As a Google+ user, how can I change the summary text Google+ shows when sharing a link? Here's an example post where it looks like it's showing the first <div> with a certain amount of text in it, but in this particular example, the <div> is hidden and shown only for mouse-over navigation.

Google+ shows this text as the summary:

The Dark Tower Series Continues. It's been years since the last installation in Stephen King's Dark Tower series, but the wait is almost over. In only a matter of days the new book will be ava...

Which does appear first in the HTML, but the 'real' content (here) is:

Watt's Up!

High Plains Library District, in partnership with Xcel Energy, has added 40 portable Watts Up? meters to the collection. These easy to use meters will help you save energy and make green decisions.


You won't be able to change the text on Google+ itself, but if you can control the site you can set the <meta name="description" content="what I want to show up in Google+"> field.

When the meta description field is blank, Google finds the first text within the <body> tag to display that isn't a list or link descriptor text. In this page's case the stuff you pointed out is that text.

So, quick answer: No, you can't change it on Google+'s side, but you can affect what is displayed.

Facebook is nearly the same, but once it pulls in the description text & title you can double click the fields and change them.

Keep in mind, that even if the site side issues are fixed the link description may be cached on Google+'s side and when you repost it won't show. Same goes for Facebook on this as well.

  • Thanks @Commodore Jaeger for that... I actually screw that up constantly and have to fix it often in my headers... do'oh. – Rebecca Dessonville Apr 26 '12 at 18:14
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    Note that the responder is incorrect about Facebook: if you double-click a link title or description in FB, you can edit it. – user20445 May 25 '12 at 4:31
  • Hmm... I always forget about the double click. Updating answer to reflect that. – Rebecca Dessonville May 25 '12 at 12:27

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