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Old 16th February 2015, 06:55 AM   #1

Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Ukraine
Posts: 23
Default What To Do When Google Shows Wrong Meta Description?

It often happens that Google shows wrong meta description. Sometimes the reason is hard to find because you do everything correct. I propose to find the most frequent reasons of wrong meta description that Google can show.

Meta description and page content

Among those who use meta description very common mistake is that the same content appears on all the pages.

The main reason of this is that the website is static or your CMS doesn’t provide unique meta tags for each page.

For those who use CMS


If you use a SEO plugin for blog you may have duplicated meta tags: titles, keywords, description. The reason is that you wrote meta tags manually for the blog page and also wrote them for each article.


If you have multiple websites in one Magento installation, you should add a tag <link> with certain attributes to avoid the problem of duplicate meta description.

<link rel=”alternate” href=”http://www.website.uk/” hreflang=”en-uk” />

<link rel=”alternate” href=”http://www.website.com/” hreflang=”en-us” />

<link rel=”alternate” href=”http://www.website.com/” hreflang=”x-default” />

Notice: the “x-default” value points to .com version. Every user who is not from United Kingdom will see the .com page.

Otherwise the meta description of your website for the United Kingdom may be replaced by a meta description for the domain .com.

Do not use duplicated meta description.

Using identical or similar descriptions on every page of the website carries no benefits at all. Google does not display these pages on the top pages because they are considered duplicates. Your page can also be removed from the main index of Google.

You should use marked-up data. Meta description should consist it if it is possible and necessary to include structured data about the page. For example in the description of the product pages you can include important information such as price, age group, manufacturer, etc.

Create meta descriptions using software.

For some websites, such as news sources, it is simple to create unique meta description, you can easily add one sentence as the description. For large websites that are based on the database (for example, sites aggregators of information about products), to create a customized description “manually” is not possible. In this case, it is appropriate to create a description of using the software. A good description should be easy to read and differ from each other (as mentioned above).

Use qualitative meta descriptions.

Users do not see meta descriptions when viewing pages, the content is easy to overlook. However, qualitative descriptions can be caught in Google’s search results and significantly improve the quality and volume of traffic coming to the site from search engines.

Block ODP listing

DMOZ (from Directory Mozilla, also known as The Open Directory Project (ODP)) – a large, categorized directory of websites that are maintained by volunteers. Each website or page is viewed by real people before adding to the catalog. Registration is free. It is possible to use the base in order to create your own catalog of sites. One of the major sites using ODP is Google. In fact Google is a loaded ODP directory. The presence of a website in ODP improves ranking in Google search.

But if you mentioned that your meta description is coming from the ODP, you can block it using following meta tag:

<meta name=”robots” content=”NOODP”>

And the last but not the least…

Google reserves the right to change the meta descriptions that would be relevant to the request.

What to do? Maybe leave it as is. Google generates a snippet of the content of your website that relevant user’s request. So user see the information that it searched.

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