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’ »

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Two weeks ago, we released one of our most significant updates yet: Yoast SEO 7.0. This release featured some much-needed spring-cleaning and a wholly revamped XML sitemap experience. In it, the focus is much less on the sitemap as it is on easily getting indexed what you want to get indexed. Yoast SEO 7.1 — out today — builds on that release with fixes and enhancements.

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Yoast SEO: the #1 WordPress SEO plugin Info

First up: support for Portuguese

As you know, Yoast SEO understands quite a few languages. While most of the content checks work for every language, there are instances where the checks are language-specific. The list is pretty impressive right now and keeps growing. We support English, German, Dutch, French, Italian and Spanish in various degrees. Today, we’re adding a brand-new language: Portuguese.

More than 200 million people speak Portuguese natively, making it the sixth most popular language in the world. Thanks to our friend Dilmar Ames, we have now taken the first steps towards full support for Portuguese. While it’s still early days for the content analyses, the insights and internal linking suggestions features in Portuguese are fully developed. Users of Yoast SEO Premium can enjoy these two great features to enhance their posts and improve their site structure.

Also, we fixed a couple of other language-related issues. For instance, we added a filter to mark Spanish sentences as non-passive when certain exception words occur between the auxiliary and the participle. The list of exception words includes all forms of the copula ‘estar’.

Enhancements

Besides expanding our knowledge of the world’s languages, we’ve also improved the plugin in various regards.

Importing from other SEO plugins

Yoast SEO 7.1 now detects if you can import data from other SEO plugins data. It allows you to import this data on the Import from other plugins page. After importing, you can check whether the import was successfull and then delete the data. To help you set up your titles and descriptions correctly, we decided we should not import title & description templates from other plugins. You can run the configuration wizard to set up your templates properly.

Filters and variables

Thanks to Akinori Musha, we’ve added support for a new template variable %%archive_title%%. This gives access to the utility function called get_the_archive_title() which gives a nicely localized title for the current archive page.

We’re now providing developers extra context if they want to replace posts and taxonomies. To do this, we’ve added an additional argument to wpseo_replacements filter. This makes it possible to access post, taxonomy or term instances when applying the filter.

To top it off, we’ve removed the Facebook Insights functionality as it’s no longer supported. Plus, we’ve increased the height of the meta description box so it matches the maximum amount of characters without needing a scrollbar.

Fixing bugs

Coming from such a big release like Yoast SEO 7.0 there are always a few bugs to fix. Thanks to our awesome GitHub community, we were able to track and fix quite a few of them. Let’s go over a couple of them. For instance, we fixed a bug where the rewrite rules weren’t correctly removed after stripping the category base. This resulted in 404s. Now, you can safely remove /category/ from your URLs again and it should correctly update itself.

There was also a weird issue where you enabled the Show blog page in the breadcrumb settings, it’d be disabled and vice versa. Previously, it showed the wrong breadcrumb path when using a static blog page and Show Blog page is set to hide.

There were some performance issues reported with the release of Yoast SEO 7.0.2 which we fixed by improving WPSEO_Options::get. This is the main function we use throughout the plugin to fetch settings. This is only a small sampling of the work that went into Yoast SEO 7.1. For a complete list of all the fixed bugs, please check the changelog.

Update to Yoast SEO 7.1 now

Coming hot on the heels of Yoast SEO 7.0, 7.1 packs quite a few enhancements and bug fixes. These fixes improve the way the plugins function and increases stability. We’re still actively cleaning up our plugins to make sure they are lean and mean. So, don’t forget to update!

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

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Your keyword research is done and you know what to write about. Nothing is going to stop you from getting all that traffic with your new articles. But when you start writing your article, you notice it can be hard to keep your text focused. Yoast SEO Premium has a helpful little tool to guide you: prominent words in Insights. Here, I’ll show you how it works.

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Yoast SEO: the #1 WordPress SEO plugin Info

What is Yoast SEO Insights?

