Beyond exact keyword matching: optimize your text naturally

Our green bullets are addictive. We get that. While these green bullets help people to optimize their texts for the search engines, we don’t want people chasing only our bullets and losing track of their texts. We do want to nudge them and help them get that text as SEO-friendly as possible. In this blog post, I’ll tell you about the most pressing frustration that our customers experience and the solution we developed for that problem.

“Yoast SEO does not recognize my focus keyphrase”

Imagine this: You’re trying to optimize your post for the term [guinea pig]. In your text, you’ll probably use guinea pig (singular) and guinea pigs (plural). However, if your focus keyword is the singular [guinea pig], the keyword density check does not recognize your plurals and will punish you with a red bullet! That’s so annoying and unfair!  

In this text snippet, I use guinea pigs three times and guinea pig only one time. That means I get a red bullet…

Yoast SEO Premium analysis

In the premium analysis, plurals and past tense are recognized as the same keyword and treated as such in our analysis. Also, when you use your keywords in a different order, like ballet shoes and shoes for ballet, our analysis still recognizes them as well. In the premium analysis, both guinea pigs and guinea pigs are highlighted:

The premium analysis recognizes both the singular and plural versions of my keyword: no red bullet!

What does the premium analysis do? 

Our SEO analysis -in the premium version – automatically detects whether or not you use different word forms of your focus keyphrase. It’ll recognize singular and plurals, but also different tenses of verbs, and adjusts your keyword optimization scores accordingly. What’s more, it’ll find your keywords, even if a few function words separate them.

Let’s look at yet another example. If your focus keyphrase is [playing with your cats], it will recognize that keyphrase in the sentence ‘You can use toy mice to play with your cat‘. Or, if you want to optimize for [games for cats] it will recognize it the sentence, ‘Another game your cat will love …’ as well.

At Yoast, we have a team of linguists working on this functionality. As you can imagine, recognizing past tenses and plurals works very differently in different languages. The word form functionality is currently available in English and German. But we are working on Dutch and Spanish, too.

What about synonyms and related keywords?

Focusing on exact matching keyword feels a bit outdated. Google is able to recognize different word forms and synonyms too. We know that Google even understands related concepts. If you add synonyms and related keywords to your focus keyphrases, the Yoast premium analysis will take these into account as well. Read more about this in our post about how to use synonyms and related keywords.

Write naturally

The whole idea behind our premium analysis is that you can write naturally and still optimize for the search engines. Our plugin will give you little nudges to optimize your text a bit more, without tempting you to chase the green bullets with exact keyword matching. This means: no more awkwardly rewriting your sentences, so the SEO analysis picks up on your keyword. No more wondering if you really didn’t use your keyword often enough, or if the plugin simply doesn’t recognize every instance. 

Why is this a premium feature?

Recognizing plurals and past tense isn’t easy. And it’s different for all languages. It is a lot of work. That’s why we have an entire team of linguists working on it, making sure we’re adding more and more languages.

This does not mean that the free version is ‘wrong’ in any way. It’ll help you to focus on the correct focus keyphrases. However, it is not able to recognize the different word forms. Luckily, you are. So, if you’re using the free version, feel free to ignore the keyword density check if you’re mixing plurals and singulars of your keyword.

Read more: “Yoast SEO hates my writing style!”- 6 common misconceptions about Yoast SEO »

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When is your blog post ready for publication?

There is a subtle line between a crappy post and a perfect one. If you want to, you can endlessly tweak and improve upon your writing. So, how do you decide if your blog post is ready? When is a post good to go? In this blog post, I’ll share a checklist you can use to help you decide when to hit the ‘publish’ button!

1. Is your blog post long enough?

A post should contain at least 300 words. If you write posts that are shorter, you’ll have a hard time ranking with it in the search engines. In general, long posts will rank a bit more easily than short posts. However, long posts also require strong writing skills. Your article will need to have a kick-ass structure if you write something really lengthy. If you’re wondering how long a blog post should be, please read our article on text length.

☑ Is your post longer than 300 words? You are good to go!

2. Is your post free of grammar and spelling mistakes?

Before hitting publish, always check for grammar and spelling mistakes. Use a tool like Grammarly to make sure you’re writing in proper English (or in proper Dutch, German or Portuguese). Let someone else check your writing if grammar isn’t your strongest suit. Of course, you can alter mistakes after publishing an article and you will be forgiven for a small error. But, an article filled with typos and errors just isn’t a good read.

☑ Is your spell checker satisfied? Go ahead!

3. Is your blog post readable?

Reading from a screen can be difficult, so if you want people to read and understand your blog post it must be easy to read. This will get you more returning visitors and a higher conversion rate. Easy to read means that you use rather short sentences, clear paragraphs, and transition words. In Yoast SEO we offer a readability analysis. If the overall check in the readability analysis is green, your blog post is readable enough to hit publish!

☑ Is the bullet in the Yoast SEO readability analysis green? You have the green light!

4. Is your blog post SEO-friendly?

Before you publish your blog post, you should always make sure it is SEO-friendly. A green bullet in our SEO analysis is good enough. Before optimizing your post, make sure to put some effort into choosing the right focus keyword. Optimizing your blog post for a keyword nobody is searching for will not result in much traffic.

☑ Is the bullet in the Yoast SEO analysis green! Publish that post!

5. Is your message clear?

Why did you write this blog post? What do you want your readers to know or do after they’ve read your text? The purpose of your blog post needs to be clear. The message of your blog post, the thing you want to tell your readers needs to be clear. Think about the purpose, think about your message and read your blog post once again. Is your message clear? Will readers understand that message? If your not sure, let someone else read your blog post. Ask them!

☑ Is your message clear? You’re good to go!

6. Did you add internal links?

If people like your post, they should have enough opportunity to navigate to similar awesome posts. Make sure to link to posts that are of interest. Perhaps you’re selling some fantastic products on your website. Make sure to add links to those product pages!

☑ Did you add some amazing internal links? You’re all set!

So, when is your blog post ready?

If you’re a perfectionist, your blog post will never be ready. You can always improve and tweak to make it a little bit better. And, even after publication, you can make corrections and small (or bigger) tweaks. The question ‘ when is it good enough’ can be a hard one to answer. Check the 6 things I talked about in this blog post. Did you do all these things? Can you answer all these questions? If so, go ahead and hit publish! Good luck!

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Looking back at (almost) a decade of Yoast

It’s almost 2020 and a brand-new decade is right around the corner! A decade ago, Yoast didn’t even exist yet. A lot has changed in the past 10 years. In this blog post, I would like to look back at (almost) 10 years of Yoast. And, I’ll look at our plans for next year! 2020 is going to be a great year!

