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Whenever I search for my blog in any search engine (tried Google, Bing, DDG and Yahoo), the blog description is the header of a post, instead of the description I have defined in the blog's search preferences. Any idea why?

I've been running the site for almost a year, so the problem is not that the search engines haven't updated their index. Some months ago I did this same check, and I noticed that in Bing, DuckDuckGo and Yahoo the description was properly shown as expected (while Google keep showing the header of a post), but today that I checked again, now all of them just show the header of a post.

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    How to adjust what search engines show for a site is more the domain of Webmasters. – Al E. Dec 16 '15 at 13:48
  • How did you search for your blog? Ie did you search for a post, or for the blog-name or address? – MaryC.fromNZ Dec 17 '15 at 10:42
  • @MaryC.fromNZ blog name. AI E. my question is about a a web application (Blogger) – yzT Dec 17 '15 at 16:32
  • You have no guarantee that Google (or anybody else) will use the contents of your description (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." from support.google.com/webmasters/answer/35624?rd=1 – Vidar S. Ramdal Dec 21 '15 at 11:14
  • We have just seen this question. I assume that it was not transferred earlier because of the holidays. I apologize that it has taken this long to get you an answer. This is not normal. I do appreciate that this question was transferred even after so much time. It shows that we do all want to help the OP. Cheers!! – closetnoc Dec 30 '15 at 1:28
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Without seeing your site specifically, there is no good way for us to narrow down the specific problem, however, I can tell you this:

I am making some assumptions in this answer due to lack of specifics.

Whether the description meta-tag is used within the SERP is highly dependent upon the search query and the content of the description meta-tag.

The best way to see an unfiltered result is to do a site: search without search terms. For example:

site:example.com

Google will often list the home page first followed by the most important pages in order. It is highly likely you will see your description meta-tag as written. It is possible that Google will chose not to show the description meta-tag at this stage. Often this is a result of a description meta-tag that is too short or too long. The description meta-tag should be long enough to continue onto a second line in the SERPs and should not be longer than about 170 characters.

Not only do you want a long enough description meta-tag, but you want a description meta-tag that is semantically similar to the content and contains search terms that most people would use in a search query to find your page. I hate talking in terms of keywords in light of search being so semantic oriented these days, it really is not about keywords, however, for the description meta-tag this is one time you want to think in terms of keywords ie. search query terms.

The description meta-tag is one of the most important semantic clues you can give to a search engine. It must match your content. Where a search query hits your content, if the description meat-tag agrees with the semantics of the content, ie. has a search query term in the description meta-tag and hit upon in your content, Google is more likely to use your description meta-tag. If you can craft your description meta-tag well enough to cover most search queries that find your content, your description meta-tag will show more often. It is likely impossible to craft a description meta-tag that will always show, however, it can be crafted to show nearly all the time or most of the time.

Otherwise, if a description meta-tag is not crafted well, Google will likely pick up part of your content. Your one and only h1 tag can be used in place of your description meta-tag, though it is not likely that any other header tag will be. If the h1 tag is not seen as desirable, then a content snippet will be used. The good news it this. It appears that your h1 tags are good. My advice is that the h1 tag should be similar to the title tag only a bit longer and use a few of your most important semantic terms. Following that, the description meta-tag should be similar to the h1 tag only a bit long and contain as many semantic terms as makes sense without stuffing. Keep in mind that all three tags must be conversational and compelling and made for humans and not machines. These are being graded semantically.

Also keep in mind that Google and Bing do not make direct keyword matches. Term matches are a by-product of semantic analysis and sought last only to highlight the search term matches. So please do not think in terms of keywords as much as writing a good article that hits all the points. If well written, your article will be found as it should and not as you try and manage it. This is far superior and returns far more search results overall.

  • I haven't done anything, and however, today Google is showing the description as it is. – user59126 Dec 30 '15 at 15:27

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