, then this means that Google changed your meta description text.

Why? Google does this when there is not a lot of written content on the page and they are doing it essentially to help you rank for terms and get more clicks. 

Google doesn’t always have to use your meta description text, they use it as a suggestion and then they decide what to write there in the end. If they think they can create a better one, they will do just that.

A meta description is merely a suggestion to search engines. 

You are suggesting that Google use the meta description you wrote to be displayed in search results. 

However, Google might choose to not use your meta description. 

Instead, they’ll look at the written content of your page and choose to come up with their own description for your page and display this in search results. 

Sometimes Google can actually be trying to help you out when they re-write your meta descriptions.  Google can decide to re-do your meta description so the searcher might be more likely to click on your website. Don’t worry, your product name remains the same on your actual page.

How to fix this? I recommend writing 300 words minimum for your product descriptions and this will help greatly. Google will be more likely to go with the meta description you wrote. Please note I’m speaking about the product description that is on the product page which is different than your meta description. (attached a helpful photo)

Even though meta descriptions and product descriptions are different, in SEO everything is related. When Google doesn’t like your meta description, they will look at your product description for ideas of how to re-write your meta description.  

Very odd sounding, I know… but it’s real.

So make sure to follow the 300 Rule.