The Russian language is huge; 265 million people have Russian as their first or second language, making it the world’s eight most used language. What’s more, according to W3Techs Russian is the second most used language online — following English by a huge margin. As of today, all of the Russian language WordPress users can get their content checked thanks to new language support in Yoast SEO 7.5.

Optimize your site for search & social media and keep it optimized with Yoast SEO Premium »

Yoast SEO: the #1 WordPress SEO plugin Info

Russian language readability analysis and internal linking

We’ve been steadily growing the number of language we support in our readability analysis and internal linking tools. We started out with English, but now support a rapidly expanding roster of some of the world’s most used languages, like French, German, Spanish and Italian. The next language to join that club is Russian.

Now, Russian is a complex language that has its own set of rules and needs to be addressed differently. Natalia Shitova, one of our developers, researched, built and tested the Russian language support for Yoast SEO. I asked her how she did it.

Building the Russian language support

“When I joined the Yoast team two months ago I was the first Russian-speaking member. It was immediately clear that my #1 task would be to develop the Russian readability analysis. Our lovely Russian-speaking users could use something more than SEO checks and I could have fun with developing an analysis for my mother tongue,” Natalia says.

Working with Russian morphology

“The hardest part was the famous Russian morphology – think different forms of words that you need for different cases, numbers, tenses, voices, and combinations thereof. For instance, the word “mom” in English has two forms – “mom” and “moms”. The Russian “мама” has nine. And how many ways are there to use the word “one” in English? I see two again – “one” and “ones”. The Russian analog (fasten your seatbelt now!) has 13. Thirteen! Any meaningful content analysis will have to deal with morphology. After all, you need to know that all these 13 forms are the same word. Luckily, the Russian morphology is very well described in books, but we had to think about how to feed that monster to our butterfly plugin, which should work on the fly inside your browser. So this release is our first attempt to build lightweight yet powerful content analysis for a language with a mind-blowing morphology. More improvements are coming soon!”

“This release is our first attempt to build lightweight yet powerful content analysis for a language with a mind-blowing morphology”

russian readability analysis yoast seo 7.5

No Russian Flesch Reading Ease check yet

Russian support is almost complete, but you won’t find the Flesch Reading Ease score yet. According to Natalia, it’s quite a challenge to adopt the well-known Flesch Reading Ease check to produce something that’s useful for the Russian language. Natalia explains:

“You might notice that contrary to other supported languages we did not include Flesch Reading Ease check in the Russian readability analysis. Yes, there is a well-established formula for calculating Flesch index for Russian. No, we were not happy with how it worked. We tested the formula using a massive corpus of texts and it was almost impossible to receive a score above 50. This means no green bullet for you unless you write for small kids. “That is not kind,” we thought, “not encouraging, and totally not helpful!” I adjusted the formula a little, so that it returns a somewhat more realistic estimate of readability. With that recalibration you can use our Flesch readability check from the next release onwards.”

This work is now done and we’ll add the results in the next release, Yoast SEO 7.6.

Bug fixes

It’s always great to add support for a new language, but that’s not all we did. As always, we’ve fixed a number of bugs. Also, we improved the accessibility of the plugin. For instance, we fixed a bug that treated sentences ending in multiple sentence marks, exclamation marks or ellipses as multiple sentences. We’ve also fixed a bug where OpenGraph images with specific aspect ratios were causing unexpected results if you wanted to share these on Facebook. For the time being, we’ve removed the aspect ratio check completely. Of course, you can find all bug fixes and enhancements in the changelog on WordPress.org.

Update now to Yoast SEO 7.5

So there you have it: Yoast SEO 7.5 is another great update. This update brings our readability analysis to millions of Russian language users. As a result, each and every one our users can now improve their online content using the world-famous green bullet system. Here’s to better Russian language online content!

Keep reading: ‘Why every website needs Yoast SEO’ »

The post Yoast SEO 7.5: Привет, Россия appeared first on Yoast.

