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As of about 10 days ago, Google replaced the meta description in our organic SERP for "scorebig" with the following text:

SECURITY WARNING: Please treat the URL above as you would your password and do not share it with anyone. See the Facebook Help Center for more ...

Google Description

This particular text comes from an Facebook iframe inserted into the fb-root element which is used by the Facebook JavaScript SDK. The text is never actually displayed to users (or to Google), but Google sees it in the final markup and chooses to use it as the description instead of the actual meta description content. Upon reviewing the Google Webmaster Tools "HTML Improvements" section I noted a number of "Duplicate meta descriptions" warnings, 17 of which referred to URL permutations of the homepage. I went ahead and added the missing canonical URL tag to the homepage, and even changed the description of the page entirely, but the duplicate list is still showing what is now stale data.

Since this started happening, I have seen the SERP revert back to the correct description 2 or 3 times, before switching again to the "SECURITY WARNING" text. At least once, the issue was corrected when I used the "Fetch as Google" and "Submit to Index" features of the Webmaster Tools, but this no longer seems to be having any impact. Interestingly, I noticed that the markup retrieved with "Fetch as Google" does not contain the "SECURITY WARNING" text, which would imply that the system used to crawl organically is not the same as the system used to crawl in the Webmaster Tools.

Google is the only search engine behaving this way from what I can tell. Bing seems to be just fine with displaying the correct description. Short of removing Facebook from our website entirely and letting Google pick the next random piece of text that it sees, I am out of ideas.

Is there anything I can do?

  • I think google is thinking that the most relevant content on your home page is the secruity warning. Few things I would do. Use Schema.org markup to tell google more about the content of your site, including the meta description. They say google doesnt read description meta tags, but they do. Secondly, the text on your homepage banner is all in <span> elements, moving it to <h1> and <p> tags will kinda tell google that the text is far more important than a span text, and your odds of having that show as the description are higher. Lastly, you could add the fbjsdk and fbroot element – Frank Sep 24 '14 at 0:15
  • via javascript when needed. Facebook wants you to load it immediately so they can suck data from your site. But there is no good reason not to lazy loaded when required. A bit of javascript code and you can add the fb-root div and load the jssdk when a user is actually going to login or like your page. – Frank Sep 24 '14 at 0:16
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Your current meta description is too long to fit into Google's search results pages.

If this happens, instead of truncating the current description, Google often pull content from elsewhere on the page to create a description. This often results in unhelpful, incomplete or widely inaccurate description such as yours.

The first thing you should do is create a meta description that actually fits in the search results. You can use a tool such as Snippet Optimizer to help create one that is the correct length.

  • It seems like Google will just truncate if the description is too long. In the case of the SECURITY WARNING text, that's what it is doing. Why do you suppose it would choose to ignore the meta description rather than truncate it? – Nathan Taylor Sep 24 '14 at 14:01
  • In my experience rather than truncate, it will create its own. – Max Sep 24 '14 at 23:00
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I see some problems.

Starting now, get rid of the keywords meta tag. Bing will use it against you if it contains the same word numerous times, and google will at best ignore it.

Next, work on your meta description tag, and make it so it doesn't keep repeating the same word. Also, try to make the characters limited to letters and numbers, commas, and dashes if possible.

This is your description:

Save up to 60% on Tickets - Sports, Concerts & Theater, Broadway and Special Event Tickets in your area. No Fees & Free Shipping. Save on Every Ticket. Every Day.

Try and change it to:

We sell Tickets for Sports, Concerts, Broadway, and special Events with free shipping in your area every day.

Most importantly, make sure you use many words from the description in your site.

Also, avoid duplicate keywords in title tags.

And run your website through a keyword density checking program and make sure no word takes up more than 5% of all the words on the page.

Also check the script that generates the page and make sure it doesn't display a different page based on IP address. Also, check the .htaccess file if you use apache and see if there's anything that's causing certain computers to redirect to a different page. Look for lines containing text like REMOTE_ADDR or REMOTE_HOST or anything to do with a remote computer. There's a chance part of your site is hacked.

I know I'm answering way late here but that's why you may get the issue you had back in 2014.

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