The very beginning

Yoast was founded by Joost de Valk. Until 2010, Joost had been working as an SEO consultant. He was doing consultancy at major companies like eBay and KLM. In 2010, Joost decided to give up his job as an SEO consultant. He took a leap of faith and began a company. Back then, he was pretty sure he would never hire any employees. So, he named his one-man-company after himself and his blog: Yoast.

Joost was mainly doing consultancy and website reviews at the very beginning of Yoast. In his free time and basically as a hobby, he was developing lots of little WordPress-plugins that improved the SEO of a site. He never thought he could make money with these plugins though. In October 2010, Joost finally made one plugin of all these little ones: WordPress SEO (now Yoast SEO) was born.

The evolving logo's of Yoast SEO over time.

The evolving logo of Yoast SEO over time.

If you want to read more about the growth of Yoast, please check out our history of Yoast page!

Premium plugins

Up until 2012, Yoast did not make any money with WordPress-plugins. But, WordPress SEO had over a million active installs. In the early days, Joost did all of the support on these plugins himself. That became a bit too much. In September 2012, Yoast launched Video SEO, the first premium add-on.

In the mean-time, Joost had hired some people. It became clear that this wasn’t going to remain a one-man-company after all. In 2012, Michiel became the first Yoast employee. That year, Erwin (our illustrator) and Mijke (our designer) also joined our team. Branding and design have been at the heart of the company throughout our entire journey. 

After Video SEO, Yoast released more premium add-ons: News SEO, Local SEO.  In 2014, we released a premium variant of the free version of our plugin. Nowadays, this is the most popular of all our plugins. By that time, Yoast was still doing site reviews as well. 

Growth, changes & failed projects 

Since Yoast started, a lot of things have changed. Nowadays, we’re not doing site reviews anymore, while that was our main source of income in the very early years. The growth of our company was mainly driven by our plugins. At one point, it makes sense to focus all your energy on that, which made us decide to stop doing site reviews.  And of course, we have tried some projects that just did not work as we planned. Did you know we have once tried to build and sell WordPress themes? Let’s just say that that wasn’t the success we hoped it to be :-). 

After 5 years of Yoast: Major rebranding

In 2015 – after 5 years of Yoast – the company underwent a major redesign. Up until then, our design team made a lot of avatars of Joost de Valk. His face featured on every page on our site. Our design team replaced the many avatars featuring Joost with new colorful illustrations. The logo was no longer orange but became green and purple. The change in design reflected the shift in the business. Yoast was no longer a synonym for Joost de Valk. 

Joost's avatars as they were on the site before the redesign.

Joost’s avatars as they were on the site before the redesign.

Yoast SEO academy

Also in 2015, we launched Yoast SEO academy. In the years before that, I (Marieke) was getting more and more involved in the company. Yoast SEO academy was my personal Yoast-baby (FYI: I also have four real babies with the person Joost).  We had written some eBooks before that helped people to do SEO themselves. The next step was the development of an online course. The first online SEO course – Basic SEO – appeared in 2015. Since then, we have made many online courses about SEO. Yoast SEO academy grew to be an online course platform with courses on every aspect of SEO. This year, we also released a free course about WordPress. 

Growth of Yoast – the company

Yoast SEO started out as a hobby. Although we still love it, It is not a hobby anymore. When software is running on 10 million sites, you need a professional company. And we’ve grown into a professional company (albeit a bit crazy).

In 2011, Yoast was Joost. At the end of 2012, Yoast consisted of Joost and another four employees. At the end of 2013, Yoast consisted of ten employees. And at the end of 2015, Yoast employed a total of 25 people. At the end of 2017, there were more than 50 people and now, at the end of 2019, there are more than 90 people working in the Wijchen offices. Also, more than a dozen people are working for Yoast in countries around the world.

Nowadays, product ideas still mainly come from Joost de Valk. Next to Joost, we have a big team of developers and a kick-ass testing team. Our software has to work on so many sites, with so many different configurations of plugins. That’s a lot of work and needs extensive testing. 

Besides that, we keep close relationships with both Google and Bing. At the same time, WordPress and open-source remain very important to us. Giving back to the community that got Yoast to where it is today is crucial to the company.

Features in Yoast SEO (Premium)

Since the birth of Yoast SEO, we’ve added and improved upon many features. Most of our features are available for both our free and premium users. Some features were only rolled out in premium though. 

We’ve added a redirect manager with which people can easily manage their redirects. In 2016,  we added our readability analysis, which helps people to write texts that are understandable for both their audience and Google. We’ve also created an internal linking tool, which helps people to manage their site’s structure. In 2018, we did a recalibration of our SEO analysis, which also lead to the introduction of Word forms. Our Premium SEO analysis is now able to recognize plurals, past tense and synonyms. 

In 2019: Schema! 

In 2019, with Yoast SEO 11.0, we released a major Schema update. Yoast SEO 11.0 featured a completely rewritten implementation — one that is destined to give search engines all your connections on a silver platter. This is a great development, not only for you and for search engines, but, more importantly, for the web in general. 

Also in 2019, I (Marieke) took over the role of CEO from Joost, which was kind of a big deal for me personally. Joost now is our Chief Product Officer. We both enjoy our new roles!

What to expect from Yoast SEO in 2020?

You can expect great things for Yoast SEO in 2020! We have a lot of awesome features that’ll be rolled out in 2020. We’re very excited about our ‘indexables’ update. Indexables is a pretty awesome rebuild of how we store and generate our metadata. Instead of re-generating robots, canonical and other tags on every page load, we’ll store them in our own table. This makes loads of our processes much much faster.

On top of that data, we’ll add an enhancement to our premium internal linking suggestions functionality, which we’re dramatically improving the quality of. Some real nice applied computer science stuff there in how we’ve applied information retrieval algorithms within WordPress without external storage.

We’re finishing up a brand new update for our internal linking tool. Also, you can expect some cool new schema-blocks! And that’s only half of it! We’re very excited: we decided that 2020 is going to be the ‘new features in Yoast SEO-year’. 

YoastCon 2020

In 2020, Yoast will celebrate its 10th birthday! And we’re going to host a huge birthday party: YoastCon 2020 It’s going to be a very special edition. YoastCon 2020 will take place on 24 April 2020 and tickets are completely free. If you want to find out more about YoastCon (and how to apply for tickets) check out the YoastCon page

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SEO Basics: How to start with SEO?