Yoast SEO Insights is a section in the Readability part of the plugin that is meant to hold tools that give you more insights into what you are writing. Currently, the section holds the Prominent words check. Our plugin analyzes your text in real time and provides you with a list of words you use most in your article.

By checking the prominent words against your intended keyword(s) for this post, you should see if there are any discrepancies. If you write about ‘off-page SEO’ and the most prominent word in your text is ‘on-page SEO’ you’re probably going in the wrong direction. You can edit your text until it becomes more focused on your main focus keyword and its supporting or related keywords.

What’s more, you might find new words in that list that should really be on your keyword list. Great, add them to the list and maybe even write a new post about them.

Prominent words are not tied to the SEO and readability analyses in Yoast SEO. Follow their lead to find out if you’ve used your focus keyword correctly and use the prominent words feature to get an idea of what your artice is actually about. If it doesn’t align with your goals you can fix that.

insights prominent words yoast seo

Internal linking uses Yoast SEO Insights

The prominent words feature is a great tool to help you focus your text. While using it, you can get a good feel of where your text is going and you can make changes right away or after you’ve finished your draft. In addition, the prominent words also serve another purpose as they are used to determine which articles are suggested by our internal linking tool.

The internal linking tool is also a premium feature and it suggests links to add to your article based on what you write. These suggestions are super relevant and by automatically suggesting them, you won’t have to find them yourself. Click on the icon and paste the link over the relevant piece of text.

Want the prominent words check? Get Premium!

Both the prominent words in insights and the internal linking features are available in Yoast SEO Premium. In addition to these two cool tools, you’ll also get, among other things, a killer redirects manager, the possibility to optimize your articles for multiple focus keywords and social previews for Twitter and Facebook.

What are you waiting for, go get it!

Read more: ‘SEO copywriting: the ultimate guide’ »

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Since launching the readability analysis way back when we’ve been steadily adding support for more and more languages. Today, with the release of Yoast SEO 6.2, we’re expanding our knowledge of languages again by introducing passive voice checks for the French and Spanish languages.

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Yoast SEO: the #1 WordPress SEO plugin Info

Improving language checks

At Yoast, we firmly believe that readability ranks. We’ve developed several tools to help you write awesome articles that please both readers and search engines. The readability analysis is one of our most popular tools. It checks whether your writing is up to scratch. The tool determines how readable your content is and suggests improvements to make sure everyone can enjoy your articles. We use our vast knowledge of languages to offer advice tailored to your situation and language used.

Currently, we can check texts in several languages. We offer full support for English and German, while Dutch, French, Italian and Spanish have varying degrees of support. We’re always looking to expand our knowledge of languages. In Yoast SEO 6.2, we’re growing our support for French and Spanish: we can now run a complete passive voice check in both languages.

Passive voice French and Spanish

You might know that using the passive voice often in your text makes it appear distant and your messages will become less apparent. Sentences become longer and more complicated. Readers have to think harder and longer about what you have to say. Our passive voice check keeps your passive voice in check. As of today, we’re doubling the number of languages we can check for passive voice. French (La voix passive) and Spanish (La voz pasiva) join English and German. More languages are on the way.

English German Dutch French Spanish Italian
Transition words
Flesch reading ease
Passive voice
Sentence beginnings
Sentence length
Function words (for Internal linking and insights)

Security improvements, bugfixes & enhancements

In every release, we try to fix annoyances both big and small. By fixing these bugs, we make sure that Yoast SEO keeps running without fault. With every enhancement, we add we try to make it easier for you to use the plugin. One of the most significant improvements in Yoast SEO 6.2 is the hardening of our security. We’ve adopted several stricter code checks that enforce a more rigorous security policy. This means that our code is less prone to outside manipulation.

Thanks for using Yoast SEO

So there you have it. Yoast SEO 6.2 adds two new passive voice checks – French and Spanish – and several other improvements. So, if that’s your mother tongue or just a language you use regularly, you’ll be delighted with this new addition. Wondering what else is new? Check out the changelog on WordPress.org. Don’t forget to hit that update button!

