I have a static html (using gatsby-js) site I'm hosting on Github Pages. I've added it to my Google Search Console, and the Fetch As Google renders it correctly (besides a few formatting issues): fetch as google screenshot I've added it to the index several times after successful Fetch As Google renders.

However, when I search site:example.com, I get results I can't quite figure out:

google results with incorrect title and blank description

Even more strange, the cache returns my 404.html page:

enter image description here

Strange because:

  1. My index.html, afaik, has never thrown a 404 in the live version
  2. I updated my 404 body text earlier today, and the cached version reflected the update (despite the cached version snapshot timestamp remaining unchanged)

The meta description and title of my page are present, both in the live site and the cached version.

So, how do I convince Google to show the meta description and title, and how might I fix the 404 in the cached version?

  • 1
    So, how do I convince Google to show... Wait. Be patient grasshopper! Search engines are NOT real-time. – closetnoc Nov 14 '16 at 21:08
  • 1
    What is strange about the site: search? There is one ad (for Google Webmaster Tools) and the home page for your site. The only thing that is odd is that "landing page" as opposed to your site title. I assume that used to be the title. Google takes a week or two to update sometimes. – Stephen Ostermiller Nov 14 '16 at 21:08
  • thanks all--and I assumed it was a matter of time, but #2 in the OP explains my confusion. I pushed an update today that added some body text (specifically, the Oh NO!)to my 404.html, and the cached version updated almost instantly. so, I thought there was some piece in the process I was missing. really, the whole caching of my 404.html instead of my index.html is the bigger concern--but I'm glad to hear none of this is so out of the ordinary. – Brandon Nov 14 '16 at 23:13
  • 1
    You can always use the Fetch as Google and Submit to Index options in the Google Search Console for the pages you are concerned about. Still, this takes 1-2 days for the regular googlebot to come by and make the fetch official and update the index properly. You can continue to use Fetch as Google as many times as you need to trouble shoot issues before using Submit to Index. We have all done this. It will take time of course. However, Google is fairly fast and updates it's index rather rapidly considering the size of the web. Cheers!! – closetnoc Nov 15 '16 at 1:21

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.