You’ve had this great idea. You’ve built this amazing website. And then, you want that website to attract visitors! You want to be found! What to do? How do you get started with SEO? How do you start with SEO on a brand new site? In this blog post, I’ll talk you through the 7 steps you need to take in order to get your SEO strategy up and running. 

So, you’ve started your first site and you want it to be found, so you can share your thoughts and views with the world. What to do? Let’s go through the steps of starting with SEO!

  1. Install Yoast SEO

    Provided that your website is on WordPress, installing Yoast SEO should be the first step in your SEO strategy. Our Yoast SEO plugin will help you to make sure your website is crawlable and findable. Yoast SEO will immediately take care of some technical SEO issues, just by being installed on your website. Besides that, our plugin will help you to construct your website in such a way that Google will understand and rank it. We offer a free and a premium plugin. If you’re just starting out, you’ll probably won’t need our premium version yet, although it can already save you some valuable time.

  2. Get that first link

    Google needs to know your website exists. And, in order for Google to know about your awesome new site, you need at least one external link towards your site. The reason for this: Google crawls the web. It follows links and saves all the webpages it finds in a very large database called the index. So, if you want to get into that index, you need (at least) one external link. So make sure to get that link from an external website!

  3. What do you want to rank for?

    Make sure to attract the right audience to your website. Who are your customers? For whom did you build this website? What terms do your customers use when searching on Google? Find out as much as you can about your audience.

    SEOs refer to this stage as doing your keyword research. This is a hard and important phase. There are a lot of helpful tools that make doing keyword research easier. Some of these tools are free, others are rather expensive. While these tools will make the difficult phase of keyword research easier, you should remember that you can’t outsource your keyword research to a tool. You really need to think about your audience and about the search terms they are using. Take your time for this phase. It is crucial. If you do your keyword research correctly, you’ll come up with a long list of keywords you want to rank for.

  4. Set realistic goals

    For a new site, it is rather hard to rank high in the beginning. Older sites already have a history, established their authority and a lot of links pointing towards them. That means that Google’s crawlers come by more often at older sites. For a new site to rank, you’ll always need to be a little patient. And remember: some search terms will be out of reach for a new site because there’s too much competition. Trying to rank for [WordPress SEO] will be rather hard for any new blog, because of some fierce competition on that term from

    If you’re just starting with your site, try to aim at ranking for long-tail keywords. Long-tail keywords are keywords that are longer and more specific and have far less competition than the popular head keywords. After a while, when your site starts to rank for the long-tail keywords, you could try and go after the more head keywords.

  5. Internal linking

    As I already mentioned in step 2, Google follows links. Google also follows the links on your website, your internal linking structure. It crawls through your website following the internal linking structure of your site. That structure is like a guide to Google. Make sure your internal linking structure is flawless. That’ll help with your ranking. 

    If you start with a brand new website, you’ll probably don’t have much content yet. This is the perfect time to think about structure. Now it is relatively easy. It’s like having a new closet and you haven’t started buying clothes. Now is the time to think about the things you want to put on the top shelf and which items you want to hide in the back of your closet. So, decide which pages are most important to you. What are the pages you want to rank with? Make sure that these pages have the most internal links pointing towards them.

  6. Start writing

    In order to get ranked, you need to have content. A very important step in how to start with your SEO is to write amazing content for all these search terms you want to be found for. The content analysis in the Yoast SEO plugin will help you to write that content. Our analysis will help you to write a text that is both readable and SEO friendly.

    While you’re writing, make sure to use the words you want to be found for. Use them in headings and in the introduction and conclusion of your text. After writing your text, you should optimize your SEO title and your meta description. The Yoast SEO plugin will help you to do all these things.

  7. Get those links!

    External links are important to get your site in high positions in those search engines. But gathering those external links can be a hard process. Make sure to write content people want to share and link to. Original ideas and great, valuable content will make the chance that people would want to share that much bigger.

    Of course, reaching out to people and making them aware of your awesome website and product can be a good strategy to get those external links too. Read more about a successful link building strategy or find out what link building is first.

And then what?

The truth is that SEO is more than these 7 steps. This is only the very beginning, the steps you take to start with SEO. In order to get longterm high rankings in the search engines, you need to do hard work. Your content has to be amazing, your site structure has to remain flawless (and that’s challenging when your site is growing) and you’ll have to keep earning those external links. The only way to really do that, in the long run, is to make sure that your audience enjoys visiting your website. If you want to rank the highest, make sure your site is the very best. Good luck!

Read more: wordPress SEOL the definitive guide »

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Celebrating 10 years of Yoast: YoastCon 2020!

There were rumors. People were talking. People were asking questions. And now… we can finally tell you all about the next YoastCon! It’s going to be a very special edition. A legendary edition. And, a birthday party! YoastCon 2020 will take place on 24 April 2020. We will celebrate our 10 year anniversary. And… we’d love it if you joined us to celebrate! Find out how you can join this edition of YoastCon: for free!

Free SEO conference

Yoast’s mission is SEO for everyone. That’s the reason Joost de Valk started to work on an SEO plugin. He wanted to translate all the knowledge he had gained during the consultancy advice he was giving to large companies into a plugin that everyone could use. We still strongly believe in our mission. The previous editions of YoastCon were very inspiring, but, for a lot of people, also a bit expensive. That’s why we decided to make this next YoastCon, our 10 year anniversary, a YoastCon for everyone. A free YoastCon.

Unfortunately, we cannot invite everyone to come to our birthday party. The conference room can accommodate up to 330 people. But, the good news is: you can apply for a ticket! We’ll ask you all to tell us why you want to come to YoastCon 2020. We’ll make room for the biggest fans!

In addition to free tickets, we’ll be giving away two YoastCon-VIP packages. A VIP-packages contains 2 YoastCon tickets, a stay in one of our Yoast-apartments and a meet-and-greet and lunch with everybody in our offices. Above that, we’ll pay your flight (if you need to fly) to the Netherlands.

An awesome line up of speakers

We’re putting together a program with the best speakers in the field of SEO and website optimization! We’ll give you all the new insights from Google and treat you to the latest trends in the SEO industry. You’ll leave YoastCon with lots of ideas and inspiration. Of course, Joost de Valk and Marieke van de Rakt will be speaking. And our very own SEO genius Jono Alderson will climb the stage! We can also announce Karl Gilis (our Belgian conversion-specialist-friend) and Kate Toon (Australian expert on SEO copywriting and Content SEO)! We have some other great speakers lined up, we’re awaiting their final confirmation. So, we’ll keep you posted!