Read more: ‘SEO copywriting: the ultimate guide’ »

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Welcome, 2018! And welcome to our first release of 2018: Yoast SEO 6.1. This is the first in a long line of new versions to be released in this new year. Yoast SEO 6.1 is mainly a bug fix release that makes sure that your favorite plugin runs like butter. Find out what’s new!

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Yoast SEO: the #1 WordPress SEO plugin Info

Bye 2017. Hello 2018

Over the course of 2017, we significantly enhanced and improved our SEO plugins. Yoast SEO, in particular, received great new features, including several tools that help you build a solid site structure. You can read more on that in our looking back on 2017 post.

2018 is filled with great plans, so we’re very much looking forward to the new year. We can’t say much yet, but there is one thing that is on everyone’s mind: Gutenberg. Rest assured, we’re going to make an excellent integration with Yoast SEO. What’s more, we’re actively helping to improve Gutenberg itself. Stay tuned!

Enhancements and bug fixes

In building software, there’s always something to improve. Sometimes we spot issues while using our plugins, but most of the time regular people like yourself will find something to improve. We’re thrilled with feedback as it gives us a chance to improve things that bother people.

In Yoast SEO 6.1, the community contributions were from Peeter Marvet and Raitis Sevelis. Peeter suggested adding support for locales without territory (examples: et, fi) and support for 3-letter language codes (example: rhg). Thanks to Raitis from Visual Composer, we’ve fixed a JavaScript compatibility issue by prefixing the webpack jsonP function with yoast. These are just some of the bug fixes in Yoast SEO 6.1. Find out what else we fixed in the changelog.

Translating Yoast SEO

One of the main selling points of Yoast SEO is its fully localized interface. Almost every part of it is translatable. Our community happily lends a hand to translate the plugin into a huge number of languages. Yoast SEO is currently available in 34 locales. In Yoast SEO 6.1, we’ve added even more translatable strings so people can translate every nook and cranny of the plugin. Want to help translate? Go to Translate WordPress and join in!

Update to Yoast SEO 6.1!

This first release of 2018 fixes several bugs and introduces a couple of enhancements that make Yoast SEO easier to use. We’re looking forward to what the rest of 2018 will bring and hope you’ll join us on our adventure. Remember, you can shape the future of Yoast SEO as well. Join our GitHub community and suggest feature enhancements or submit bugs. Thanks a bunch!

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

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The article you are about to read is probably one of the easiest posts I have written in a long time, as its subject is right there next to the edit screen in WordPress: the internal linking tool, which is a part of Yoast SEO Premium. I have only written three lines right now, but I already have some general suggestions of posts to link to, like the one with our 12 most read posts of 2017. Makes sense. As I continue to write this article, the suggested posts will change to match what I am writing about.

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Yoast SEO: the #1 WordPress SEO plugin Info

Internal linking is one of the most important ways to optimize your pages. Internal links contribute to a better site structure, easier crawling, and indexing of your pages, and might increase your time-on-site in Google Analytics. It’s a way to point Google to your main pages about a topic (cornerstone content).

Getting started with the internal linking tool

First things first, as always. We need to determine what your posts are about, and we do that by scanning your content. We would like you to help us a bit here, by starting that process for us in the settings of Yoast SEO:

Click the Analyze button to start analyzing and building these internal linking suggestions. That’s step one. No need to do that again, unless you have a specific reason for it. We will learn from each newly published posts what it is about.

What does the internal linking tool look like?

Now that we have analyzed your content, we can give you internal linking suggestions. It’s a convenient sidebar item in WordPress. It looks a bit like this, depending on your WordPress setup:

Internal linking tool yoast seo

On the left, you see “me” writing this article in WordPress, on the right you see a nice long list of articles we have written before. It’s divided into two sections:

  1. Cornerstone content
  2. Regular content

In our plugin, you can mark a specific article as cornerstone content right below the spot where you have been inserting the focus keyword for years:

Mark as cornerstone content

Checking that box will add it to the cornerstone content articles in our linking tool. These are the articles you want to link to most. These are the articles you want to rank for more general topics, like our Ultimate guide to content SEO. It makes sense to use these the most in your internal linking.