In November 2017, Yoast Academy took a big leap forward. Switching to a different Learning Management system, called LearnDash, was a key factor in this. Leading up to the release of our free SEO for beginners course, Justin from LearnDash and I decided to take twenty minutes to really dive into the Academy and discuss the ins and outs of how we create courses at Yoast! 

Free course! Learn what makes your site rank with our SEO for beginners training »

Free SEO course: SEO for beginners Info

Key topics

In the webinar, we first discuss how Academy started out. Then, we go into our approach to education and learning principles: we want to create courses in which you can practice your skills and which foster long-term retention. We also explore our new free course: SEO for beginners, showing you exactly how our courses are structured. Then, we go into the assignments we check for you in the SEO copywriting course and the Yoast SEO for WordPress personal configuration review. Lastly, we discuss the nifty tool we built for those who want to buy courses for multiple people. This is great if you want to enroll several of your colleagues! You can very easily assign courses to other people in your MyYoast account. Just type in their email and they will be enrolled automatically!

Check out the webinar!

What is LearnDash?

LearnDash is the Learning Management System (LMS) we use to power Yoast Academy. We have some awesome developers at Yoast, but setting up a solid courses platform is quite a challenge. Luckily, the folks at LearnDash have many years of experience doing exactly that. The fact that you can now practice writing code, the challenging sorting questions which help you memorize the steps you have to take, the clearer navigation setup we created, it’s all thanks to the LMS they provided us with. So check out that webinar to see how we can help you become the best SEO you can be. And while you’re at it, don’t forget to sign up for the free SEO for beginners course!

Read more: ‘Keyword research: the ultimate guide’ »

The post Creating SEO courses at Yoast – Interview by LearnDash appeared first on Yoast.

We’ve added a free course to our curriculum of online SEO courses. It is an SEO course for beginners. If you’re an SEO-newbie or your SEO skills have become a bit rusty, then this is the course for you! Our free online SEO course offers lots and lots of training videos, reading material and challenging questions. We’ll really make you sweat for those right answers. That sounds amazing, right? Or is it too good to be true? Why do we offer a free SEO course? Is there a catch?

Free course! Learn what makes your site rank with our SEO for beginners training »

Free SEO course: SEO for beginners Info

There really isn’t any catch. I would even say that this course is the best course we’ve created so far. In this post, I’ll explain all about why we offer that free online SEO courses at Yoast.

SEO for everyone

The main reason why we decided to make a free SEO course is because of our mission. We offer a free plugin because we believe that everyone, even that small weblog with no money at all, should stand a chance in the search engines. Our plugin takes care of a lot of the important SEO stuff. But if you want to do more, if you want to understand more, you needed to read about it, for example on this blog. And our many articles will tell you everything you need to know in order to set up a successful SEO strategy. But the journey through these articles, the search to find the information you need to get started can be quite the hassle. Our SEO for beginners course helps you to make sense of all the information. We’ll talk you through the important aspects of SEO, step by step. After following our course, you know what it takes to set up a successful SEO strategy.

Get to know our courses

Another reason for offering a free online SEO course is because we are really proud of Yoast Academy. We want more people to experience our online courses. In the past year, we hired new people, set up our very own studio and really invested in developing the best learning materials. We now offer a very high-quality online training. We have many -mostly rather short- video’s in which a topic is explained and we offer reading material covering the same topic. But most importantly, we test whether or not you really understand the material. You’ll be challenged by our questions at the end of each lesson. In order to get the certificate, you’ll really need to master all of the topics we discuss.

Our free SEO for beginners course will offer you a real Yoast Academy experience. Of course, we hope people will get hooked and buy one of our other online courses as well. Lifelong learning it is ;-).

More free courses?

The SEO for beginners course is the first free online course Yoast offers. However, we are already thinking about making another one. The second free online course is planned to be released at the end of 2018 and will be a course covering the basics of the workings of the internet. We would like to address the question: how does the internet actually work? This might sound basic, but for an SEO it is really important to have a correct understanding of the workings of the internet.

Read more: ‘What is SEO?’ »

The post Why a free online course? appeared first on Yoast.

