Why is Google ignoring my title tag or meta description?

Sometimes Google will ignore the title tag or meta description that you set for a particular page on your website. Why it does this is for a number of reasons, but all our determined by an algorithm set by Google.

Title tags

Google's John Mueller says:

"In general, when we run across titles that appear to be sub-optimal, we may choose to rewrite them in the search results. This could happen when the titles are particularly short, shared across large parts of your site or appear to be mostly a collection of keywords. One thing you can do to help prevent this is to make sure that your titles and descriptions are relevant, unique and compelling, without being "stuffed" with too much boilerplate text across your site."

Google's Matt Cutts says

"Whenever we try to choose the title or decide which title to show in the search results, we are looking for a concise description of the page that's also relevant to the query,"

Google looks for three things:

  1. Something relatively short.
  2. A good description of the page and ideally the site that the page is on.
  3. That it's somehow relevant to the query.

"So if your existing HTML title fits those criteria, then often times the default will be to just use your title," Cutts said. "So in an ideal world it will accurately describe the page and the site, it would be relevant to the query, and it would also be somewhat short."

Watch the video above by Matt Cutts where he explains how Google chooses titles for search engine results.


Meta description

Unfortunately Google also have the same habit of ignoring a meta description that you set for a page.

Google says that you should make sure that every page on your website has a meta description set, that you differentiate the descriptions for different pages, include clearly tagged facts in the description (like the Author if you are selling a book) and to make sure that the descriptions you right are clearly descriptive.

Watch the video above to see what Matt Cutts says about why Google will often ignore meta descriptions you set for pages.


Read more

We advise all users to read Google's advice on reviewing your page titles and meta descriptions at https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/35624?hl=en