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The Description (or "meta description") of a wiki will be shown on search engines when the main page appears in the results. The description text is helpful for Search Engine Optimization, and tells viewers of search results what your wiki is about. The contents of the system message MediaWiki:Description will be placed inside the content of the <meta name="description" ... > tag of the main page of a wiki.

The contents of MediaWiki:Description are pulled into search engines. Here you can see Wookeepedia's Description outlined in red.


When main pages show up in Google results, they sometimes have odd text showing as the description. Keywords for the topic of the wiki sometimes appear in boxes and templates on the main page, rather than plain text, so what Google shows can be somewhat random.

MediaWiki:Description is a way for wikis to customize what Google uses as the description for the main page. Right now, it's set to a default: "{{SITENAME}} is a database that anyone can edit." (The term {{SITENAME}} is replaced by the name of your wiki.)

Administrators can edit that page to expand the description, up to 150 characters. Good descriptions include search terms that one would expect people to use when they're looking for your site on a search engine.

MediaWiki:Description in action

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