Location: near the Yoast Campus!

This edition of YoastCon will be located at our hometown Wijchen. The previous editions of YoastCon were in Nijmegen (which is about 10 kilometers from Wijchen). We decided to stay close to home for this one. We have a beautiful theatre within walking distance from our offices. For sure, we’ll make room in our program for a walking tour around our Yoast Offices.

Want to come?

In the next few weeks, we’ll announce how and when you can apply for tickets to YoastCon 2020. So, stay tuned and make sure to keep an eye out on Facebook or Twitter. Or subscribe to our newsletter.

Hope to see you all in Wijchen at YoastCon 2020!

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Diversity, inequality, and prejudice; a sociological exploration

Diversity. Feminism. Prejudice. Inequality. Discrimination.

These are stirring words, evoking both positive and negative emotions depending upon your personal beliefs. Maybe you’re trying hard to not to feel anything at all about them, but you can no longer deny that they represent important issues in our world today.

Perhaps any negative emotions you feel are down to personal bad experiences. Or maybe it’s because you dislike the way our society seems so focused on them right now. It’s no surprise that any discussion around these topics can get heated very quickly. But we’re not here to stoke that particular fire. Here we’ll approach these issues from a different perspective – that of a sociologist.

You see, sociology doesn’t judge. It doesn’t have a view on whether something is right or wrong. It identifies neither victims nor bad guys. Sociology just analyzes society as it is. And our CEO Marieke van de Rakt, who graduated with distinction as a Sociology major, has found that it offers a good way to start the debate on these subjects. She’ll be your guide in this article, where we’ll take a look at gender stereotypes and prejudices; Where do they come from and where are they going? Is there still a big difference between the genders? And what can we do to improve the situation?

Are you ready? Let’s begin.

The riddle of the surgeon

Read the transcript


I want to tell you all a story.

A man and his son are in a car accident. It is a horrible, tragic accident and the father dies.

The son is left fighting for his life. An ambulance rushes the boy to hospital where they call on their best surgeon.

The surgeon rushes to the emergency room. The surgeon takes one look at the boy and exclaims: ‘I cannot operate on this young man, he is my son!’

Confused? How can this be if the boy’s father has just died? Unless…

Well, as it turns out, the surgeon isn’t the boy’s father. The surgeon is the boys mother. The surgeon is a woman.

Of course, we all know that there are female surgeons. And yet, when we think of a surgeon, the default image that pops into our heads is that of a male. This is the stereotypical image of a surgeon: a man in a white coat.

Somehow, that’s the way we have been conditioned. Let’s look at why we are programmed that way and where these prejudices and stereotypes can lead us.

So what do we mean by stereotypes and prejudice?

stereotype is a widely held, fixed and oversimplified image or idea of a particular type of person or thing. Stereotypes aren’t inherently positive or negative, but can be frustrating for those being stereotyped. Examples of stereotypes are: the Dutch ride bicycles everywhere; Norwegians are tall, blonde and beautiful; the French love croissants.

prejudice is a judgment (usually negative) about someone before having any information on which to form a knowledgeable opinion. Examples of prejudice are: Women are meant to be housewives; Middle-eastern people hate western culture; Gamers are antisocial geeks.

Rappers are criminals

Women love chocolate

Blondes are dumb

Teenagers only look at their phones

Girls are only interested in their looks

Vegans are annoying

What does sociology have to say about stereotypes and prejudice?

One of the first sociologists to research this in-depth was Henri Tajfel. After World War II, the accepted viewpoint was that only those with certain personality factors, such as authoritarianism, were prejudiced. But Tajfel, a holocaust survivor, disagreed. He believed that everyone is prejudiced, and he dedicated his life to finding out why we all use or have stereotypes and prejudices. His research concluded that stereotypes and prejudices serve two important functions: a cognitive function and a social identity function.

Tajfel’s experiments

Read the transcript

Henri Tajfel has an impressive list of publications. Check out his article on social identity and intergroup behavior.


Henri Tajfel is famous for two types of experiments. The first was about information processing – what function does prejudice serve in everyday life? Tajfel proved stereotypes and prejudice help people to make the world simpler. Stereotyping is a way for us to organize information.

In order to make sense of the world around us, we put people into boxes. So, a man in a suit is a self-absorbed rich business man. A pretty girl with a phone has no depth or personality, she is just a pretty face. Tajfel showed that prejudices are a tool we use to organize and process information.

Tajfel also did another group of experiments to discover how prejudice and social identity are related. What does belonging to a group mean to us humans? Tajfel divided a group of people into two groups based on a random factor, such as a coin toss. People knew which group they belonged to, but they did not personally know anybody in their group. They were complete strangers.

Next, Tajfel chose members of the groups to give away money, both to people in their group and to those in other groups. What happened? People showed favouritism towards those belonging to their own group. Why is that?

Well, it turns out that people like to belong to a group. If you put them into a group – even one randomly assigned – they immediately begin identifying with that group. Belonging to a group makes us feel good about ourselves and gives us a sense of identity and self-esteem. We like to believe that our own group is more fun, more intelligent, or more innovative than other groups.

Tajfel therefore showed that stereotypes and prejudices are important in creating and maintaining a positive sense of identity and self-esteem. And, that we all use stereotypes and prejudice as a way to process information.

That means that everybody has prejudices: They are indeed universal.

Origin of prejudices

So now we’ve established that everyone has prejudices, it’s time to explore where they come from.

Let’s be clear: the subject of gender is not black and white. People identify differently on the male-female continuum. However, within the scope of this article, for simplicity, gender will be considered binary.

In most western societies, people tend to consider men and women as equal. We don’t need to convince anybody that women should be able to, for example, vote, have an education, or pursue a scientific career. Most people agree that women should have exactly the same rights and opportunities as men.

Does this mean that the feminist revolution is really over? Are men and women really equal? Unfortunately, that’s not the case at all. Just look at the number of people working in the tech industry. There are fewer women in leading positions and there are fewer women in technical roles – like developers for example. If we look at the salaries of men and women, we also see big differences. Men, on average, make more money than women. So, although men and women are perceived as equal, they are not (yet) treated entirely equally. So why do these differences exist? Much of this is down to prejudice.

Many of the differences between men and women are not biological at all, but rather sociological. I will go into the sociological part, the nurture part, shortly, but let’s start with nature.

