Why Isn’t Google Showing My Meta Description?

A meta-description is considered one of the important parts of on-page optimization. A lot of guidelines are about it, like how you can write and optimize it. 

Still, sometimes Google doesn’t show our meta description and replaces it with others (a bitter reality).

But don’t worry because 90% of the time, it happens for a good reason, which generates more clicks. Let’s understand this good reason below!!

Why Google Rewrites Meta Descriptions? (Good Reason)

A meta description tag is a summary of what you have on the web page. The issue is you can’t satisfy the keyword intent of all searchers with just one meta description. And you also can’t write hundreds of meta description tags for one blog post. 

So, to help you out, Google itself is doing this job. The main reason why the meta description changes is because Google changes it according to the question the user asks. 

Example of a Meta Description Replaced by Google

To understand things better, have a look at the real examples of how Google replaces the meta description according to the intent. I’ve found a blog about cats; it has an article on how to shave a Persian cat. You can read the meta description of this web page in the image below. 

This meta description is actually what the blog owner added: 

Here’s an example of how sometimes Google’s algorithm changes the meta description according to a specific search. Instead of showing the real meta description tag, Google shows a better summary that also answers the question. 

An example of how meta description may look like if Google replaced it: 

Since it directly satisfies the keyword intent and provides a better user experience, there’s a high chance users will click on your article. That’s why, I said, it’s a good reason. 

One misconception I want to clear is Google doesn’t generate the meta description from scratch. Instead, Google picks the content from your article that answers the specific search query and shows it to the user as a meta description.

Here’s the proof: the new meta description you’ve read above in the image was actually in the article. 

4 Technical Reasons Your Meta Description Isn’t Showing in Google Results

Besides providing a better experience to users with multiple meta descriptions, there are many other technical reasons behind this problem.

If you have these technical problems, you need to take action immediately as they’re not good reasons. To make things easier, I’ll address all of these technical issues one by one below. So, let’s get into the details! 

1- Un-optimized Meta Description

Sometimes, Google uses different meta descriptions in SERP because the meta description you specified isn’t optimized properly.

Remember, there are a few rules that are important to follow when writing a good meta description. If you don’t follow the guidelines and optimize the meta description tag, Google won’t show it in the search results. 

If you’re unaware of these rules, I would suggest you use plugins like Rankmath or Yoast SEO. They’ll help you optimize meta description as per the character’s length and keyword. 

2- Google Hasn’t Re-Crawled 

If the meta description Google is showing for search terms is the old, not the new one, it means Google hasn’t re-crawled the page content. 

You can check the last date of the crawl in the Google Search Console. Login to your GSC and click on the “URL inspection option.” Add the link to the web page you want to check and press enter.

The inspection option will show when Google crawled the page last time. If the date is prior to the day you updated the meta description, it means Google currently has no idea that you’ve changed something on the web page.

You can wait for a few days till Google re-crawls and re-indexes the update. Otherwise, I would suggest you submit your page for indexing manually with the GSC tool. 

3- Meta Robot Tag 

In many cases, I’ve noticed a major mistake from the blogger’s side, especially the newbies. Sometimes, they enable the “nosnippet” tag by mistake. Due to this mistake, Google doesn’t index the snippets (the specified meta description). 

You can check whether this tag is enabled on your webpage with the HTML source code. Double-click on the webpage and select the option “view page source.” Find the tag “meta name=’robots‘” and check if it is written like this or not: meta name=’robots‘ content=’index’,

If it has an index tag, then there’s no problem. If not, go back to the setting of SEO plugins like Rankmath or Yoast SEO. Make sure to uncheck the “nosnippet” tag. 

4- Multiple Meta Description 

It doesn’t happen all the time, but there’s a possibility that you’ve multiple meta descriptions on the web page. This is why a different meta description is showing up on the SERPs. 

To find out, check the HTML source code of the webpage. Search the term “name=” description” and see how many meta descriptions you’ve. If there is more than one, remove the extra ones, and the issue will be solved. 

How to Write Good Meta Descriptions for Google Search Results?

Here are the five points you should consider when writing the meta description for the web page. By following these points, you can write meta descriptions that Google likes and show on search results. 

  • Keep the meta description length up to 155 characters.
  • Consider the search intent of the target keyword when writing the meta description.
  • The meta description tag should summarize the content of the page. 
  • Write meta descriptions for people, not for search engines. Don’t stuff them with keywords; it doesn’t help in ranking at all. 
  • Include a call to action at the end to encourage users to click on your web page. 

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Final Words

So, now you know the main technical issues and also the reason why Google is showing different meta descriptions of all articles. Honestly speaking, if there’s no technical reason, I don’t think you should be worried about the meta description.

Google is changing, and meta description isn’t as relevant as it was before about five to six years ago for ranking. It’s more about satisfying keyword intent and giving the users assurance that your website has the answer. For this purpose, Google picking the content on your page and showing it as a meta description is the best practice for more clicks. 

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