Meta Description

The meta description is an attribute that describes the content of the webpage to search engines. The meta description may then be implemented in the snippet shown in search engine results.

Meta Keywords

Meta keywords are a now relatively outdated but still widely used way of indicating to search engines keywords that describe the content of a webpage. Meta keywords are not used by Google, but may be still be used by some search engines around the world.

Mobile first indexing

In November 2016 Google announced that they were experimenting with a mobile first index, meaning a stronger focus on mobile sites in algorithmic calculations. In March 2018 Google announced they were migrating some sites that followed best practice to mobile first indexing.

Mobile usability report

The Google Mobile usability report tool shows a count of mobile usability errors for a domain in Search Console.

Machine Learning

A subset of Artificial Intelligence in which a system uses data to learn and adjust a complex process without human intervention.

Manual Action

Google’s term for a penalty. Google will take manual action on a website after a human reviewer (i.e., a Google employee) manually reviews a website to confirm whether it has failed to comply with Google’s Webmaster guidelines. Penalized websites can either be demoted or removed entirely from search results. Manual actions can be assessed to the entire website or just certain webpages.

Meta Description

A tag that can be added to the “head section of an HTML document. It acts as a description of a webpage’s content. This content isn’t used in ranking algorithms, but is often displayed as the “snippet that appears in the search results. Accurate and engaging descriptions can increase organic click-through rate.

Meta Tags

Information that appears in the HTML source code of a webpage to describe its contents to search engines. The title tag and meta description are the most commonly used types of meta tags in SEO.


A way to measure activity and performance in order to assess the success (or lack thereof) of an SEO initiative.

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