I updated my meta description tag for my comics website about two months back now, but the search engine is still picking up my footer "Acceptable User Policy" text for some reason.

enter image description here

enter image description here

I'm not even sure why it would pick up this footer text to begin with:

enter image description here

I need this to be updated because I don't want my search result to be about my disclaimer... I want it to be about the content of my site- comics.

How long should it take to update? Do I have the tag incorrect?

EDIT----- Meta Description Tag length:

"Hitting Trees with Sticks is dedicated to sharing high quality original satirical comics with the world."

Words: 16
Characters (no spaces): 89
Characters (with spaces): 104


  • How long is the content of the tag?
    – Kenzo
    Commented Jan 10, 2013 at 16:35
  • @Kenzo see above edit
    – user3871
    Commented Jan 10, 2013 at 16:40
  • That's fine then. Looks like you need a recrawl and Google update.
    – Kenzo
    Commented Jan 10, 2013 at 17:08

4 Answers 4


Google does not necessarily use the meta description in the SERPs. It uses whatever text it thinks is appropriate, which may or may not include (part of) the meta description.

(Google updated its cache of your homepage less than two weeks ago on 28 Dec 2012.)

EDIT (2013-01-15): Interesting to note that I see today your updated title and description are now showing in Google SERPs. However, Google's cache of your page is still the one from 28 Dec 2012 with the old title and description. So it would seem that what's shown in the SERPs and Google's cache are not necessarily related (or in sync)!?

  • Oh, then that may be what's happening because I've had that meta description up for a while. I certainly don't want it to show my footer copyright info as my search result. How can I fix this?
    – user3871
    Commented Jan 10, 2013 at 18:07
  • Rather curious... you say you updated the description (and title I assume) two months ago and Google's cached copy of your page is from 28 Dec 2012 (2 weeks ago) - yet it appears to have an old title and description?! This could explain why Google is showing your footer text... it is the only part of the page content that contains your search phrase "hitting trees with sticks".
    – MrWhite
    Commented Jan 10, 2013 at 18:20

It is almost certainly down to Google not re indexing your site. A good way to check this is to view Google's cached version of your site (click the double arrow that appears next to your search result when you hover over your link, then click 'cached')

Whilst you're looking at the cached page you can see whether the update meta tags are there, if not, your site hasn't been re-indexed.

A way to speed the process up is to submit your URL to the index tool in Webmaster Tools although this has no guarantee to work!

  • in GWT you may re-index the site, which MAY speed up the re-indexing of said page.
    – David K.
    Commented Jan 12, 2013 at 12:11

How fast your site is automatically recrawled depends, among other things, on your Google karma. Which - based upon your public PR - is not too hot at the moment.

However, in GWT there is a "Submit URL to Index"-tool. If you use it Google will usually recrawl the URL submitted within 48 hours (but there are no guarantees, and Google may start to ignore you if you abuse it).

However, I think your main problem vis a vis Google is total lack of content. Your site consists almost entirely of images, which - just by themselves - Google don't consider "content" (hence Google using the AUP, which is about the only text of substance to be found). Since you haven't placed any meaningful "title" and "alt" tags on your site, Google thinks it is with no content, and worse, Google thinks your meta-tag description of your site is just black-hat SEO trickery and refuses to display it.

Take a look of the source code of the http://xkcd.com/ to see how they tag their images to make Google index their site.

  • Okay, thanks for the tools. Just curious, how are you figuring that my PR is not too hot at the moment?
    – user3871
    Commented Jan 10, 2013 at 16:43
  • Several options exists, such as the Google Toolbar, and prchecker.info/check_page_rank.php Commented Jan 10, 2013 at 16:46
  • lol omg, I got a score of 0/10... How do I improve that? GoDaddy gave me a SEO score of 60%, I'm not sure how my PR is is zero... Oh man soo much to learn!
    – user3871
    Commented Jan 10, 2013 at 16:53
  • 1
    However, your site consists mostly of images, which Google don't consider interesting content (hence Google using the AUP, which is about the only text of substance to be found). Since there are no meaningful "title" and "alt" tags on your site, Google thinks it is with no content. Commented Jan 10, 2013 at 17:20
  • 1
    Share alike means can share as long as any derivatives (=changed versions of your artwork) use the same CC license. You should use CC BY NC ND. Commented Jan 10, 2013 at 19:47

Google will choose the description to display based on the ctr of the url. The meta you put into your site is a suggestion for Google. They can create a different title and summary in serps. That's why many people believe no meta description will give them more information into how google sees their site.

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