Would you like to learn more about SEO? Do you want to learn from world-renowned experts? But can’t justify spending a lot of money on a training just yet? At Yoast, we understand that. And we want to help. That’s why today, we are releasing our first free course: SEO for beginners!  

Free course! Learn what makes your site rank with our SEO for beginners training »

Free SEO course: SEO for beginners Info

What will I learn?

In the Yoast SEO for beginners training, we will teach you what SEO is, what Google does, and how to rank in the search results. Do you know, for example, how Google reads your content and ranks it? Well, after this training you will! We’ll also tell you how to write your copy in such a way that Google knows exactly what you’re talking about. Moreover, we’ll tell you how you can make sure that Google can actually put your pages into the search results. And much more!

Could I benefit from this training?

The SEO for beginners course is valuable for everyone who is not already an SEO expert. Whether you are looking to start a career in SEO or are a small business owner with a website. Maybe you just want to join the discussion with your colleagues. It doesn’t matter. SEO is all about gaining an edge over your competition. You can now take the first step for free!

Do I have to use WordPress or the Yoast SEO plugin?

No, you don’t. The training is valuable for anyone, regardless of whether you use WordPress or the Yoast SEO plugin. Some lessons discuss how the plugin can help you with your SEO. Still, the majority of the information applies to anyone and any situation.

Why is the training free?

We want SEO to be for everyone. That is our company mission. Sure, we need to make some money and we have a collection of great products which helps us do that. But not everyone is able to afford them or justify the investment. We want to be there for you as well. There are more reasons, which Marieke has written an entire article about!

How can I get this course?

Getting a Yoast training has never been easier. If you already have a MyYoast account, the course is already available to you here. If you don’t have a MyYoast account yet, you can just create one here. You will receive an email with a link to the course. Enjoy!

 

Read on: ‘Yoast’s mission: SEO for everyone!’ »

The post Free SEO for beginners course now available! appeared first on Yoast.

Please welcome to the stage: Yoast SEO 7.4! In this release, we’ve squashed a number of bugs and focused on enhancing the way Yoast SEO works with OpenGraph images. We also made some other enhancements that improve the way the plugin functions. Happy updating! 

Optimize your site for search & social media and keep it optimized with Yoast SEO Premium »

Yoast SEO: the #1 WordPress SEO plugin Info

Improved handling of images

Images are very important for several reasons: not only do your readers love to see them while reading your post, but they are indispensable if you want to do well in image search — which is becoming more important by the day. Image SEO, therefore, is a thing. There’s another reason images are important: social images can attract a great deal of traffic to your site or social media profile. Luckily, Yoast SEO can help you up your social image game.

For some years, you have been able to preview how your social posts will look when shared with Yoast SEO Premium. Most social media platforms use the OpenGraph protocol to determine what should be shown and how. In Yoast SEO 7.4, we’ve made some improvements to how the plugin handles OpenGraph images. For starters, we now add OpenGraph image dimension-meta tags to more images. We also exclude images in OpenGraph meta tags that are larger than 2MB as we want to keep everything running smoothly. Yoast SEO can now also append the image alt tag to the OpenGraph output, using the meta tag og:image:alt. Last but not least, we’ve added caching for images in posts to reduce load time. We’re diving deeper into how different platforms use OpenGraph to handle images and we’re hoping to do more with images in the future.

If you want to really dive into this and learn more about the choices we made and why we made them you should definitely read this post on open graph tags by Jono!

Dropping support for PHP 5.2

In Yoast SEO 7.3, we’re now showing a message warning you about dropping support for the ancient PHP 5.2 in an upcoming version. As you might know, anything before PHP 7.0 is quickly running towards end-of-life. There are, however, still a lot of people and hosting companies that use ancient software to power their servers. Please upgrade your servers if possible! Here’s how Joost put it some time ago:

“The why is three-pronged: security, speed, and future-proofing. PHP 5.2 hasn’t been updated for years and has serious issues. PHP 7 is lightning fast, up to 400% faster than 5.2. You might even regard this as a green move; you can use 50% fewer servers to get the same results from PHP 7. Last but not least, developers can finally use all the modern technologies to bring WordPress to the next level.”