Biological prejudice (nature)

It’s of course true that there are some differences in men and women of a biological origin. Women are able to bear children, for example, whereas men aren’t. But these biological differences have become gender role stereotypes in and of themselves. Such as how we tend to think that men are stronger than women, simply because they are generally more muscular. But there are plenty of exceptions to this rule, so assuming a woman isn’t physically strong just because she is female, is definitely a prejudice.

But which differences are the result of biology? There are no easy answers to this. So join us for a little game of fact or prejudice.

Are men smarter than women?

No… men and women are equally smart. The average IQ for both men and women is 100. However, the distribution of IQ across the scale is different for men and women. At least, that is what some scientists claim. Because, while there is scientific consensus about the average IQ, there is still some debate over the distribution. Many scientists say that while average IQ is similar between the genders, the IQ distribution curve for men is a bit flatter than that for women. So more men are in both the really high IQ range and in the really low IQ range, and more women sit in the middle of the graph (with an IQ of around 100). Scientists are debating this matter and will be for some time.

Are men taller than women?

Yes, men are generally taller than women. All over the world men are – on average – taller than women, the difference being around 10cms. That said, I am a woman and I’m 184cm tall, which means I am usually taller than most of the men in the room. So, while there are differences between groups, there are also major differences within those groups.

Are men better at maths than women?

This is a tricky one. Yes, men are better at maths than women, on average, in most countries. But there are also many countries where men and women score equally in maths tests. And, there are some countries where women score better than men. So, men are in fact better than women at maths, but this is clearly not biological. Because women score better in some countries, it cannot be genetic. So, the explanation for the differences in maths scores has to be sociological.

Are male and female brains different?

No, the brains of men and women are not entirely different. It is not possible to see just from looking at a brain whether it belongs to a man or a woman. In essence, the male and female brains are pretty much the same. There are some minor differences though. On average, men’s brains tend to be slightly larger and women’s brains have a thicker cortex. Overall though, the male and female brains function in the exact same way. Of course, scientists are debating this one as well.

So, as we’ve seen, the brains of men and women are essentially the same. Men do tend to be better at maths, but this cannot have a biological cause. Similarly, there is no biological explanation as to why so few women end up in leadership positions. And neither is there a biological explanation as to why there are so few women in tech jobs. So, the explanation for why there is a lack of women in the tech industry must lie with nurture.

Societal prejudice (nurture)

Studies have shown that prejudices emerge in early childhood. The way we raise our children and the stories we tell them have a big impact on the types of stereotypes and prejudice they’ll hold in life.

From the moment our children are born – and nowadays even before then – they are treated differently according to their gender. We dress girls differently from boys. We give them different toys to play with. We even talk to them in a different manner.

Now, that is not necessarily a bad thing. You don’t have to feel like you’re a bad parent because of that.

I have three sons and one daughter. I love having a girl. I dress her differently. I myself love being a girl. I love pink. I love to wear dresses. It’s no bad thing to be a girly girl. It’s no bad thing to have a daughter who enjoys wearing dresses and playing with barbie dolls. It is, however, important – and I will go into that a bit more later on – to be aware of the fact that girls are treated differently. It’s important to keep thinking about how this will affect her and my three sons.


But nurture is about more than just parenting. Gender stereotyping also happens in schools. A study from 1994 showed that teachers treat girls differently from boys in the classroom. While boys are praised when they show correct knowledge, girls are praised for good or compliant behavior. Girls are criticized for getting things wrong, while boys are criticized for misbehaving.

I recently attended a play at my kids’ school. It was medieval themed. First, the girls did a dance. They were all dressed like medieval princesses. After that, the boys came on stage carrying swords and did a sword-fight demonstration. I asked the teacher afterwards why she chose to separate boys and girls. She reacted defensively. ‘If your son or one of the other boys had wanted to play a princess, then of course that would have been allowed.’ And she really meant that. But that means that children of the age of 6 have to go to the teacher and ask for another role. Most children will not do that. Which means everyone was watching a show in which all of the girls were being pretty, and all the boys were acting tough. The parents, teachers, and the children were (once again) reinforcing their gender stereotypes.


Gender stereotypes are also common in advertising. There is a Dutch brand that sells shampoo ‘for strong and smart boys’, and a shower gel ‘for sweet and beautiful girls’. Marieke’s daughter was confused. “I want to be smart,” she said, “but I do not want to be a boy.”

Advertising aimed at children starts from these stereotypes. Water guns for boys, Barbie dolls for girls. And so it continues into adulthood: Cars are for men, kitchen appliances are for women. All these things combined lead to strong and potentially harmful gender stereotyping.

So if we buy into this, what stereotypes do we end up with?

Female stereotypes

Women are sweet, kind, and nurturing. Women are beautiful, modest, and gentle. Women are emotional, a little irrational, and cheerful.

Male stereotypes

Men are competitive, smart, and independent. Men are strong, they are leaders. Men are analytical and decisive. Mysterious, tough, but loving.

What happens when people do not fit these stereotypes?

You may be thinking: ‘These gender stereotypes are all positive things, so what’s the big deal?’ But have you considered what happens if people do not fit into common stereotypes? To answer that question, let’s look at a case study.

A group of people was divided into two groups of 30 each. The first group of people got to read this case: ‘Heidi Roizen became a successful venture capitalist by using her outgoing personality… and vast personal and professional network that included many of the most powerful business leaders in the technology sector.‘

The other group of people got to read the exact same case, only the name wasn’t Heidi, it was Howard. Afterwards people were asked: ‘Do you think this person is qualified? Do you think this person is smart? Do you like this person.’

There were no differences in the opinion of Heidi and Howard concerning their qualifications. People thought that both Howard and Heidi were equally smart. However, while people liked Howard, they did not like Heidi. People wanted to be friends with Howard but not with Heidi.

People tend to dislike those who are different from their gender stereotypes. We think it’s weird, it doesn’t add up, it’s not inline with what we consider ‘normal’.

This means that women who take charge, who hold leadership positions, are often perceived as bitches. Women who pursue a career in computer science are perceived as geek girls. Men who are caring and nurturing are perceived as weak. And sensitive men? Well, obviously they are not real men.

It makes us feel uncomfortable if people act differently from how we expect them to act. If we don’t understand it, we tend to dislike it.

Consequences of stereotypes

So, what does this mean for differences between men and women? What exactly are the consequences of prejudices?

Speaking from my own experience: I don’t want to be a bitch. I really want people to like me. I was afraid to step up and take a leading position for such a long time. I was genuinely afraid that people would not like me anymore. I was really struggling to ‘be myself’ and take charge and be a manager. And I think this is the case for many other women too. They have to step outside of their gender role where they are expected to be modest, kind and caring, and into a role where they need to lead, be decisive and a little bit bold. That’s hard.


