Wrong SERP Snippet for Cache

I’ve always assumed title/description snippets displayed in the SERP reflects what’s in Google’s Cache. But now, I’m starting to see at least one page where title/description doesn’t match what’s stored in the cache.

Here’s an example:

The cache of one page I’m looking at (I won’t post the url since its adult related) is dated 3/5/2006, and the cached page is up to date, but the title/description that actually displays in the SERP is from an ancient version of the page.

I also noticed that for this particular page across a dozen+ DCs, there are at least 2 versions of the cache. For a particular page I’m looking at, the dates on the cache are Aug 9 and Mar. 5. There’s no way the March. 5 cache is stored in a supplemental database (the way I rewrote the page, there’s no way it’ll end up in there), so even though the page is listed as supplemental, the cache must be from a live repository.

My guess is the document’s hits aren’t re-counted yet and its snippet is still outdated. Though the page is crawled and cached recently, according to the document snippet, the page is supplemental.

I’ll check a few more pages to confirm this. But if this is true, I’m still inclined to believe Google has no more than one copy of a page in their supplemental database.

This is slightly off topic, but here’s another note to myself when looking at a domain listing in Google pages are either:

  • main index
  • supplemental
  • main index but similar
  • supplemental and similar < - these are hardest to spot.

So far, I found 2 urls with snippets not corresponding to the cache.

Cached pages for a few other supplementals are identical (timestamps and stored HTML are the same) across all DCs, so this one page must have been a glitch.

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