I have always created my web pages to ensure they can be validated by W3C. Namely, when I am using HTML entities in my title tag or meta description, I will ensure that these characters are being escaped.
<title>Hello & World</title> [Escaped]
<title>Hello & World</title> [Unescaped]
Strangely, when I use
site:example.com to inspect my web pages in the Google SERPS, the escaped titles do not appear properly formatted, leaving me with concerns regarding effects on CTR.
The title appearing in the Google SERPS would be.
Hello & World
I have also noticed the same issue with my meta description. If I escape HTML entities in the meta description, they do not appear unescaped when being displayed in Googles' SERPS.
Conversely, when I unescape HTML entities in the title tag and meta description, they are being displayed properly, however my webpage are not in accordance with a W3C validator.
Will this eventually auto correct in the Google SERPS with time? What exactly is going on here? As a result of this idiosyncrasy, many of my Google SERPS look ugly, which will have an unfavorable effect on CTR.
I want to abide by W3C standards ideally, however I am unable to get my results to display properly in the SERPS by doing so. I should add that this issue is happening as well on Bing and Yahoo. Additionally, when I inspect source code of other web pages, they are using escaped entities in their title tag and meta description, with both displaying properly with the unescaped representation in SERPS.
Perhaps I am misunderstanding something basic, however my research online has indicated that all HTML entities should be escaped before being added to a webpage. Interestingly, checking a Twitter validator and Open Graph Validator shows the proper formatting of the titles and meta descriptions. I should also note, I defined a meta tag with
charset=utf-8 in my page. Perhaps this is contributing to the behavior.