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Why is Google Not Showing My Meta Description or Title?

Why is Google Not Showing My Meta Description or Title

When looking at your search result on Google, you might notice that the meta description or title tag that you wrote is not the one appearing in search results. This might be alarming and you might be concerned that Google hasn't crawled your page. You've spent a long time formulating the perfect title tag and description and you want it to be displayed.

So why is Google not showing my meta description or title? According to Google Search Central, Google uses various automatic methods to determine what the title of the search result should be. It could be your title tag or it could be a bit of content from your page that Google thinks is more relevant to the search result.

Google uses a number of different sources to automatically determine the title link, but you can indicate your preferences by following our best practices for influencing title links.

How Does Google Determine the Title Tag and Description?

Unbeknownst to most, Google does not automatically display the title tag you wrote in your SEO settings. Their process is completely automated by looking at the content of the page itself with the incorporated keywords, in addition to references to that page across the internet.

When Google crawls your website, they are looking to understand basically two things.

  1. Who is your audience? (especially for local searches)

  2. What is this page about?

They will obviously take into account the on-page SEO as a major influence but they will also look at other sites which make reference to your site. This is where backlinks become important. If your site is being linked to by a bunch of other sites which are completely unrelated to your topic, it will be a red flag to Google. This is where they might start getting confused about what your page is really about.

However, the title or description tag that Google chooses to display is most of the time not unrelated to what your site is actually about. Usually, it's still something from your content, just not the exact title and description that you selected to display.


Try my FREE Local SEO Meta Tag Generator to help you write the best Local SEO tags and descriptions!


Best Practices for Making Sure Google Displays Your Metadata

If you want to best optimize your site to make sure that Google displays your data instead of randomly selecting something, here are thing specific things that Google themselves says they're looking at. You should optimize each on of these bullet points:

  • Content in <title> elements

  • Main visual title shown on the page

  • Heading elements, such as <h1> elements

  • Other content that's large and prominent through the use of style treatments

  • Other text contained in the page

  • Anchor text on the page

  • Text within links that point to the page

Once your page is optimized correctly, resubmit your sitemap or request indexing on that specific URL so that Google will be prompted to see the changes that you made and hopefully update the search results.

Please share your experience with SEO titles and descriptions in the comments below!


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