Well “choke” may be a mite too strong a word. After yesterday’s post on Google Instant Previews & SEO, Organic Optimizer & Veggie Farmer Everett Sizemore pointed out that if GOOG uses your meta description tag as a snippet in the SERPS, then the Instant Preview for your URL does not show the Call Out text.

If this is in fact the case, then site owners are going to have to make a decision as to which will be more beneficial, the targeted snippet showing up in the SERPs or the Call Out.  If the people start using these previews a lot, guess which way I’ll be heading.

Update: Procrastinating minds think alike.  Check out Everett’s simultaneously published post on the subject.

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8 Response Comments

  • Nick Stamoulis  November 15, 2010 at 5:48 am

    People might feel that this changes the game, however, I don’t think I would count out the Meta Tag Description just yet. Optimize for both and you’ll be covered.

  • Andrew Shotland  November 15, 2010 at 11:28 am


    As mentioned in the post, based on my early analysis of how this works, you can’t optimize for both – GOOG won’t show a call-out if you have a MD.

    That said, I can’t imagine this will last as it seems like a bug.

  • Joel  November 22, 2010 at 12:12 am

    I don’t know if this is correct –

    One of our internal pages clearly has a meta-description. That said, Google completely ignores this and instead uses the content of the page as the description where the MD is normally populated – and guess what’s in the callout? The same content.

    To me it seems like Google is picking which is better optimized – your MD or your content.

  • Andrew Shotland  November 22, 2010 at 8:48 am

    You may be right Joel, but I am still seeing call outs that match the snippet GOOG is using in the SERPs v. the meta description tag, so perhaps we are both right?

  • mike  December 9, 2010 at 12:50 pm

    Good information

  • Joel  January 24, 2011 at 11:26 am

    Hey Andrew, sorry, took me awhile to get back here!

    I think we might both be right. Only time is really going to tell how this works. Or, you know, if Google just comes out and explains it.

  • Dog-Friendly Girl  February 26, 2011 at 4:04 am

    Do we now have a better idea as to whether this is a good or bad idea please?

  • Andy Kuiper  May 28, 2013 at 8:07 am

    It may depend on the search query?