How Does Google Decide What To Show In Meta Description

Last Update: July 09, 2020

Out of the three Meta Tags that appear just below the WordPress editor window, (Title, Description & Keywords), do you know which ones matter and which one does not? I explain all of this and more in my latest tutorial about Meta Description Tags at the below link.

However I would like to just break down an image of a Google generated Meta Description that I showcase in my latest training tutorial. I didn’t do this in the training but wanted to touch on it here. In short, Google will override your Meta Description if they can show a better one.

Google will only decide to do this when the keyword searched for is different from your target keyword, which you have associated with your original Meta Description. Of course your content also has to be informative enough to warrant them for showing your post in the search results.

GOOGLE'S META DESCRIPTION OF MY POST


The target keyword for my review is not what I typed into Google. I wanted to see if I was ranking for a totally different keyword that I didn’t come to know until after the review was published. Is GoFounders and OnPassive a Scam is my original target keyword.

I learned of a new search term, “OnPassive Soft Launch” about a week after my scam review was published and indexed. When responding to a comment by a GoFounder member claiming my opinion was misplaced, I answered with the OnPassive Soft Launch term in my reply.

I am ranking on Google Page 1 for that search keyword. The first sentence of Google’s created Meta Description includes my original target keyword. The second sentence showcases the first instance of the term “pre-launch” and the third sentence shows the new searched keyword.

This is yet further proof that your content can give you higher rankings from other keywords beyond your target keyword. This also shows that regardless of what you make your Meta Description to say, Google determines what it is in search results based on what people type.

In my latest tutorial I show other examples of Google generated Meta Descriptions as well as the one I created that have me ranked on Google Page 1 and 2. To learn how to get the All In One to create your Meta Description as well as which tag not to use, click the below link.

What is the Meta Description Tag & How it Works for You


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Jujulu1980 Premium
Awesome 👍 Thank you for information!!
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boomergp08 Premium
You are welcome. Happy you liked it.
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Palatia Premium
Awesome, Rob. Thanks for bringing this to our attention.

Paula
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boomergp08 Premium
It was my pleasure Paula. Have a great weekend.
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FKelso Premium
Glad you are giving us so much info on meta tags. They have been left as a mystery for a while.
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boomergp08 Premium
There are lots of holes in the training that are left for us to explore on our own. When I know of something that works, I try to fill in those holes.
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Dorrie1 Premium
Great post thank you for the information
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boomergp08 Premium
You are welcome. It was my pleasure.
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DerekMarshal Premium
By default I do not use a meta description. I let google display what the wish from the content and set All In One SEO To allow that.

Reason: Search Engine Eye Candy!.

When the search term used by the searcher is in the meta Description google highlights those words or phrases by displaying them in bold text.

By allowing google to autogenerate the meta description from my content I am increasing my chances of getting that little bit of eye candy and getting the click - even if and when I am ranking lower than other sites for that search term.

You you have a set or fixed meta description you reducing that possibility.

The result is a significant improvement in CTR

From 5% to 7% highly targeted niche site, tested over a 3 year period, millions of searches (impressiosn) and hundreds of thousands of clicks.

Conclusion: Make it easier for google to over ride your meta description and get more traffic via a higher CTR and that littel bold text eye candy!.

Great post Robert, as always. :-)
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Jujulu1980 Premium
Thank you! As a beginner it would be easier on me I appreciate the heads-up on this situation/information too use. If you don't can I follow you? Thank you. Have a great week 😊. Be Safe Julie
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boomergp08 Premium
Thanks Derek and Exactly. Google is going to override your Meta Description every time based on what a person types into Google. This is why I let the All in One auto-generate from my first 160 characters knowing that Google will always provide the better option.
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boomergp08 Premium
One of the reasons Kyle & Carson install the All in One plugin on websites built here is because it makes our website building task much easier. By letting the plugin create the description for you, that is one less task you have to do.
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DerekMarshal Premium
Sure follow away.

This is actually a thing that I picked up from a blog on Wealthy Affiliate where the topic was on meta descriptions. Another member said they don't use them..I got curious and a lot of messages back and forward, including PM's explaining it in detail went on.

I then applied it to 400+ blog posts and noted a big improvement in CTR.

Keep your eyes open for tips regards SEO here at WA. Robert (Boomer) is certainly one to keep your eye open to as he really knows his SEO.
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DerekMarshal Premium
I let them auto generate my entire post.I don't limit them to 160 characters.

This you know can vary, google did experiment a short while ago with long, I think 250 character meta descriptions.

I have not tested this Vs limiting to 160 characters, so try at your pearl.

(Just a slight tweek in All In One SEO, and your whole article is automatically your meta description).

My theory is by having the entire article available to google to select as a meta description, it makes it easier for them to do so.

I have noticed though, they almost never select my first 160 characters.

Note: My Keyword is always in the first 160 characters, as an insurance.
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boomergp08 Premium
Even though you can set the All In One to auto generate the Meta Description from the first 160 characters, this in no way stops Google from using all of your content as they see fit. Google is in control at all times...sort of scary to think that. LOL
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Jujulu1980 Premium
Hi Derek Nice to meet you! Just to comment it is a scary thought that computers can take over mankind Not a laughing at this;)
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