Google shows the wrong description for my site

Last update: 29 July, 2017

If you've crafted nice descriptions for your blog posts, nothing is more annoying than Google showing another description for your site completely in the search result snippet.

Possible Causes

Source Code Is Wrong

The source code for your site should contain exactly one description meta tag. If the tag is missing or if more than one appears, you may not see the preferred description in search engines. Please view the source code for your site to determine if either of these situations apply.

<meta name="description" content="Preferred description goes here"/>

If you do not see a description meta tag, please follow the steps in this article.

If you have more than one description meta tag, please run a conflict check to determine what other feature on your site outputs the duplicate description(s).

Search Term Manipulation

If you searched for `SEARCHTERM`, Google scans all indexed pages for the exact term or phrase. Google uses the search term to highlight information in search results which is why the meta description is different than what you entered into the plugin.

To see the description without search term manipulation, use the site: search operator followed immediately by the URL of your site. A search for all pages on example.com without search term manipulation would be site:example.com

site:example.com

Google Cache is Outdated

If you've recently updated your description, Google probably hasn't indexed the new description yet. It can take up to a week for Google to index the changes you made, depending on how often your website is crawled.

If you type, in Google, cache: followed immediately by the URL of your site or page, you'll see what Google has cached for your site. If the appeared date is before you made the changes, we'll have to wait for Google to crawl your site again. Sometimes you can speed up this process with the fetch as Googlebot tool.

Search Engines Ignored Your Preferred Description

Ultimately search engines will, as you have seen, make the final decision on what they show in their search results. Due to this being handled on Google's end, there is little you can do to force Google to display the preferred description. The best advice we can provide, unfortunately, is to try different descriptions. This article provides advice on creating the right description for your site.

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