You have probably guessed that the other section contains all your related posts. To calculate these related posts, we use what we call a prominent words algorithm. No need to elaborate here, but trust me: it works. We will suggest the appropriate articles to link to in the current post you are writing.

The ease of adding internal links

In the internal linking tool, we use two icons:

  1. A checkmark for all the posts you have already linked to in your article
  2. A copy/paste icon. Click that icon, and we’ll add the link to your clipboard.

Now, how easy is that? That’s not all. There is a drag-and-drop functionality in there as well, which makes internal linking even easier. Simply click a link and hold your mouse button. Move to the spot where you want the link and release the button. Done!

Internal linking tool: drag & drop link

With this drag-and-drop option, you can create a related post block on the fly, just to name one of the possibilities. Now go and have fun with it, because this is all you need to create better internal links!

Oh, and just so there’s no confusion: the internal linking tool is indeed a feature of our paid plugin. It’s one of those extra features of our Yoast SEO Premium plugin that make it worth your while.

Read more: ‘Site structure: The ultimate guide’ »

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A year always seems like such a long time. But whenever we reach the end of one, we tend to say: where did it go? That’s definitely the case for developing and using software. We’re so invested in Yoast SEO that we sometimes forget when we added a feature because we use it so much. So, now’s the perfect time to give you a brief overview of the evolution of Yoast SEO in 2017. Enjoy!

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Yoast SEO: the #1 WordPress SEO plugin Info

To celebrate, we’re having an end of the year sale. Get all our products at 10% off!

Yoast year in review

Starting 2017 with Yoast SEO 4.1

2017 started off with a bang: we added a mobile version of the well-known snippet preview and full support for the German language. We all know mobile has only gained importance this past year and will continue to be essential. Just look at Google’s decision to switch to a mobile-first index sometime early next year.

A strong focus on site structure

The overarching theme of Yoast SEO in 2017 was site structure. We wanted to give you a set of tools to improve your site structure since site structure is one of the most overlooked, but critical parts of SEO. We wanted to build tools that are easy to use and extremely valuable. We’re happy to say we’ve succeeded! During the year, several improvements to current tools and new additions turned Yoast SEO into a fantastic tool to improve your site structure.

Vastly improved internal linking tool

internal linking toolIt all started in Yoast SEO 4.0, in December of 2016, when we launched the initial version of the internal linking tool. So what does the internal linking tool do? While working on your post, our internal linking tool will give you suggestions on which posts you could consider linking to because they are about related topics. Linking to these posts will help you create a better site structure.

To quote our CEO Joost de Valk:

“The internal linking tool is one of the most powerful tools we’ve ever built, and it keeps surprising me. I love it. In its current form, it’ll allow you to improve your site structure by the bucketload, just by suggesting posts to link to. I am very excited about where it will go from here!”

New languages

During the year we added several new languages to our roster. Besides English, we added full support for German, Dutch, Spanish, Italian and French in 2017. Yoast SEO has full knowledge of these languages so the internal linking tool and readability tools can give solid advice tailored to those languages. In 2018, more languages will follow. Our linguists are even looking into complicated languages like Japanese.

Text link counter

As we all know, links – both internal and external – play an important role in SEO. This year, Yoast SEO received several tools that help improve your linking strategy. Since 4.7, for instance, we check the text to see if you’ve added links. If not, the SEO content check will give you a red bullet. If all is well, Yoast SEO will suggest relevant links to other articles you’ve written, and you can just copy and past a new link in your article.

