I have an issue with my website: Google isn’t using my meta description, instead it’s using the content of the web page and I’m really confused.

Reason I’m confused is because I have checked and I don’t have duplicate page titles, description nor keywords, neither do I have any robots.txt for my website.
My page title, description and keyword is unique, and page description is about 150 characters.

I have my site in Google Webmaster Tools and I checked for errors, but found none.

So I really don’t know why Google Search isn’t using my meta description.

  • I actually searched for what is in my title and description on google search and my site did not show up on Google, until i typed text that are in web page content. – Html Tosin Jan 15 '15 at 15:13
  • 2
    The META description is not used to index your site. It is only used in the SERPs, unless other page text is deemed more relevant. – MrWhite Jan 15 '15 at 15:18
  • 1
    Please don’t cross-post. – unor Jan 16 '15 at 14:10

This is by design and is how Google works.

It does not necessarily use the meta description in the SERPs if it thinks other text on the page is more relevant to what the user has searched for.

  • Isn't there something i can do about that ? – Html Tosin Jan 15 '15 at 15:14
  • 1
    Unfortunately not, unless perhaps your META description does not already relate directly to the on-page content? Are you suggesting that the snippet that Google is displaying is wholly inaccurate? Usually it is related to what the user has searched for, highlighting words in the content. The snippet displayed in the SERPs will often change depending on the search phrase. – MrWhite Jan 15 '15 at 15:21
  • For Example: my title contains - "Buy History books". and then my webpage content contains " get discount of Alexandra books"... And then if i search "buy history books" on google, Google doesn't show my website in the result even to many pages, but when i type any word in the content...Like discount of alexandra books" ..Woalla Google displays it ! – Html Tosin Jan 15 '15 at 15:26
  • And then thats my problem, because most users will rather type in "buy History books" on their browser than a particular Author's book – Html Tosin Jan 15 '15 at 15:29
  • 1
    To be honest "Buy history books" is very generic (almost spam-like) so it is not surprising your site is going to struggle getting indexed for those keywords - it's very competitive. But are users really going to search for something vague like "buy history books", rather than the specific item they are searching for? – MrWhite Jan 15 '15 at 15:34

(My answer from your cross-posted (and now closed) question.)

Google shows your meta-description if they think it’s useful for the searching user.

See Google’s documentation (bold emphasis mine):

Google will sometimes use the meta description of a page in search results snippets, if we think it gives users a more accurate description than would be possible purely from the on-page content.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.