Other improvements and fixes

To more rigorously determine if posts and pages are viewable and accessible, we’ve added the is_post_type_viewable WordPress function to improve support for the wpseo_accessible_post_types filters. Among other things, we’ve fixed some bugs that kept some database tables from being removed when you deleted a sub-site from a multisite environment. To cap it off, we’ve fixed a bug where deleting multiple posts could cause performance issues. Thanks to Abolfazl Moeini for finding and fixing that.

Please update

As always, our advice is to update to the newest release of Yoast SEO so you can get the latest and greatest. In Yoast SEO 7.4, we’ve improved how we handle OpenGraph images and added several other enhancements that make the plugin better. Thanks for using Yoast SEO!

Read more: ‘Why every website needs Yoast SEO’ »

The post Yoast SEO 7.4: Enhanced image support appeared first on Yoast.

Want to know what makes your site rank higher in Google? Understand how Google works? This is your chance to learn it… for free! For the first time ever, we’re launching a completely free course: the SEO for beginners training. In this course, you’ll take your first steps in the world of Search Engine Optimization, also known as SEO. The course will be launched on May 7 and is easy, fun and free! So what’s stopping you?

Learn what to do to make your web traffic grow. Create a My Yoast user account now and we’ll give you access to the course on May 7!

Why take this course?

You want to rank higher

Whatever your expertise is, whether you’re a hairdresser, a consultant or a plumber, you probably have a website. And you want it to rank on top in Google. But what if the competition is outranking you? You can beat them through search engine optimization or SEO. SEO is the art of creating a website that search engines and users like. This can give you a head start on the competition that’s still in the dark about SEO. In the SEO for beginners training, you’ll learn why Google likes certain websites more than others. So you’ll know what to improve on your own website.

It’s easy

As this course is for beginners, it doesn’t matter if you know nothing about SEO or not so much about websites yet! We won’t use too many technical terms. We want everyone with a website to be able to understand what makes one website better than the other.

It’s fun and for free!

And on top of that, it’s free and much fun to do! You’ll get access to over two hours of instructional videos, lots of reading material, and challenging quizzes to train what you’ve learned. 

What will you learn?

In this training, you’ll learn which factors make a website rank high in Google’s search results. It will give you a fundamental understanding of how search engines work. You’ll learn about keywords, why they are important and how to choose them well. Also, you’ll get insight in writing SEO-friendly posts and how structuring your site well can improve your rankings.

Why is this course free?

At Yoast we believe in fair changes in the search results for everyone. We think SEO isn’t something only the big companies should be able to do. Small businesses or non-profit organizations, or great ideas in general should get a platform and should be easy to find on the internet as well. That’s why our Yoast SEO plugin is for free, you get a free eBook when you sign up for our newsletter and next week we’ll even add a free course to the list!

How do you get access?

As of May 7 you’ll be able to enroll in this course. It’s completely free. If you don’t want to miss it you can already create a My Yoast account. The course will be automatically added to your account on May 7. We’ll send you an email when it’s available!

The post Get ready for our FREE training: SEO for beginners appeared first on Yoast.

Today is King’s Day! At least, it’s King’s Day in the Netherlands. April 27 marks the 51st birthday of our King Willem Alexander and is a national holiday for all Dutch people. This year, we wanted to share our celebrations with all of you by giving you 20% off on our SEO copywriting course! Although Willem Alexander is king of the Netherlands, content remains king of SEO. In this post, I’ll explain why content is so very important for SEO, I’ll share the three most important aspects of content SEO and how you can benefit from that 20% discount.

Learn how to write awesome and SEO friendly articles in our SEO Copywriting training »

SEO copywriting training Info

Start ruling your rankings and grab this 20% discount now:

Get The Yoast SEO Copywriting Training Now$199 $159.20 (ex VAT) Only today - April 27!

Why is content king?

Content SEO is crucial because search engines read your website. The words you use on your site determine whether or not your site will rank on their results pages. Google’s algorithm decides the ranking of your site largely based on the content you publish. Of course, your website should also be well-designed, have a great user interface, and all the technical stuff should be covered. But without high-quality content, your site does not stand a chance in the search engines. Google just wants to give the audience a result that fits the search query. This means you need to be writing awesome and engaging content that answer the needs of your audience.