The text link counter, introduced in Yoast SEO 5.0, works in the post and pages section of your WordPress backend. In two columns, you’ll see how many incoming and outgoing internal links an article has. This functionality is very actionable. If you want to improve your site structure and your SEO, the text link counter will help you do that. You can go through your post with few links and improve your site’s structure step by step.

text link counter

Orphaned content filter

Orphaned content, you say? Yes, orphaned content is content on your site that doesn’t get any links from other parts of your site. Content that doesn’t get links will stay undiscovered by visitors and search engines. But if a certain article is important to you and you want it to rank for a specific keyword, you need to link it in your site structure. In Yoast SEO 5.6, we added a filter that finds these articles so that you can quickly remedy this situation and add these valuable articles to your site structure.

Checking and optimizing cornerstone content

While and finding and creating relevant links to your other content is crucial to building a solid site structure, there was another piece of the site structure missing: cornerstone content. Cornerstone content pieces are those articles on your website you’re most proud of. They reflect your business, communicate your mission, are thorough and extremely well written. These are the articles you would like to rank high in the search engines.

To help you determine what those articles are, we introduced several cornerstone content features. First, there’s the cornerstone content check in Yoast SEO 4.6. By marking an article as cornerstone content, this article receives priority over a regular article. These articles are analyzed more thoroughly to increase the chance of them popping up as must-link articles.

cornerstone content

In Yoast SEO 4.8 we expanded that feature. Since then, we analyze your cornerstone content following a particular, stricter set of specifications. These checks will help you build killer cornerstone articles. Among other things, we now check if a cornerstone article has 900+ words and if the keyword is in at least two subheadings. All this will help you to improve your most important content.

This suite of site structure tools gives you everything you need to improve your site structure. Use them!

So what else was new?

Besides helping you fix your site structure, we did loads of other cool stuff. Let’s go!

Redirect improvements

Our redirects manager is one of the most important tools in Yoast SEO. It helps you redirect anything you ever wanted. This year, we improved it drastically, with new filter options and a long-awaited import/export from/to CSV. You can analyze your redirects in a sheet, make edits and import it again.

SEO roles

Yoast SEO was always an on/off affair. There was no way to give site editors, for instance, access to selected parts of the plugin they need to do their work. Since Yoast SEO 5.5, that is now possible! Expanded in 5.8, SEO roles and capabilities give site managers to chance to fine-tune who gets to access what in Yoast SEO.

Tune Yoast SEO to your liking

Getting lost in all the Yoast SEO settings? Don’t need the readability analysis? Just want the basic settings? No problem, an ever-increasing number of features in Yoast SEO gets their own on/off toggle. Keep your workspace clean and focused.

Optimize your site to the max: get all our SEO plugins and extensions at once! Get our Yoast Complete SEO bundle and save money! »

Yoast Complete SEO pack Info

PHP 7 and beyond

At Yoast, we care about a lot of things, but two things in a very particular order: user happiness first, developer happiness second. A user is happy when he or she has a fast, easy to install, secure content management system like WordPress to build a site in. A developer is happy when he or she can use a modern language and modern tooling to build software with. That’s why we started the Whip project in March of 2017. The goal of this project is to steer users and web hosts away for unsupported PHP versions like 5.4 and move them towards the fast and secure PHP7.

Full support for ACF

2017 was also the year of an awesome collaborative effort: The ACF Content Analysis for Yoast SEO plugin. The Advanced Custom Fields plugin makes it easier to add custom fields to any WordPress site. Custom fields are used to extend WordPress. People use them to build tailored solutions to, often, complex problems. The ACF Content Analysis for Yoast SEO plugin makes it possible for Yoast SEO to work inside custom fields. By using this plugin, you can use the SEO and readability analysis features of Yoast SEO to check your writing and SEO score, even if they live in a complex custom field.

Vastly improved code-base

This year was not all about new features. We’ve been hard at work improving our code to make our plugins future-proof and easier to manage. One of the biggest project at Yoast right now is project Reactify. We are in the process of rebuilding several main parts of Yoast SEO in the JavaScript library React. This makes these easier to port to other platforms, for instance.

