Google and the way it reads a site?

I’m back :grin: with another question for the people that know a lot more about this than me.
I’ve obviously made a mistake in the browser title with the underscores, which I‘ve just removed, so hopefully it will update at some point? (whats the normal time I should expect this to happen by?)

i‘d run the site through nibbler before finally uploading it and it came back with -

Which I was happy with, as I thought I‘d done it right? :slightly_frowning_face:

If I do a hunt on Goggle - I get -

Which is pulling this random/ none important text from the very base of the site here -

How do I correct this, and why is it doing it?

Also what are other tags please?

Thanks Jon

I’m not familiar with nibbler, but I can tell you that what you put in the description is not necessarily what a search engine will use on the SERP(search engine results page). More than likely meta description when interpreted by the search engine doesn’t appear to summarize the text content of the page.

  1. Does the text in the meta description appear anywhere on the visible page?
  2. Are you using proper structure with semantic tags (h1-h6)?
  3. Do those headings contain information(keywords or phrases) that would lead the search engines to think the meta description is what the page is about?
  4. If you remove all the “fluff”(images, videos, styling, etc) and read just the text on the page would the meta description actually summarize what the page is about?

Meta tags like description aren’t visible to the user of the page. Search engines will use them only if they determine that they actually match what the page is about.

Hello again Doug, thanks for taking the time to look at this.
Yes the text on the page and the meta description, are the same/or near enough.
Tags down the page from H1 to H6. Which contain keywords re whats on offer, so I would think, showing the search engines whats there, along with alt tags filled in, if you removed the ‘fluff’

I’ve uploaded a sitemap to google to try and see if they will crawl the site again, but I‘m getting 1 error with the sitemap, could this be the problem? I have no idea what this means or where to look for it?

Also re Google it says add this to the robots.txt - Where is that?

  • Insert the following line anywhere in your robots.txt file, specifying the path to your sitemap. We will find it the next time we crawl your site:

Thanks Jon


How did you create your sitemap? The sitemap on your site (sitemap.xml) has no pages listed in it.

As for the sitemap what @DLH(Don) said is probably an issue.

Search engines don’t need a sitemap to find things, its more a starting point for them. The crawlers will follow the links they find on pages and in the navigation. Google found the page in question your screenshots proves that and nothing in the sitemap would effect what they scrapped from the page.

I think getting a good working sitemap.xml file in your root directory and submitting it to Google and other search engines will help speed up the process of getting the site indexed but it’s not going to effect what gets indexed or displayed.

There’s really no way other than submitting a working updated sitemap to speed up the re-indexing of a site. The search engines kinda work on there own schedule, they have over a billion sites to index so don’t expect changes to show up quickly.

As for the description that appears on the generic part of the SERP, that’s totally at the search engines discretion. If they (google in your example) “feel” that the meta tag description doesn’t match the content on the page they will build their own.

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I let RW do it. I’m working in 8.0.3.
Have i got something ticked/unticked somewhere?

Cheers Don/Doug!

Thanks Jon

Make sure you have “Generate Search Engine Sitemap” selected in Advanced Settings.

Also, make sure you did not uncheck “Index this page” in each page’s inspector. It’s on the meta tags tab of the inspector.

Both checked :neutral_face:

Odd. I’d try a republish all and see if that writes the correct information into the “sitemap.xml” file. It’s missing any page specific info.

If its a 1 page site, do I still get a site map? Is that the problem? :face_with_hand_over_mouth:

Just looking at Foundry’s sitemap to see if I could make one, as I notice elsewhere, some people were having issues with RW sitemap. Also just downloaded your map to give that a whirl. How do I view the content of a sitemap once I’ve generated one?

The file (sitemap.xml) needs to reside in the root of your website. Here’s a direct link to yours:

Even on a one page site, there should be info for the single page.

Oh, and no need to make a sitemap.xml file by hand. Just use one of the many online generators. Google “sitemap generator”

Just remember, if you go this route you need to make sure RW doesn’t overwrite the one you create.

That said, the RW built-in sitemap generator should work.

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I’ve just unchecked the index & generate and then saved the file… and i can see this with a textedit now… is that it? or should it be pages long? I’m taking it should be longer?

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>

Not sure I follow what precisely you did.

If you unchecked “Generate Search Engine Sitemap” in RW, then you should be fine using an online generator. Save the xml file they create and upload it to your website with either an FTP app or your hosting control panel.

I’ve used this in the past:

Sorry I didn’t really explain myself their did I :thinking:
Unchecked Gen and index and saved the file, quit RW. Re-opened checked both again and then let RW generate the sitemap, and the below is what I ended up with. Sorry a bits missing from the above.


… so would this still be classed as empty?

I’d looked at, but I‘d need to generate outside of RW each time wouldnt I?, so I was trying the switch it off/on again approach first.

Hi Don… generated a sitemap at, all fine, uploaded and verified by Goggle :+1:. Totally different to what I was getting within RW.

Does anyone know if this is a version issue/bug and was sorted after 8.0.3. As it would be better to do it all within RW.

Thanks for all your help guys.

Yes, it would.

Glad you got something working in the mean time.

I use the Sitemap add-in from Yourhead, so I don’t have a lot of experience with the built-in generator.

@tpbradley, do you know if there were/are any issues with the sitemap generation that would lead to it not creating the page info?

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