As far as I am aware, the meta descriptions and the page titles I add to my Magento site are used as the rich snippets on Google.

Recently I have changed my Meta Descriptions and Page Titles so they where more suited to my Keywords. When I search certain keywords in Google, the rich snippets have changed to how I want them to be, however for some reason, when I search other keywords, the rich snippets still appear how they used too, and haven't updated. This is strange because both rich snippets are directing to the same Home Page, even though they are being displayed different. Here is whats happening:

Google Search keyword 1 returns:

Old Title
Old Rich Snippet

Google Search keyword 2 returns:

New Title
New Rich Snippet

Both are pointing to my home page. I want keyword 1 to return the new rich snippet.

I have gone into Google Webmaster and asked Google to crawl my site again, which it has done successfully. However this problem is still happening. It’s like Google has updated my rich snippet for some keywords but not the main keywords that I am trying to rank for, which sucks!

Does anyone have any ideas as to why?

  • how long ago did you do these changes? It looks as if Google will use the snippet that’s most suitable for the query.
    – seb
    Commented Feb 18, 2015 at 10:17
  • I actually changed them about 3 months ago. Whats strange about that though, is that the Old Title and Old Rich Snippet, is no longer in my Magento backend. Unless it is somewhere that I don't know, but I have gone through every meta description available, as I had to do this to enter them in the first place. I have emptied the Cache in both my Magento backend and my Browser. It doesn't make sense.
    – conor500
    Commented Feb 18, 2015 at 15:17

2 Answers 2


Google may use different titles and different descriptions in their SERPs if they think it’s more useful for their searchers. They don’t necessarily have to come from your content (e.g., sometimes they use content that others use in their anchors when linking to your page).

Note that the normal result snippets in Google’s SERP are not called Rich Snippets. Rich Snippets are "enhanced" result snippets, e.g. showing a picture, rating, author name etc.

  • Hi Unor, thanks for the help. Your 'different titles' link really helped. From reading it I learn't that Google has many different signals to decide how it presents your Title and Description. It takes into account what is presented on your page, as well as other resources from the web. I believe this is whats happening. It is taking text from my page and combining it with parts of my Meta Description, to produce a Title and Snippet that is different from what I set in my backend. I believe a reason it may be doing this is because of Duplicate Meta Descriptions.... (continued)
    – conor500
    Commented Feb 19, 2015 at 9:29
  • I have recently learn't that Duplicate Meta Descriptions are not good, and if Google sees them they will ignore all Meta Descriptions. I also learn't that if you don't add any Meta Descriptions, Google will automatically create its own based on your content. It appears like Google is doing a combination of both. It is getting thrown off by my Duplicate Descriptions so making its own. I am in the process of removing all duplicates. Does this sound like this could be whats happening? Thanks again
    – conor500
    Commented Feb 19, 2015 at 9:32
  • @user2148590: This could be the case, yes (definite answers are next to impossible when it comes to SEO, as their algorithms are proprietary), however, it’s not that you are doing something wrong when Google changes your title/description in their SERPs. They might even do this if you have "perfect", non-duplicate values (and they, of course, might show a different snippet for you than for the next person searching).
    – unor
    Commented Feb 19, 2015 at 15:29

I can only suggest two things. First of all Google is not necessarily using your meta description even if you want it. Second Google might pick the Meta Description from somewhere else, f.e. if you have a DMOZ entry then it could be from there.

The only solutions I can think of for you now is using this tool https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/removals?pli=1 and remove the content and let the page get crawled again. Or you just sit back and wait till google crawled your site plenty of times because Google is not just changing your meta description after 1 time.

  • Thanks for the answer. Your DMOZ theory is interesting. When removing your page from google, is there any risk that Google will then stop it from getting crawled again? If Google recrawled every page they removed, then wouldn't they have to go and remove it again when the person asked for it to be removed a second time, and a third, etc. If we just sit back and wait for Google to crawl our site again and again, how long do you think it would take until they display the correct Title and Description? How often do they crawl? Thanks again.
    – conor500
    Commented Feb 19, 2015 at 8:41
  • The DMOZ is a common issue. It will not stop google form crawling it but if they think the old one is still more suitable then it will of course take the old one again. As far as I know we cannot say google please use this. But we can offer them to take another SERP. So I would suggest just ask them to crawl the page over and over and then we will see what happens.
    – seb
    Commented Feb 19, 2015 at 8:43
  • Let me know how it worked out after a while please :-)
    – seb
    Commented Feb 19, 2015 at 14:20

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