Yoast SEO for Magento 2 & TYPO3

Yoast was built for an open source world, and we’re branching out to other open CMSes. This year, we introduced the Magento 2 and TYPO3 communities to the pleasures of working with Yoast SEO. Together with our development partner MaxServ, we built tailored plugins for these popular platforms. We’re already looking where to go next.

Ending 2017 with Yoast SEO 6.0

In a year spanning more than 30 releases, the last one was maybe the most talked about. Not that we introduced a killer new feature or did something awkward. No, it was all about Google’s decision to move from 160 character meta descriptions to 320 character descriptions. This caused quite a stir and people were quickly asking whether Yoast SEO would follow suit and let people use all those characters. In Yoast SEO 6.0, we expanded the length of descriptions. We, however, are still researching what this decision means for the advice we give our users.

Thanks to you, our beloved community contributors

In the end, we couldn’t have done it without you. We love getting input, feedback, bug reports and features requests. Almost every release featured a community contribution, either bug fixes or improving the flow of our plugin. We love getting these suggestions, and we love to see how much thought and care people put in their work. Collectively, we make Yoast SEO better and better!

And 2018?

We’ve got loads of plans for the new year, but first, we’ve got to get a new speed bump out of the way. You know that word? It starts what a ‘G’ and ends with ‘utenberg’. Yeah, Gutenberg is going to take up a lot of our time. We’re pretty optimistic about the project, and we are doing our best to help improve where we can. We’re investing loads of time and manpower to get Gutenberg off the ground and make a killer integration for Yoast SEO. Stay tuned; you’re bound to hear a lot from us in 2018!

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

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The end of the year is coming up fast. Today is the day we’re releasing the last update of Yoast SEO in 2017. It’s been a wild ride this year and we’re already working on big plans for 2018. But first, Yoast SEO 6.0. And yes, we’ve heard you loud and clear; we’ve extended the meta description length to 320 characters.

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Yoast SEO: the #1 WordPress SEO plugin Info

320 character meta descriptions are here

These past few weeks there has been a lot of talk about Google’s decision to change the default meta description length to upto 320 characters. We’ve been testing how Google uses this, and we’ve been talking to Google representatives to make sure that we’re giving you the right options. With today’s release of Yoast SEO 6.0 (including the TYPO3 version, Magento 2 will follow soon), we’ve changed the meta description length from 156 to 320 characters. It doesn’t often happen that we need to change a feature in Yoast SEO following a change by Google.

Please read Joost’s post on impact of the new snippet length on SEO in general and Yoast SEO in particular.

Don’t panic

Now, having double the characters doesn’t mean you should go back to your site and change all the meta descriptions on all of your pages and posts. No, that would take ages if you have many posts and in case you would  – and you should – handwrite them all. Your rankings will not drop if you keep your meta descriptions the same. It is, however, a good opportunity to revisit them to make sure your site stands out in search results. While we’re still actively determining new best practices, there’s no harm in experimenting with this new meta description length.

Pick a couple of posts and pages first. Check if Google picks up your newly written meta descriptions. Do your own testing before you go all in and change everything. These longer meta descriptions give you enough room to show people what you’ve got, without giving away everything your article contains, of course. You still want people to click your search result, if that’s your goal.

Keep in mind that, most of the time, Google will lift a custom meta description from your site. There is not much you can do about it other than writing killer key paragraphs about your focus keyword in your content and try to get Google to use one of those. As I said, we’re monitoring what this change means and will report back with more solid data and advice in a couple of weeks.

wordpress seo expanded meta description

An example of an expanded meta description edited by Yoast SEO. Shows up on Google.nl, but not in other regionals. Your results may vary.

Other enhancements

We’ve made several other enhancements in Yoast SEO 6.0, including some community contributions. For instance, we’ve added support for custom page titles and meta descriptions on WooCommerce shop pages as suggested by Caleb Burks. Now, you can add custom metadata to your WooCommerce shop.

