Google displaying topic list instead of meta description

Hi there!

Does anyone know why on Google the meta description of the site appears as this?

Instead of the description there are some random topics and data (my site is El Foro Viajero)

On desktop, the meta description appears ok.

Anyone having this issue?


Hi again.

Is this a normal behaviour? I can’t change that at all…now in desktop search my forum doesn’t show the correct description either…

It’s the same for my case too. I hope Discourse fix this soon.

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Yep…I tried a few times to let someone know. Hope this is fixed somehow

This is something which google is choosing to do - we don’t have any real control over it. I believe google is taking our HTML (which follows the ItemList schema), parsing the topic list, and then rendering the list directly in the search results.

Thanks for your reply @david I know other forums based in discourse like that don’t have this issue:

Maybe there’s a way to “force” Google to understand the meta description? My commynity looks kind of weird in the search results in comparation wiht the competitors.

I also did some digging in SEO here SEO issue with Google results in case you find something useful.

Thanks a lot!

Google decides what to show based on some internal logic. For example, if I search for forobits latest, I see the topic list view:

that would be really understandable from google when adding (latest) but not so much when searching only for “forobits”. Another example is when you look for a newspaper you get a metadescription and the news, not a list of news. Do you think this can’t be fixed at all and our communities will not show any metadescription? Maybe there’s a way.

According to this article:

The title tag and meta description are merely suggestions for what the search engines should display in the results. Google and Bing and other search engines are under no obligation to display exactly what you want them to display.

So it’s really up to the search engine. In Bing it looks like this:

You could try changing the meta description to use different words. Maybe Google doesn’t like that you use “El mejor foro de viajes” when there is another site that says “El mayor foro de viajes”. I’m just guessing here though, I’m no SEO expert :confused:


Thanks a lot for your feedback on this, I’ll try to change that description indeed. It looks much better on Bing than on Google. thanks!

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