Google Search Results Show a Different Description


Why does Google show a different description for my search results than the one I provide? On my page I have specifically set the meta description tag, but in the search results on Google it is showing something else.


Google in its infinite wisdom and endless algorithms has decided that it is a better judge compared to you when it comes to your page descriptions.

This may seem off-putting, and it is to some degree, until you realize what Google is actually doing to guarantee the best results for your description. It uses its tremendous traffic and resources to test and determine what description will create the best click-through rate for your page.

Of course increasing the quality of their search results improves their standing with their users, but it also increases the click-through rate for you as well. So its a win win.

Google tests your meta description, other blocks of text, and groupings of blocks of text from your page to see what will give the best results. Google can create a description on a per search basis, while you can only write one description. Meaning the same page may have different search result text depending on what search terms are used. As you can imagine this creates a very powerful result.

Here is a quick example:

When searching for " responsive design" this is the result that Google displays.

When searching for “ responsive design” this is the result that Google displays.

When searching for " mobile devices" this is the result.

When searching for “ mobile devices” this is the result.

As you can see the search brings up the same page result, but they have different text. Google has highlighted and displayed a portion of the page that is best suited for the search terms used. In the first example they show the first sentence of the article. In the second example they jump to the middle of the article and show text pertaining to the search terms. The results change to suit the request. A description tag can’t supply results in this fashion, so Google has taken it upon itself to provide better results for its users and you.

All in all, this provides you with a powerful tool to help generate the best results for your page. The Best part, you don’t have to do anything, Google does it all for you.

So if you see a different description for your page than the one you provided in the meta description tag, that means either Google has determined or is determining that the text you are seeing for your page generates a better result than the one you provided.

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