Raaj Trambadia suggested we should add a link to the Google Knowledge Graph article on Yoast.com, so we did. Finally, the focus keyword box in the Yoast SEO meta box features a link to a new article by Marieke. In it, she explains why it might be a bad idea to use the same focus keyword more than once.

Yoast SEO 6.0: The last release of the year

This makes Yoast SEO the final release of 2017. What a great year it’s been. Next week, we’ll publish several posts in which we look back upon the year. Of course, Yoast SEO gets its own post. Be sure to read it! Thanks for your support and we hope to see you again in 2018. Happy holidays!

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

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A new release doesn’t always have to bring incredible features, as it can silently set the stage for bigger things to come. Yoast SEO 5.9, released today, is such a release. While this release doesn’t contain groundbreaking new features, it does provide an important new piece of the Yoast SEO puzzle for the future: we’ve rebuilt the content analysis in React.

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Yoast SEO: the #1 WordPress SEO plugin Info

More accessible content analysis results

While the content analyses itself haven’t changed, the way we present the results has changed in Yoast SEO 5.9. To improve the user experience and accessibility of the results, we’ve decided to group these into several groups: Good, Considerations, Needs improvements and Problems. These follow roughly the colors of the bullets from green to red. This allows you to focus on your most important SEO issues first.

By grouping the results this way, colorblind users, for instance, can easily discern the difference between the results. Also, every header is collapsible. You can get the green bullets out of the way to focus on the red ones.

Thanks to this new grouping of the results you get a more structured overview of the SEO of the piece you’re working on. Before, it was one big list that became more cluttered with every added check. Now, we’ve added a new focus to the analysis, making it easier to use. You’ll fix your SEO in no time!

new content analysis yoast seo 5_9

Reactify all the things

Rebuilding stuff in React probably doesn’t mean much to you but is an important part of making Yoast SEO futureproof. React is a JavaScript library for building user interfaces. By using React, we can break up Yoast SEO into several parts so we can more easily maintain it and significantly improve it. Not only that, by dividing everything into blocks, we make it easier to adapt Yoast SEO to that new challenge called Gutenberg.

Gutenberg forces us to rethink our product and the way we build said product. It brings us loads of challenges, but also opportunities to bring Yoast SEO to new heights. But before we can do cool new stuff, we need to format our work in such a way that we can easily adapt it to the new Gutenberg editor environment. We’ve already rebuilt several parts of Yoast SEO, like the Configuration Wizard and the Help Center, in React. This process will continue for a little while until every visual aspect of Yoast SEO is ‘reactified.’

So, what else is new?

Besides fixing a load of bugs in Yoast SEO 5.9, we’ve also added several enhancements that make the plugin easier to use. We’re also adding a new focus on our onboarding wizard that has helped so many first-time users set up their Yoast SEO install in record time. We’re now showing a notice nudging users to open the onboarding wizard when the plugin is installed for the first time. We’ve also made the ‘Next’ and ‘Back’ buttons in the onboarding wizard focusable, to improve accessibility.

We’ve also introduced the wpseo_add_opengraph_additional_images filter so you can add additional OpenGraph Images with a lower priority. The order in which you place OpenGraph images determines which one  Facebook shows, which is usually the first one. This led to issues with WooCommerce SEO as their Gallery images always appeared on top. With the new filter, you can add additional images to the OpenGraph image list. These should not be shown as the default image, but you could use these for more advanced purposes. Some sites allow you to pick any image found in the list.

Update now!

That’s Yoast SEO 5.9 for you! With this new release, we’re continuing the renewal of our foundation to make sure we can build an awesome new house in the future. We’ve also fixed loads of bugs and enhanced some parts of the plugin to make sure you can do work in the best possible fashion. Happy updating!

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

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In our plugin, you can connect Google Search Console to Yoast SEO. This verifies your website for your Google Search Console account and allows you to view your crawl errors. Especially when you have a large site, the number of crawl errors might scare you. In this post, I’ll explain a bit more about crawl errors and show you how to fix them, using Yoast SEO Premium.

