Again it was a month packed with great conferences we were lucky enough to attend. Some Yoasters – of course – went to WordCamps like Torino, London and Vienna. In addition to that, others went to Playgrounds blend, React and TYPO3 UX. To top it off, I was given the opportunity to do a digital detox in Iceland. All of those events are worth mentioning, but it’ll take too long to discuss all of them in here, so here’s a selection. Read about the Yoast adventures on WordCamp Torino, Playgrounds Blend and my personal digital detox! 

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WordCamp Torino (April 6-7)

Beginning of April our Community superhero Karin went to Turin in Italy to mingle with the hospitable Italian WordPress community. There she also met with our accessibility expert Andrea. Apart from having a great time with the friendly Italians and eating delicious pizza and ice cream, she particularly enjoyed the talk of Carole Olinger, who told about her journey in the WordPress Community so far. Karin could really relate to this:


By the way, if you want to hear Karin’s story, about her journey in the WordPress community check out this video.

She was also really curious to see Alessia Pizzi talk about our own Yoast SEO plugin:

One of the lightning talks during the morning session was about the Yoast plugin. In Italian. I thought I would go there, just to see if I could understand what Alessia Pizzi, was talking about.

Well, I didn’t!

But the room was jam-packed with people, and she loved to see Alessia talk so  passionately about our plugin. All in all she had a blast in Torino and hopes to be back some day. 

Playgrounds Blend (April 13)

Playgrounds is an annual conference where the most talented and innovative creative professionals in animation, game & interactive design, robotics and creative technology come to show and tell about their work. Erwin, Tim and Luc, representing the creatives at Yoast went there to “get their creative juices flowing” as Luc eloquently put it. Here are some of the takeaways:

Studio Moniker presented us with their system of ‘conditional design’. Instead of designing towards a finished product, they only produce the concept and ground rules of a design. They then enable the public to participate in the design process which leads to very random and unique designs. We saw some cool examples of this form of open source design. It was funny to see there are always people who try to bend, break or ignore the rules of a project.

example of a post cardMr Bingo’s presentation was fast, funny and relentless. His story about how he got to send insulting postcards to people all over the world, after one drunken tweet, was the funniest thing we heard that day.

Until he told the story how he decided to produce a rap to introduce his Kickstarter that is:

The most interesting talk of the conference, according to Erwin, was the one from David OReilly. He made one of the most bonkers animations he’s ever seen, so he was very intrigued by what he had to say.

Oreilly builds digital worlds but from a different standpoint than most others. Instead of trying to simulate the physical world in a 3d environment he lets the limitations of the programs he works with determine the look of the worlds he creates. As long as the used design aesthetic is coherent, the brain of the viewer will accept the design as equivalent to the real world. In other words: if you give the world you design the same overall look or style, your public will believe a clownfish can talk. Or that a man can fly and shoot laser-beams from his eyes.

He then showed his most recent projects that incorporate these ideas; a game about a floating tree, that’s somehow very popular in China, and the game Everything. In this last game, the player can play as any element that is present in the game. From the tiniest microbe, to trees, guitars, clouds, islands, planets and even galaxies. With every change of “character” the view of the world and how you experience it changes too. Making you think about how your position in the world determines how you think about the world. This way everything becomes equally important and unimportant at the same time.

Just take a look at this launch trailer how overwhelming this idea is:

Digital detox in Iceland

The last “conference” I’ll highlight is the digital detox I went to. On April 18, I stepped on a plane to Iceland, without really knowing what was ahead of me. I signed up for a ‘digital detox’ organized by GeekAdventures.org. Mendel Kurland, the head geek, promised a couple of days hiking in Iceland with awesome people in the tech industry.

The first evening, even before the event had officially started, I met up with Hari to explore Reykjavik. We walked for over two hours through the different parts of the city. With Google Maps on our phones not to get lost (hey, our detox hadn’t started yet!), we eventually found our way to another group of adventurous geeks. After drinks and a good meal, it was time to head back to our hotels and prep for the next morning.