So how do you write awesome content?

Content SEO includes everything related to writing and structuring content on your website. There are three major elements you need to consider to produce content that will make your website rank well: keyword strategy, site structure and copywriting.

Keyword research

Proper keyword research will make clear which search terms your audience uses. This is crucial. Optimizing content for words that people do not use doesn’t make any sense. Doing proper keyword research makes sure that you use the same words as your target audience.

Site structure

The way your site is structured gives Google important clues about where to find the most important content. Your site’s structure determines whether a search engine can understand what your site is about and which pages it will rank highest.

Copywriting

Finally, you just need to write compelling copy. Texts that are original and readable. Stuff people like to read. And you should optimize those texts for SEO.

20% discount on the online SEO copywriting training

The very best way to get started with content SEO is by doing our SEO copywriting training. Our online courses consist of lots of videos and reading material. And, we have lots of challenging questions to test whether you understood the material. This course also has 2 assignments which will be corrected by an SEO professional at Yoast. You’ll be asked to do your own keyword research and to write a blog post. You’ll receive feedback on both of your assignments. Our SEO copywriting course will help you become King (or Queen) of SEO! Good Luck!

Get The Yoast SEO Copywriting Training Now$199 $159.20 (ex VAT) Only today - April 27!

The post Content is king – 20% off our SEO copywriting training appeared first on Yoast.

Today we’re launching the Personal configuration review: an extra personal assignment you can add to the Yoast SEO for WordPress plugin training. You can now test if you’ve understood the subject matter of our training well and do an extra assignment – on your own site! When you’ve configured Yoast SEO on your site, we’ll check it for you and give you personal feedback. This assignment is only available in combination with our plugin training. Buy them together now for only $99!

Get The Yoast SEO Training + Configuration Review Now$99 (ex VAT) for training and assignment

What is it?

The Personal configuration review is an extension of the existing Yoast SEO for WordPress plugin training. In this new assignment we’ll take you by the hand and guide you through the settings of Yoast SEO, like the Search appearance section, the integration with Google Search Console and the Social tab. For instance, we’ll help you decide which content you should have indexed and which not. Get ready to apply the skills you’ve learned in the training!

You can only do this assignment when you buy the Yoast SEO for WordPress training. We recommend doing that because it will give you the opportunity to test your comprehension of the Yoast SEO plugin. And even better, you’ll know directly if Yoast SEO is configured optimally for your type of website.

How does it work?

Adding this extra assignment to your course is easy! Just follow these steps:

  1. Buy the course and the assignment together (the assignment is only available as an extension of the training).
  2. After you’ve finished the course you’ll get access to the Personal configuration review assignment.
  3. Get started and configure Yoast SEO on your own website with help of the assignment.
  4. Once you’re done inform us that you’ve finished it and grant us access to the backend of your WordPress Install via a guest account.
  5. We’ll check your configuration and we’ll provide personal feedback by email.
  6. If you’ve set it up well, you’ll get an additional certificate and badge.

Why this assignment?

At Yoast we want to deliver the best online SEO courses. We believe good training requires some personal attention. That’s why we’ll top up more courses with assignments that will be checked by members of our team in the future. Because nothing is more valuable than true customized feedback by SEO professionals!

Get The Yoast SEO Training + Configuration Review Now$99 (ex VAT) for training and assignment

The post Personal configuration review: Train your skills and get our feedback appeared first on Yoast.

Two weeks ago, Yoast SEO 7.2 brought a solid update to the import features of the plugin. In Yoast SEO 7.3, we’ve expanded this improved importer with a slew of newly supported plugins you can import your data from. Find out which plugins we support in this post. But of course, there’s more!