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

Yoast SEO: the #1 WordPress SEO plugin Info

What are crawl errors?

Google uses so-called Googlebots to crawl and index your page. Crawling, in layman’s language, is the process of Googlebot going over your pages, one link at a time. When crawling, its goal is to get to every important page on your site by following links on pages, in sitemaps, etc. Indexing, on the other hand, is what Googlebot does to take in all the content on your pages, to include it in its search result pages.

There are two types of crawl errors:

  • Site errors that affect your entire site. Think along the lines of connectivity issues with your web server, and problems fetching your robots.txt file.
  • URL errors that affect a specific page on your website. Googlebot tried to crawl the URL but did not succeed somehow. It was able to resolve your DNS, connect to your server, fetch/read your robots.txt file, and then request the URL. But after that, something went wrong.

Viewing crawl errors in Yoast SEO

In our Yoast SEO plugin (free and paid), you can view the crawl errors that Google came across on your website. All you have to do is connect Google Search Console to Yoast SEO. In our plugin, we guide you through that process. Let me explain the steps here as well.

Connect Google Search Console to Yoast SEO

To connect Google Search Console to the Yoast SEO plugin, all you have to do is navigate to this page in WordPress: SEO › Search Console.
Connect Google Search Console to Yoast SEO

The next step is to connect them. In our plugin, just click the ‘Get Google Authorization Code’ button:Search Console - Yoast SEO

It’ll take you to Google Search Console. There, you’ll be asked to confirm that you want to connect Google Search Console to Yoast SEO and let our plugin view and manage the data for your sites. Click ‘allow’:Search Console - Yoast SEO

Lastly, you’ll get a key to include in our plugin:GSC copy paste code

Now simply copy-paste that code and insert it into the box in our plugin, hit ‘Authenticate.’
Google Search Console pick profile

Choose the profile you’d like to connect and save it. Done! Now, you can continue in the first tab of that same section in our plugin (Desktop). Be sure to check the other tabs as well to find specific crawl errors.Yoast SEO crawl errors

Here, you will find the information we collected from your Google Search Console. In this table, you see the URL that gave an error, the date Google crawled it last, the date when Google detected the error first and the response code Google sent. In the screenshot, all response codes are 404 Not Found.

So, if you connect Google Search Console to Yoast SEO, you will have a great overview of how many crawl errors Google finds on your website. Now, you can go and create redirects for these 404s, or simply change them to 410s if that page is of absolutely no use to you anymore. More on status codes in this article. When you have ‘fixed’ the error, hover over the URL in Yoast SEO and click ‘mark as fixed’.

Is there an easy way to create that redirect?

Yes! There is an easier way to complete this process, and it is called Yoast SEO Premium. Besides a lot of extras that plugin has to offer, it allows you to immediately create your redirect in our plugin:create redirect in Yoast SEO Premium

Simply click ‘Create redirect,’ and, unlike in our free plugin (which will prompt that it’s only featured in our premium plugin), you’ll get this screen:
redirect and fix crawl errors in Yoast SEO

Our plugin will give you the option to create a redirect, or add another status code (301, 302, 307, 410, 451 are all possible). In case of a 301 redirect, like in the example, simply insert the URL you’d like that ‘old’ URL to redirect to. If you want to tell Google Search Console about this fix, simply leave the check ‘Mark as fixed’ as is and hit ‘Create Redirect.’ It’s as simple as that. In tomorrow’s article, we’ll shine a light on the redirects manager.

Now go and connect Google Search Console to Yoast SEO!

I hope this sheds some light on why you want to connect Google Search Console to Yoast SEO. You’ll be able to monitor crawl errors in our free plugin, and for a few bucks a year, our premium plugin will even help you fix them!

If you by any chance have already used this feature in our premium plugin, I’d love for you to share your thoughts and experiences in the comments!

Read more: ‘Which redirect should I use?’ »

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