Do you know that awkward silence when you first meet a group of new people? Well, we didn’t have much of that. After 4 hours on a 4×4 bus, visiting a stunningly beautiful waterfall and staring at a glacier together, we only needed lunch, a quick intro-game and a bit of ‘free time’ to open up.

digital detox in Iceland

There are so many stories to tell from just four days with this bunch of new-found friends, and I’ll happily share all of them over drinks, but in this recap want to focus on what touched me the most.

Thanks to Yoast, I’m used to going to conferences, hanging out with people from all over the world and having good conversations about work. At those events, I’m Taco from Yoast, all day long. This event was different. Because of the small group and because we all came with the ‘digital detox’ mindset, it was really personal. No-one had to be “[name] from [insert company]”. We could all be ourselves. Even when discussing Yoast SEO, Beaver Builder or Ninja forms, we were friends talking. And that was amazing!

If you ever have a chance to visit Iceland, you should. It’s wonderful, beautiful and magical. But if you ever have the chance to go on a digital detox, you’d be a fool to miss out!

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Today, MaxServ and Yoast proudly present Yoast SEO for TYPO3 Premium! With this premium version you can take your TYPO3 website to the next level. Create redirects effortlessly, make your content rank for multiple focus keywords and find out which pages should get more links.
In addition to that, we’re also releasing Yoast SEO for TYPO3 2.1, today. This updated version provides you with tools to make your best content even better.

Get it with a 25% introductory discount now: it’s only $374.25! End of next week it will go up to the regular price of $499. 

Get Yoast SEO for TYPO3 Premium Now$499 $374.25 1 year free access to 24/7 support

Yoast SEO for TYPO3 Premium

Really want to create a TYPO3 website that your visitors and Google love? Then get this premium SEO extension for TYPO3. It’s features will make your live as a website owner so much easier. Preventing your visitors from landing on a 404 error page and creating and maintaining awesome content that ranks will be easy as pie!

Redirect manager

Every time you delete a page you should do something with the old URL. Otherwise, as there are still links to it, people will still land on it. Creating a redirect is the best way to go. Unfortunately creating redirects isn’t easy if you’re not a developer. That’s why this feature is so awesome. If you delete a page it will automatically ask you what to do with the old URL. Just enter a new URL which you like visitors to go to, and you’re done. It will also give you an overview of all the redirects you have on your site and will provide options to create different kinds of redirects. It will even warn you if you’re creating a redirect that doesn’t work.

Multiple focus keywords

Sometimes you’d like your page to rank for multiple keywords. That could be synonyms, or a related search term, for instance. In Yoast SEO for TYPO3 you can set one focus keyword and optimize your copy for it. With our premium version you can set up to 5 focus keywords and create copy that could rank for all these words.

Yoast SEO Insights

You’ve done your keyword research and know what to write about, so you start writing. When writing, you might find out it’s hard to keep your text focused though. This feature tells you what your actual writing is about! It shows you the prominent words of your text. That way, you can check if you’re still writing about what you’d like to be found for.

Orphaned content

If you want your page to appear in the search engines it needs backlinks. Links from other websites, but also internal links, from your own site. Content without any links, also known as orphaned content, won’t be found by the search engines. This functionality helps you retrieve this content on your site. It will give you a simple overview of all pages that lack links from your site. So go ahead and create those links!

Get Yoast SEO for TYPO3 Premium Now$499 $374.25 1 year free access to 24/7 support

Yoast SEO for TYPO3 2.1

In the mean time, we’ve also improved the free extension Yoast SEO for TYPO3. In Yoast SEO for TYPO3 version 2.1, you’ll be able to mark your best articles as cornerstone content. Cornerstone content are the pages on your site that contain the best and most complete information about a topic you’d like to rank for. Marking your most important pages as cornerstone content will have a couple of advantages.

Firstly it will allow you to get an overview of those articles. By creating a simple list for you, we’ll help you determine which articles you should start working on first. Secondly, to help you create those awesome pages, we’ve set the standards for readability and SEO higher. Our content analysis will be a little stricter, for example on the amount of words you should at least have on a page, to help you make the most of those articles.

So get the latest version and start creating content that ranks!