This means that women have a pretty hard time finding their way into traditionally male-dominated occupations (such as tech) and leadership positions, but at the same time, men have a hard time if they want to work in, for example, childcare.

Men are even fighting their gender role if they want to look after their own children. Men are often overlooked or neglected in this way, because they are not expected to be caring and nurturing.

Open source development

Read the transcript


Let’s take a look at a study on an open source development project. This study analyzed 3 million pull requests. A pull request is when a developer makes changes to the code of a software project, and then asks permission to officially include these changes in the project. The project leads then decide whether to accept or deny this request.

This study focuses on the pull request success rates of each gender. At first glance, the results look quite promising:

The overall success rate for women was 78.7% and for men it was 74.6%. So, that doesn’t look like gender inequality at all.

However, if you drill down into the results, you find that these results include insiders to the project – people who knew each other, and each other’s work.

It turns out that the results are quite different for people who were unknown to the project leads.

For non-insiders – new ones – the acceptance rate for women was much lower at only 58 %. For new men it was 61%. And then there were a lot of people who had a gender-neutral name and user profile, meaning the project leads did not know their gender. Among these people the acceptance rate is a bit higher. Men with a gender-neutral profile had an acceptance rate of 65% and for women it was 70%. And this is interesting.

The results show that women had a good chance of getting their pull request accepted if they were known. Higher than men even. But if they were unknown, the gender stereotypes seemed to kick in. Will a woman’s development skills be as good as a man’s?

For a woman who is new, you’d have the best chance of getting your pull-request through if you concealed your gender. Chances are that people will assume you are male, just because, stereotypically, the majority of developers are male.

This study shows us that our prejudice kicks in when we don’t know people. This is when we need that mechanism to make sense of the world. It’s the only information we have to work with.

It turns out that in uncertain situations, people are most prone to use prejudices. And that’s something we all should be more aware of. Uncertainty can lead to prejudice.

Want to read the entire study? Check it out!

Women still have a tough time taking the lead. Look at the Fortune 500 and you’ll see that, of the 500 biggest companies, only 24 are led by women. If we look at the WordPress ecosystem, the picture isn’t any better. Of the 20 most influential WordPress businesses and companies today (according to only 2 are led by women.

4.8% of the Fortune 500 companies are led by a woman

of the Fortune 500 companies are led by a woman

10% of the most influential WordPress companies are led by a woman

of the most influential WordPress companies are led by a woman

So what can we do

We cannot change society. Many of the inequalities existing today come from our culture. It is in our schooling, the media – everywhere. We can’t really control that.

Marieke, for one, tries to change things on a micro-level. “I talk to the schools my children attend and try to make them aware of their gender stereotyping. And, the marketing of the shampoo products for boys and girls was in fact changed after I – and a lot of other people – tweeted about it.” So little things can make a difference.

Be aware

The first thing we can do is to be aware of our prejudices. Be conscious of stereotypes and be aware of what our role is. Marieke is always aware that she is not raising her daughter in exactly the same way as her sons.

Another example: Men are thought of as being more decisive, more natural leaders, more confident, and so men are much more likely to ask questions at conferences. That doesn’t mean that women don’t have anything to contribute. They are just socialized in such a way that it isn’t as easy or natural for them to speak up. They are socialized in a way that’s taught them to be more modest.

If people are aware of a woman’s tendency towards modesty because of cultural conditioning, we can break through. We can help women to stand up and ask questions, for example by asking them to do so beforehand. Their example might lead other women to follow their lead and ask more questions.

Looking at another example: Job interviews. If we are aware that women are generally more modest, then maybe all it takes to look beyond your prejudices is a little extra thought. Perhaps we need to ask different questions in interviews to get the answers we need.

At Yoast, we like to try that bit harder with recruitment, because that allows us to truly hire the most competent employees. That’s why Marieke started the Women Empowerment Project. She wants to help women be more confident and stand up for themselves a bit more. And at the same time, Marieke wants to research whether or not we ourselves hold a gender bias that is preventing women from growing within our company. Yoast has some really bold and passionate men at the top of the organization. And we actively encourage more women, but there could still be prejudices and old habits lurking. Yoast is looking into this and trying to do better, and we believe more companies could benefit from this approach.

Strong female role models

Another thing we lack is strong role models. The more people we see in roles that challenge their gender stereotypes, the more we will get used to it. This is why Yoast strongly believes in diversity on the stage (at WordCamps, for example). If the lineup at conferences and events is diverse, everyone will hopefully recognize something of themselves in the people they see in the spotlight.

That’s why we started the Yoast Diversity Fund for traditionally underrepresented groups. We cover expenses and travel costs for those who otherwise couldn’t afford to speak at WordCamps or similar conferences. Having these people on stage is fighting stereotypes. That’s crucial.

WordPress has become a community that excels at this. They deserve a round of applause! There are not many statistics available, but what we have found is inspiring:

In 2012 women gave 19% of talks at WordCamps. In 2017 this percentage had increased to 30%. So in only 5 years, WordPress has managed to get 11% more female speakers on stage. That is amazing.


If there is one thing to take away from this story, let it be this:

Everybody holds prejudice. It’s totally normal. But it’s how we handle these prejudices that makes the difference. If we want to live in a world of mutual respect, where everyone is free to be who they want and do what they want, this is where to start.

If you want to learn more, you can find a list of additional reading/viewing materials below. They all inspired and informed the things we’ve talked about here.

Or, if you want, you can share this article with others. Even small actions like that, learning something new or starting a conversation, can move us closer to a kinder, more tolerant world.

TedTalks to watch:

Books to read:

  • Inferior: The true power of women and the science that shows it by Angela Saini
  • Lean in by Sheryl Sandberg
  • The moment of lift – Melinda Gates
  • That’s what she said: what men need to know (and women need to tell them) about working together- Joanne Lipman

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Yoast SEO: don’t just set it and forget it!

Some of the things Yoast SEO does are pure magic. Lots of things are just taken care of after you’ve installed the plugin. You don’t have to do anything about that. Simply installing Yoast SEO will fix a lot of important technical SEO things for you. The content side of SEO, though, is something you should always do yourself. Yoast SEO will help you, but you’ll need to make an effort. So there’s a lot of work in it for you. In this post, I’m going to tell you about the things you need to do yourself, in order to make your SEO strategy successful.

