Meta description: why Google rewrites them?

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Google told the cause of the rewriting of meta descriptions by algorithms during a meeting of Webmaster Central. John Mueller, Google’s Webmaster Trends Analyst offered tips on how Google’s algorithm chooses when to rewrite meta descriptions.

The question specifically concerned a meta description on the home page that was rewritten on Google’s search results pages (SERP) for branded search queries. The publisher used the example of using the “UK” modifier with the brand name. But because Mueller’s response is generic, it gave an idea of why Google rewrites meta descriptions. First of all, Mueller stated that it is necessary to always have the meta descriptions, then he listed a number of points to take into account to avoid the most common errors.

1. Content Poor Descriptions

Always avoid poor content descriptions, trying not to make meta descriptions just a series of repetitive keywords. This is something that Google’s systems may find unsatisfactory for users.

Mueller is saying that one of the reasons the meta description can be rewritten is because it focuses more on keywords and less on what the page is about and what makes that description a target for rewriting is that he said it’s not useful.

2. Matching content and queries can trigger the “Rewrite” function

If the website itself is not specifically sending signals of content related to the reported country, then Google may choose to change the meta description.

Adding modifiers to search queries may cause Google to rewrite the meta description. This happens especially when keyword modifiers do not exist in the written content of the page. So, if I insert in the description that my product is sold in Italy, but then the site “confesses” that this is not the case, then Google could write the description again and, if necessary, also the title.

3. How Research Query Influences Goal Rewriting

The rewriting of the meta description depends on the search query and the content of the web page.

So the first thing Mueller suggests to do is to take the normal brand query and verify that the description you provide in the description is actually more useful than exaggerated and misleading.


John Mueller gave a very good explanation of why Google rewrites meta description tags, i.e. based on the relationship between the search query and the web page content. So if you have a problem with Google rewriting meta tags, take a closer look at how the search query relates to the content of the page. We remind you that so called “meta tags” are fundamental and should not be too long, too short, out of context or unnatural, as already mentioned in this article.

Google is the first search engine in the world because it always uses a very simple criterion: to satisfy your interlocutor. To do this, the algorithm is often updated and sites that may seem unnatural in the eyes of those who are looking for information, a product or a service are penalised.

ByTek is Google Premier Partner, this is because we belong to the most prominent agencies and Google gives us benefits of various kinds. The Premier Partnership is synonymous with guarantee and reliability and we are very proud to have achieved this goal. For this reason, if you have any doubts about your site please do not hesitate to contact us.

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Giorgia Schiappadori

Classe 1987. Ho alle spalle una Laurea magistrale in Lingue e culture per la comunicazione e la cooperazione internazionale, un Master in sociologia e comunicazione e uno in Marketing e Made in Italy. Ho iniziato il mio percorso nel mondo digitale grazie a Palestre delle professioni digitali, rimango comunque Copywriter nell'animo e concretizzo la mia passione grazie ad un corso in NABA. In ByTek mi occupo di Digital PR, SEO e Comunicazione interna ed esterna, coniugando le mie passioni ed i miei studi all'ambito lavorativo. Quando non sono al lavoro sono a danza, a canto, in piscina, oppure a guardare un teen drama di dubbio gusto.

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