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It’s with great pleasure that we announce the release of Yoast SEO for TYPO3 2.0. This brand new version includes functional and technical changes, making the extension easier to use and more complete! It’s now available on the TYPO3 Extension Repository, on Packagist and Github. The new version has been a team effort, and many people from the TYPO3 community contributed. Read on to learn what’s new in this release.

Yoast SEO and TYPO3

First a bit a background on Yoast SEO and TYPO3. TYPO3 is a popular Open Source CMS with users around the globe. Yoast and MaxServ have worked hard to bring Yoast SEO’s content analysis to this CMS. Those who work with Yoast SEO for WordPress are already familiar with this functionality. It helps you optimize your text for a keyword you’d like to rank for, a so-called focus keyword. You can also check what your page will look like in the SERPs, using the snippet preview. On top of that, it helps you write easy-to-read copy, giving tips and pointers as you’re writing. Basically, it helps you optimize your content for the search engines on all levels!

Almost a year ago, Yoast and MaxServ released the first version of Yoast SEO for TYPO3 at TYPO3 Camp Venlo. A milestone, preceded by an intense period of developing and testing. Since then, TYPO3 users have had the option to use Yoast SEO to optimize their website, and we’ve seen the number of users steadily increase. Now, it’s time to take Yoast SEO for TYPO3 to the next level!

What’s new in version 2.0?

Both the technical and the visual aspects of the extension have had quite an overhaul. Let’s start with the most important change. From now on, it’ll be possible to use Yoast SEO alongside extensions that aren’t based on pages, News, for example. Out of the box, there’s support for the News extension so that you can get started with that right away. As for other extensions you might want to use: in the documentation, you’ll find examples of how to integrate them.

But there’s more: besides the option to use Yoast SEO for TYPO3 2.0 with other extensions, you’ll also find improvements to the functionality in the new version. When working on a page, you can now open and collapse the snippet preview, while the page score remains visible. Furthermore, the snippet preview now allows you to see both the desktop and mobile version. These are just two examples of many small improvements and fixes in 2.0; you can read the full release changelog on Github.

Get the new version!

If you’re eager to try this new version, there are two options. If you haven’t installed the Yoast SEO extension yet, you can do that from the TYPO3 Extension Repository (TER) or using composer. The extension won’t need any further configuration!

If you’re already running an earlier version of this extension, no problem! You’ll only need to make a few small changes in the user rights, so all users will have access to the proper input fields; you’ll find more information on that in the manual.

Since SEO is such an important part of maintaining a website, we advise you to test if everything is working right. As this is an open source project, you can suggest enhancements and bug fixes at the project’s GitHub page. Your feedback is always appreciated! Happy updating!

A big thanks to the contributors!

Both Yoast and MaxServ are businesses working with an open source model, and greatly value contributions from the community. Besides our own teams, we’d like to thank the following people for their contributions to Yoast SEO for TYPO3 2.0: Bernhard Berger, Christoph Buchli, Eric Chavaillaz, Riccardo De Contardi, Totto Goldländer, Aleksi Kaistinen, Hendrik Putzek, Simon Schmidt, Preben Rather Sørensen, Kay Strobach, Stefan Varvoreanu, Timo Webler, Nikolaj Wojtkowiak-Pfänder, Cyril Wolfangel, Tobias Wollender and Giulio Zulian.

Perhaps you’d like to contribute to the extension? We’d love your help! Contact us for more information by email or on Slack.

Read more: ‘Yoast SEO for TYPO3 1.3’ »

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2018 is approaching rapidly. Time to look back at yet another awesome year at Yoast. A year in which we attended quite the number of conferences. In this post, we’ll give you an impression of a few of the conferences we have been to, cities we’ve visited and friends we’ve made! So, without further ado, these are the events we attended in 2017. Bring on 2018!

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Kicking off the year

As always, the new year hasn’t really started until we had our infamous Yoast New Year party. Turning the office into a dance hall, we partied with our closest friends as only Yoasters can party!

Nieuwjaarsborrel 2017

There ain’t no party like a Yoast party!