Optimize your site for search & social media and keep it optimized with Yoast SEO Premium »

Yoast SEO: the #1 WordPress SEO plugin Info

Importing from even more WordPress SEO plugins

We have always made it easy for users of other WordPress SEO plugins to migrate their settings to Yoast SEO. The last couple of years, we offered support for all the big players: HeadSpace2, All in One SEO, JetPack SEO, WooThemes SEO Framework, wpSEO, SEO Ultimate and SEOpressor. Today, — in addition to improving import from wpSEO — we’re adding a long list of newly supported plugins from which you can import your data:

  • Premium SEO Pack
  • Smartcrawl SEO
  • Squirrly SEO
  • Platinum SEO Pack
  • SEO Framework
  • Greg’s High Performance SEO
  • WP Meta SEO

Yoast SEO Premium users can also import redirects from other redirection WordPress plugins. The redirects manager in Premium is a great tool that helps you to make and manage redirects.

Updated translations

Yoast SEO 7.3 isn’t just about importing stuff, because it’s about translations as well. We’ve updated the translations of almost all locales, plus we’ve added quite a few new locales to our premium plugins like Local SEO, WooCommerce SEO and News SEO. We strive that everyone on earth can use our SEO plugins in their native language and this is a big step in that direction. Of course, we couldn’t have done it without our awesome community! You’re welcome to help out if you don’t see your language yet or if you can think you can improve the current translation. Please visit translate.yoast.com and get started!

Fixes and enhancements

We have enhanced Yoast SEO in several ways. Among other things, we fixed a number of bugs that caused several filters to give unwanted results. One of the new enhancements is support for Baidu Webmaster Tools verification. You can now verify your site just like you do for Yandex, Bing and Google. Find out how to add your sitemap to these search engines.

Update now!

Yoast SEO 7.3 is a solid new update. We’ve fixed several issues, improved translations and added a ton of plugin support to the importer. You can now import settings from every major WordPress SEO plugin. This makes it easier for you to make the transition from other plugins to Yoast SEO. With that, I can only give you one last advice: please update!

Read more: ‘The beginner’s guide to Yoast SEO’ »

The post Yoast SEO 7.3: Import all the things appeared first on Yoast.

These past few weeks were all about the 7.0 release of Yoast SEO. That release brought many changes and made a lot of SEO work easier to understand and do. In 7.1 we fixed some bugs, improved the importers and added a new language to our roster: Portuguese. Yoast SEO 7.2 — out now — is taking it a bit easier. No substantial new features, but enough improvements all around.

Better import from All in One SEO Pack

Over the past few releases, we’ve been steadily improving and enhancing the data importers in Yoast SEO. We’re slowly getting there and Yoast SEO 7.2 adds another new enhancement to one particular importer: the one for All in One SEO Pack. As of now, we can import noindex, nofollow and OpenGraph tags from this WordPress SEO plugin. Also, we’ve fixed a bug that could overwrite existing Yoast SEO data when importing data from All in One SEO Pack.

Bug fixes in Yoast SEO 7.2

As always, we ran into bugs that we needed to fix. Some we uncover ourselves, while others are handed to us by our highly valued community. In Yoast SEO 7.2, we needed to fix several bugs. Some are very small, like the Ryte notification that didn’t go away when users turned the feature. But some are more serious, like a bug where attachments connected to password-protected posts ended up in the sitemaps.

A couple of other fixes were related to the wpseo_robots filter where setting a page to noindex did not correctly remove the canonical element. In Yoast SEO Premium, there were issues regarding the handling of changes in parent/child relationships of pages; we have resolved these all. Of course, you can check the changelog for Yoast SEO 7.2 to see what else was fixed.

What are you waiting for: update now!

With every release, we keep the ball rolling at Yoast HQ. We’re finetuning, fixing and improving anywhere we can. Since Yoast SEO is open source, you can help us make Yoast SEO even better. Why don’t you follow our GitHub account to see what we’re working on? If you have issues, features request or enhancements don’t be afraid to post them. Please follow the instructions in the Yoast Contribution Guidelines.

This wraps up our bi-weekly release update. We now just have one more assignment for you: update now!

Read more: ‘Why every website needs Yoast SEO’ »

The post Yoast SEO 7.2: Fixes and improvements appeared first on Yoast.