Configure Yoast SEO properly

First of all, you need to configure Yoast SEO correctly. You should be aware that the plugin can’t perform to its full potential if the settings of Yoast SEO aren’t optimal for your specific website. So, make sure that the configuration of Yoast SEO is, in fact, in line with your website. The configuration wizard helps you take care of a lot of these settings.

Keyword research – always

The second thing you need to make sure of is doing your keyword research right. You need to know that you’re focusing on the words that people actually search for. If you’re optimizing for a term nobody uses, you can rank number one, but you still won’t have any traffic. And, if you’re optimizing for a term that’s so competitive that you won’t ever be able to rank for it, then you won’t get any traffic as well.

Doing your keyword research means that you need to get inside the heads of your audience. It also means that you should know your competition and estimate your chances to rank for a certain keyword. Yoast SEO will help you optimize your content for your keywords, but figuring out what the right keywords are, is your job.

Read more: How to choose keywords that’ll attract traffic »

Write awesome content

The third thing you need to do yourself is to write awesome content. And that’s something you have to do manually. Of course, you can outsource this, but it’s something somebody has to do. Yoast SEO actually helps you to write both SEO-friendly, as well as readable texts with the content and SEO analysis. So, make sure you use this feature in order to make your text well-optimized for the search engines. But adding great content is still something you need to do yourself; it won’t happen magically.

Internal linking

Another thing you’ll need to do yourself is to take care of your internal linking structure. This is very important because a proper internal linking structure will make sure that Google understands your website. And, you want Google to understand your website. Otherwise, you will be competing with your own content for a place in the search results.

Yoast SEO (Premium) will help you to do that, with our internal linking feature. But it’s still something you need to be actually doing yourself. Yoast SEO will make suggestions for articles you could link to, but you still have to put them in your article.

Social previews and redirects

Social previews and redirects are features in Yoast SEO that’ll help you improve your SEO. Your effort is needed in order to gain an SEO advantage from these features. Part of your SEO strategy will be a strategy on social media, so Facebook and Twitter. And Yoast SEO can help you make those posts on Facebook, but you still have to hit that button and write the content. Same goes for the redirects. If a page is outdated, you want to redirect it to another page. But it won’t happen just magically; you have to create those redirects yourself.

Don’t forget your competition

Even if they’ve done all the things I talked about, some people are unable to rank for a specific term. Why is that? Well, I think a lot of it has to do with competition. Some search terms are so competitive and dominated by high-authority brands that it’s terribly hard for a starting out blog to rank between them. If you want to rank for ‘holiday home Florida’ and you’re just starting out as a blog, you’re probably not going to rank right away. You need to have a whole strategy, in which you focus on long-tail search terms first. So, part of why you’re not ranking has to do with the competition.

On top of that, SEO sometimes takes a long time. Don’t despair if you’re not ranking overnight. It can take a little while before you start ranking for specific search terms. It’s a process that requires a strategy, and it takes some time before you see the results.


SEO is a lot of work. Yoast SEO takes care of most of the technical SEO stuff. The content side of SEO is a different story, though. You’ll need to make an effort to set up a successful content SEO strategy. There are a lot of things you should work on, in which Yoast SEO can actually help you and take you by the hand. And don’t forget: whether or not you rank for specific terms also depends on your competition in your specific niche. 

Keep reading: What does Yoast SEO do? »

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Celebrating the WordPress community: the Yoast Care fund

WordPress is wonderful! It is a wonderful CMS and with it comes a wonderful community. At Yoast, we’re definitely WordPress fanboys and fangirls. We’re fans of the CMS, fans of the community and fans of all those kickass volunteers. That’s why we’ve decided to introduce a new fund: the Yoast Care fund. Care stands for The Community Appreciation REwards. As of today, we want to celebrate those awesome volunteers with Yoast Care!

What is Yoast Care?

The Yoast Care fund contains money. You can nominate a person who is active in the WordPress community as a volunteer, and if we reward a person with a Yoast Care, they will receive $500. Besides that, we’ll do an interview, which we’ll publish on In this interview, we want to tell the world about the awesome work someone has been doing as a WordPress volunteer.

Why Yoast Care?

A lot of people at Yoast do work for WordPress and we’re able to pay for most of their time. They do awesome work but also get compensated for it. However, a lot of the people in the WordPress Community are freelancers. And, they don’t have a company that pays the hours they put into our ecosystem. They don’t get compensated for their time or energy at all. 

We get it: it’s a lot easier to contribute to WordPress if you get paid for it. But, it’s impossible for Yoast to hire all those volunteers. That wouldn’t be healthy for our business. And, more importantly, those independent volunteers are of tremendous value. Those freelancers, their independent voices: that’s important for the WordPress ecosystem, that’s something we cherish (even though we might disagree with them sometimes ;-)).  

We’ve noticed that quite some people in the WordPress community don’t feel appreciated. And, let’s face it: it’s hard to show appreciation to one another in a community that’s scattered around the world. But we should make an effort to do so. We should celebrate each other and each other’s accomplishments a bit more often. We’ve been talking about these things a lot at Yoast and decided to set some money aside to get the Yoast Care started.  

What to do?

Do you know somebody who does amazing work in WordPress? Someone, a volunteer, who deserves a bit of recognition? Don’t hesitate to nominate that person!

We’re going to give away Yoast Cares to people that are nominated for it by someone else. You’ll have to fill out our form and explain why this person deserves a Care. Read more about it on our application page.

We’ve set aside $25.000 a year to spend on Yoast Cares. So, we’re really looking forward to receiving those first applications! To whom should we give our very first Yoast Care? Please let us know!

More information?

Do you want to know more about how to nominate someone or what our specific conditions are? Read all about it on our application page! And, while you’re at it: don’t forget to read about our diversity fund

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How to become a better writer

Content is essential for SEO. As Google reads and understands content. And, reading and understanding content is easier when a text is well written. Both for humans and Google. Some people are blessed with great writing skills. Others are struggling a bit more. However, if you’re bad at writing now, that doesn’t mean that you can’t get better! There are many aspects of a good blog post that you can learn to do well.

In this blog post, I’ll share 5 tips that’ll help you become a better writer. 

1. Preparation is everything

Especially if you’re not an experienced writer, you should always start with proper preparation. And, proper preparation means that you have to think a lot. Think about questions like: why am I writing this article? Who are my readers? What do I want my readers to know, understand, or do after they have read my article? What’s the topic of the article? What is the main message I want to send to your audience?