As always, the first conference of the season was PHPBenelux in Antwerp. We’re regulars at this conference because it always offers excellent talks by renowned speakers, amazing socials, and a unique theme. This year our developers when into ‘space’ to learn all about PHP.

Just a week later and only 50 kilometers further south was FOSDEM. This huge free conference is drawing thousands of Open Source developers and enthusiasts to Brussels. It’s a great place to make and meet friends from a wide variety of communities, unlike most conference aimed at a particular audience. This year, we focussed on learning in the PHP and JavaScript tracks.

While we mostly go to WordCamps to share knowledge and to meet our old and future friends, customers and business partners, attending other conferences usually has a slightly different goal; to learn. That’s also why one of our developers and our linguist (this early in 2017 it was still singular) attended CLIN27/CCL25. This conference about Computational Linguistics brings the best speakers in the field on stage.

Have you ever heard of TYPO3 Camp? Neither had we until we joined our friends at MaxServ for a weekend at TYPO3 Camp in Venlo (NL). We learned that this developer-aimed conference offers great developer talks, even if you don’t do TYPO3!

Omar presenting at TYPO3Camp.

Time for a WordCamp! Four of my colleagues flew to London for WordCamp London. This two-day conference, preceded by a contributor day, usually draws attendees and speakers from all over the world. WordCamp London is easy to travel to (and from The Netherlands even fairly cheap). Live captioning, chill-out rooms, three tracks, and a legendary party, what else would one need?

Our next stop was Iceland. Joost went to the Reykjavik Internet Marketing Conference (RIMC), an annual conference on everything internet marketing where all the world-famous marketers go to. Joost went, spoke and aced his keynote.

On 7 and 8 April 2017, we attended the second WordCamp Torino. A year earlier, WordCamp Torino was the very first Italian WordCamp in a very long time. Its success motivated other Italian communities to organize other WordCamps, leading to an unprecedented growth of the Italian community. And that was obvious in 2017. WordCamp Torino completely sold out and had an extensive and very successful contributor day.

Contributor day at WordCamp Torino 2017

Choosing which events to attend can be a real challenge. Especially with the number of WordCamps, even close to home. This means that we sometimes have to disappoint conference organizers, who really personally invite us to attend, or even speak at, their event. And sometimes we just have multiple events in a single weekend. This happened on April 20th – April 23rd. First, we attended Meet TYPO3 Rotterdam in the Rotterdam Zoo, a TYPO3 conference aimed at marketers. The next day, we went to both WordCamp Vienna and ReactNL.

Oh by the way, did you know that we released the very first version of Yoast SEO for TYPO3 at Meet TYPO3 Rotterdam? We did! Joost de Valk (our CEO) and Richard Haeser (lead developer of Yoast SEO for TYPO3 at MaxServ) pressed the button in the Shark Room.

Events in Q2

Meet TYPO3 in the Shark Room of Rotterdam Zoo.

Traditionally, Q2 of each year is very busy regarding conferences. With four conferences in April, three in May and a massive conference in June 2017 was no different. Moving more and more of Yoast SEO into JavaScript, it made sense to be at JS Conf EU in Berlin, so Omar, Anton, and Jimmy went and learned a ton. Not just about JavaScript, but also about the city. Useful knowledge, because less than two weeks later Andy and Michiel visited the city for WordCamp Berlin!

Meanwhile, we launched Yoast SEO for Magento 2 which is why we just had to attend Meet Magento. This one-day conference in Utrecht is a real multi-track conference. It gave us a nice insight into the Magento community, and we got to meet quite a few people we already knew from the PHP and WordPress communities. It seems we’re not the only company bridging communities, which is a good thing!

The final conference of the first half of 2017 is the biggest European WordCamp of the year; WordCamp Europe. 30+ speakers, 50 organizers, almost 200 volunteers, and close to 2000 attendees traveled to Paris for the WordPress Community Summit and WordCamp Europe. And you know what, WordCamp Europe was HOT. No really, it was literally hot. That’s why we’re happy we brought our Yoast fans to Paris. Within a day, we saw so many people use them like their lives depended on ’em. Even the men and women on the live captioning team were waving all the time…

You know what else was awesome at WordCamp Europe in Paris? The themed afterparty. Of course, we took that as a challenge and dressed up our entire team. What do you think, did we win this?

