Google has several ways of choosing what snippet it will use in search results. Quite often it will take your Meta Tag Description and use it verbatim. There are times when Google will use descriptions from DMOZ, BOTW, or other Web directories. This happens often when a webmaster doesn’t have a Description, but there are times when Google decides that the description in a directory is better. Recently, I discovered that Google is using text from a web page to use as a SERP snippet even if there is already a well-written and optimized Description.
The question is, when does Google decide to use your Description and when does it decide to use text from your web page?
I think Google probably has its algorithm set to ignore your Description when it can find text on the page that is better optimized and more relevant to the specific search query. For instance, here’s an example that I’ve found that illustrates how Google skips over the Description and uses text from the page instead.
Search for “DITY moving service” and about midway down the page you’ll see a listing for ditymovingservices.com. The snippet in the SERP is taken directly from the Description for the site’s home page. But search for “DITY move trucks” and on the second page of the SERP you’ll find the same website with a different snippet. The snippet for that SERP listing is taken from paragraph 2 of the website’s home page. Here’s the snippet:
Renting a Vehicle for your DITY move: You obtain rental equipment yourself and do all the work. Sources of rental equipment must be well-known rental truck …
There are other examples involving this website but to go over them all would belabor the point. Has anyone else noticed this policy of Google’s to overlook the Meta Tag Description on your web pages and use text from the page itself? Do you think it’s because Google is using keyword-based text from the page that it deems more relevant to the search query? Should we be concerned about this or is this more helpful to searchers?