Search Engine Journal has reported on an interesting excerpt from a recent Google Webmaster Central hangout, which offers suggestions to help ensure the meta description you provide is what’s used in search results. As you’ll know, this isn’t always the case, because Google does always think it knows best – and to be fair, many millions of web pages have meta descriptions which are spammy or just unusable.
Google’s man on the spot said: “If you can make sure that your pages have unique meta descriptions, that are kind of short, that they would kind of fit into a snippet on a page, and that they match what users would generally be looking for when they’re going to that page then chances are pretty high that we’ll just reuse what you have in the description meta tag.”
Perhaps not a complete shock, but none of us have a perfect set of meta descriptions, tailored to the searches for which each page is most frequently shown. BMON clients can ask us at any time to ‘crawl’ their website and provide a complete list of page titles and meta descriptions. Once you’ve got this, you can check what the page is being found for, using Google Search Console, compare this with what you want it to be found for, and then ensure each has a neat, well-written, correct-length title and meta description matching the key search terms. It’s an exercise everyone should do, frequently.