After a nice and long vacation we kicked off our conference season with a WordCamp very close to home; the very first WordCamp Nijmegen! Yoast has been actively involved in this WordCamp. We provided an organizer, several volunteers, two (!!) speakers and a whole lot of attendees. Marieke shared her knowledge on writing, and Michelle helped the attendees prevent common SEO mistakes. Both talks were very well-received!

Despite Rule of the Internet #22 and #23, not everything on the internet is copy/pasted. Some of us are really into creating new content. That’s why Erwin and Tim went to Playgrounds 2017. They’re responsible for creating all the images you can find on yoast.com, in our products and in the presentations we give. There they were introduced to new techniques, tools and a LOT of new ideas!

A busy end of the year

November, nearing the end of the year and the holidays, so time to slow down. Hah! No way! At Yoast, we celebrated our most conference heavy month of 2017. With ten events in just 30 days, November rocked!

The first event of November doesn’t need a lot of introduction, as we assume you’ve all heard about YoastCon. Our very own one-day SEO conference featured top-notch speakers from the SEO world, and local talent hosting sold-out workshops. More than 350 attendees saw Joost’s keynote, followed by a blazing fast, insanely inspiring talk by the Belgian Karl Gillis. For the sad few who’d to miss YoastCon we published the videos. You can find them on our YouTube channel.

And in true Yoast style, we ended  YoastCon with an epic afterparty. A party that everyone involved will remember forever. We’re not going to tell you too much, but let’s just say that you never want to miss a Yoast party.

Just a couple of days after YoastCon, Joost hopped on a plane to keynote at Pubcon in Las Vegas. Pubcon is one of the largest, if not the largest, SEO and online marketing conferences in the world. His key take-aways were shared on twitter a lot.

For the first time in a long time, Yoast attended a WordCamp in Asia. Our support engineers Michael and Jerlyn went to WordCamp Manila to meet the local community. And just a couple of weeks later, Jerlyn and Rumejan, also a Yoast support engineer, went to WordCamp Kuala Lumpur to promote our brand and have a good time with the local community.s

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Meanwhile in Europe, we attended WordCamp Cologne, WordCamp Milano and Conversion Hotel. And we have to tell you about Conversion Hotel as it’s special. Conversion Hotel is a 3-day conference organized on one of the Dutch islands. Nope, not Aruba. Not Sint Maarten. It takes place on the beautiful island Texel. The conference focusses on growth strategies, conversion (what’s in a name), copywriting and psychology. An original way to kickstart your conference? How about teaching all attendees a Haka?

Conversion Hotel 2017 - Opening with a haka

Learning the haka at Conversion Hotel 2017

Our linguists, Manuel and Irene, went to the 16th Dutch-Belgian Information Retrieval Workshop in November. This very technical conference focussed mainly on topics like information search and the automated generation of recommendations, from music to e-Commerce.

The 10th conference we attended in November was a special WordCamp. This first edition of WordCamp Utrecht was held in the venue where WordCamp The Netherlands had been for quite a few years (until 2015). It felt so familiar that people felt at home quickly. We attended and helped out as speakers, volunteers, sponsors, and attendees.

Finishing up

And now it is December. When you’re active in WordPress, the one event you have to follow in December is WordCamp US. Not just because it’s one of the biggest WordCamps in the world, but also because it’s where the State of the Word is held. In this annual presentation, WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg reflects on the past year and looks forward to what’s coming in WordPress.

Of course, this year’s State of the Word was all about Gutenberg. So if you haven’t seen it yet, watch it today!

And what’s a better way to end our conference year than by going to the eternal city? Jimmy, Patrick, and Andrea went to Rome’s first local WordCamp where they enjoyed a great event and, almost equally important, the local culture and cuisine.

When in Rome, pose with a Roman (Andrea) at the Coliseum.

Missed us in 2017? Don’t worry! If anything, our conference year will be even more busy in 2018! And if you want to know where to find us, regularly check our calendar.

See you in 2018!

Read more: ‘Yoast Calendar’ »

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