Is it possible to edit meta description for SEO?

Hey guys,
We have our small community and we have the need to change meta descriptions for next pages:

  • https://community.flowmapp.com/
  • https://community.flowmapp.com/c/news
  • https://community.flowmapp.com/categories
  • https://community.flowmapp.com/privacy
  • etc.

I also found the Topic from 2019 and I can assume that it’s might be impossible to do.
Maybe some updates released since then?

Appreciate any help.
Thanks.

1 Like

Well you can change the homepage description via a site setting, which you can see here on meta if you view source

<meta name="description" content="Discussion about the next-generation open source Discourse forum software">

As for the category homepage /c/category-name, as you can see on the support category here on meta, the description is generated from the “about this category” topic for each category:

<meta name="description" content="Support on configuring and using Discourse after it is up and running. For installation questions, use the install category.">

The /category directory page inherits the same description as the homepage which seems correct to me

<meta name="description" content="Support on configuring and using Discourse after it is up and running. For installation questions, use the install category.">

The /privacy page indeed has no meta description tag, so I suppose we could add something generic like

<meta name="description" content="privacy policy for {sitename}">

but is it really worth it? I mean how many people are gonna Google for the privacy policy for a site, plus, the <title> tag is good

<title>Privacy policy | Discourse - Civilized Discussion</title>

and the primary <h1> header tag is also good

<h1 id="privacy-questions-and-answers">Privacy Questions and Answers</h1>

So I’m not sure there’s really anything necessary to do here.

5 Likes

The thing is, as per Google’s guidelines, we’re fixing some problems here and there. Lack of Meta Descriptions and copies are considered as a site errors and can highly affect an overall rating in search results.
Besides that - I agree it’s not worth it and we would never start doing this if not Google Policies.

Could you please clarify more on how exactly can we change these settings? I couldn’t find these options from our Admin dashboard and I probably just misunderstood you.

Thank you!

To edit category descriptions, enter the category, press the edit button at upper right

image

then look for the Edit Description button on the first tab of category preferences

As for the site description, re-run the setup wizard, it’s one of the steps. Or look for site description in your site settings.

2 Likes

Thank you very much Mr. Codinghorror!

Appreciate your help a lot and it’s always relieving to see in the thread your avatar from Steve McConnell’s book (yeah, I read your blog) - for me, this image strongly associates with the feeling of “ok, now I’m in capable hands and Jeff will help”

Take care!

3 Likes

Hey there!

I am back with the same problem but on the next level. Thanks, @codinghorror, for showing how to edit the description of a category. We could do this, however, we could not change the meta description of a category. Every time, we run an SEO audit of the site, we get an error that the main community page, privacy policy page, ToS page, and category page have duplicated meta descriptions. So I am looking for ways to edit the meta description of privacy policy page, ToS page on our discourse account. Do you know of a way to do it?