Read more: Preparing your blog post »

2. Structure, structure, structure

Always make sure your text has a good structure. That’ll make all the difference for your audience (and for Google for that matter). If paragraphs follow each other in a logical order, it will be much easier to grasp the main message. Think about the different things you want to discuss in an article. Think about what order you should address these issues. And, then write that down. Write a few words about every paragraph you’d like to write.

Structuring your text means helping your reader grasp what your text is about. Help your reading by adding subheadings and images. Make sure paragraphs aren’t too long. And, make sure that you use transition words.

Keep reading: Practical tips for setting up a clear text structure »

3. Write short sentences

Don’t write sentences that are longer than 20-25 words. If you’re not the best writer (yet!), make sure that you write short sentences. Longer sentences are just so much harder to read. People are capable of handling 20 to 25 words in their minds. If you write sentences longer than that, people need much more cognitive power to digest it. In order to truly understand, your audience will need to reread sentences or read at a much slower pace. Above that, writers tend to make more grammar mistakes as sentences become longer. For every writer that is starting, my advice would be: make those sentences short and sweet.

Short sentences are just one aspect of readability. There are some other things you can do in order to make a text easy to read. Try to limit your use of passive voice, write short paragraphs, and make sure to use transition words.

Read on: 5 tips to write readable blog posts »

4. Add examples and little stories

Adding examples, fun facts, and little stories to your article will make it much more appealing for your reader. Using stories in an article may sound daunting for many writers because it might seem like next-level writing. But adding examples is an excellent way to make an article nicer to read. If you’re writing about a product, make sure to add some user stories or give examples on how people use the product. Examples help people to understand what you mean and make your text more fun to read.

Keep on reading: What is storytelling and why should you use it? »

5. Round things up!

Try to get back to the main message of your text in your conclusion. That’s a way of rounding your text up. It’ll make it more probable that the message of your text will resonate with your audience.  If you use an example in your introduction, try to use that same example (slightly different is the best) in your conclusion. 

Read more: Obtain an attractive writing style! »


Everybody can learn how to write better. Everyone can improve their writing skills. You just need a little practice. Start with making sure to write readable texts. The Yoast SEO readability analysis will help you to achieve that. We’ll give feedback and make sure your sentences aren’t too long, that you’re using transition words and you’re not using too much passive voice. The feedback will improve your writing for sure! Combine our plugin with some effort on preparation and structuring your text and you’ll be drafting great content in no time. Good luck!

Keep reading: The ultimate guide to content SEO »

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Google’s Knowledge Panel: What is it and how to get one?

Google’s Knowledge Panel is the block you’ll find on the right side of your screen in the search results. Nowadays, you’ll see it for a lot of queries. It presents the results of Google’s Knowledge Graph, which can be seen as an engine connecting all kinds of data Google finds on the web. If you have a local, branded or personal panel, you might be able to influence what Google shows in the panel. Here, we’ll explain how.

What is a Knowledge Panel?

Knowledge Panels are a type of rich results in Google’s search results pages. They can show information about all kinds of things: businesses, people, animals, countries or plants, for instance. Such a panel appears on the right side of your screen in the desktop search results. It shows details on the particular entity you’re searching for. What you see in this panel is powered by Google’s Knowledge Graph.

example knowledge graph panel
An example of a knowledge panel

Why should we care about Knowledge Panels?

If you want to be found for search terms like your name, brand or business name, a Knowledge Panel is really useful! If Google decides to show you or your business in this panel, you pretty much dominate the search results on the right side of the screen in desktop search. In mobile, the panel will appear between other results but is pretty dominant as well.

A Knowledge Panel will, therefore, make sure your company or brand will stand out in the search results when people are specifically searching for it. That’ll give you lots and lots of clicks. This does make sense: if people are searching for you or your brand name, they probably want to find your website. So Google’s providing them with the best result.

How do you get a Knowledge Panel for your business?

As with all types of search results, Google will decide whether or not it’ll show a knowledge panel in the search results. If you’re a local business, you can do some things to increase your chances to rank with a knowledge panel. For the branded and personal panels, it is much harder to obtain such a knowledge panel.

Local panels

If you want a chance of Google displaying a local panel for your business, the first step is to open a Google My Business account. You’ll then be able to verify that you are the owner of your business. After that, you can add or edit all relevant information about your business, such as address information, opening hours and photos.

What also helps, is to verify your site with Google Search Console and to add structured data markup for businesses, as our Local SEO plugin does.

In the end, Google will decide whether or not to show a Knowledge Panel. Relevance, distance, and the prominence of the business are all important aspects for Google in determining if it’ll show one Making sure your website is working well and on a high-authority domain could enhance your chances.

Read more: Improve your local SEO with Google My Business »

Branded/personal panels

It’s not possible to apply for a branded or personal panel. Google will decide whether you or your brand is worthy of a Knowledge Panel. If you or your brand have enough authority, a panel will appear. Brands and people who are well-known and have, for instance, Wikipedia pages, often have Knowledge Panels as well.

For Yoast, we do have a Knowledge Panel. Joost de Valk also has a personal panel and since a while, as you can see, I have one too!

My own personal knowledge panel!

There are ways to increase your chances of getting in, as discussed in this webinar with a.o. Jason Barnard, but it will take lots of time and effort and success isn’t guaranteed, unfortunately.

Yoast SEO and the Google Knowledge Panel

As of our 11.0 release, Yoast SEO outputs a complete Structured data graph for the pages on your website. Structured data offers Google information about you, your business and your website in a way that’s understandable for machines and therefore it’s a great help for Google’s Knowledge Graph.

By doing so, Yoast SEO’s structured data graph helps Google’s Knowledge Graph connect the dots. This doesn’t mean you’ll necessarily get a panel, but you’ll offer the data for the panel in the best possible way.

In Yoast SEO, you can also add your social profile information. Yoast SEO will use this data to output the correct Schema markup. This means that, if you get a panel, the right social profiles are shown.

How to verify your panel?

If you have a personal Knowledge Panel, make sure to verify it. Verifying is not all that hard. Follow the steps Google has outlined for you in this article. You need to log in to your Google account and sign in to one of your official sites or profiles to get verification for your business. Once verified, you’ll be able to suggest changes in the panel to influence what it looks like.

Conclusion on Google’s Knowledge Panel

Knowledge Panels are a great asset to have in the search results. For local panels, you should make sure you’re doing everything you can to get one. For branded or personal panels, it is much harder to influence your chances of getting one. It all depends on your level of authority, and that’s something that probably won’t be fixed overnight.

Keep reading: What is Google’s Knowledge Graph »

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