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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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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Something’s brewing at Yoast HQ. There’s no sign of spring yet, but we feel the need for a spring clean-up. Over the past few weeks, we’ve been looking critically at the Yoast SEO WordPress plugin and its many features and thinking: what’s this doing here? And should we get rid of that thing? Some of the results of that process are collected here, in Yoast SEO 6.3. But this is only the beginning.

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We’ve removed the meta keywords box

Meta keywords haven’t had any use for ages. In 2009, Google officially confirmed that they didn’t use them. We, however, kept the box since some of you clamored at the slightest hint that we were even thinking about deleting it. But now, after all these years, it is the time to say goodbye to the old meta keywords box. It was fun while it lasted, but it should have been gone years ago. Read why we don’t use meta keywords and why you shouldn’t either.

The “noindex subpages” feature is also gone

Since Google has gotten much better at working with paginated series, we’ve removed the feature that allows noindexing subpages of archives. According to Joost de Valk, the reasoning behind this is simple: “rel="next" and rel="prev" make sure Google sends people to the first page in a paginated series. There is one catch: sometimes it will send people to a specific page in the series, but that’s when that page is the best match for their query. This, therefore, should be better for the searcher. Noindexing all these pages leads to a lower amount of crawls for them (source), which subsequently leads to lower amounts of crawls for older articles, which is not a good idea on most sites.”

Enhancements: more context, fewer settings

In Yoast SEO 6.3, you’ll not only find loads of new enhancements that’ll improve how the plugin works, but we’ve also provided more context within the plugin so you can find out immediately what a particular toggle or feature does. By deleting a couple of features, we even said goodbye to a tab in the advanced settings. To help you find these settings, we’ve added a step in the configuration wizard for enabling (or disabling) the advanced settings. Also, we’ve improved the Open Graph copy for Facebook and Twitter in the Social settings to explain better what it does.

To help you transfer data from other WordPress SEO plugins we’ve added an importer for the SEO Ultimate plugin and the SEOpressor plugin. We already supported several other SEO plugins, like HeadSpace2, All in One SEO, JetPack SEO, WooThemes SEO Framework, and wpSEO.

In Yoast SEO Premium, we’ve also made several improvements that make it more apparent what a particular feature does. We’ve added a piece of text to the Internal Linking analyzer after completing a full site scan. This gives you more insight into what the effects are of running the analyzer. What’s more, we’ve added an explanation on entries on the features tab and links to explanatory articles on the features tab.

Doing housekeeping

In addition to all these enhancements and the deletion of some superfluous features, we’ve been busy fixing bugs and getting things ready for the next release. You can find every bug fix and feature enhancement in the changelog on As I said, we’re busy as bees at the moment and cannot wait to show you what we’ve come up with.

Update now!

Yoast SEO 6.3 and its various add-ons all received nice updates today. We’re cleaning up the plugins as part of our quest for keeping our interfaces and features as easy as possible. In the coming weeks, we hope to show you more of what we’ve been up to. For now, update your plugins and stay tuned!

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

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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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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 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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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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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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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! »

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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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With 2018 just around the corner, it’s time to look back at yet another amazing year at Yoast. We’ve made some excellent improvements to Yoast SEO and released a bunch of new awesome online SEO courses. Team Yoast has been to lots and lots of conferences. We’ll write separate blog posts to look back at all those things. But as a company, and an employer, Yoast has done a great many things in 2017 as well! Let’s take a look at everything that happened at the Yoast offices in 2017.

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

We made a Yoast infographic!

To give you an idea what Yoast looks like in numbers, we put a lot of them in an overview. The article continues below the infographic:

Yoast 2017 infographic

So many new colleagues

The biggest change in 2017 is the number of colleagues we have. At our office in Wijchen, we are now with 50 colleagues (and already doing interviews to hire more :-)). In 2017, we welcomed over twenty awesome new  people at our Yoast office. On top of that, we hired six new support engineers from all over the planet!  We also decided to sponsor two important WordPress icons –Alain Schlesser and Remkus de Vries-, to make sure they continue their awesome work for WordPress core and the WordPress community.

As our company is growing really fast, we organized lots of events to get to know each other. We have our famous ‘Know your colleague-quiz’, in which we ask all kinds of random questions (what’s your favorite color, what kind of sports did you play when you were a child) about all of the people at Yoast. The colleague that knew most answers (way to go, Ben!) won an amazing price. We also had BBQs, went cycling, bowling, celebrated birthdays, Sinterklaas and Christmas. And on December 27th, we’ll have our annual LEGO building day. We’re planning to build 100.000 bricks of LEGO in one day. That’s teambuilding at Yoast!

yoastcon so many people

Our new office: building #2

As Team Yoast continued to grow, our Wijchen office was getting too crowded. We decided to open a second office (building #2) in Wijchen, just around the corner from building #1. There was a big celebration when we opened our new office. We drank champagne, did a real skippy ball race and a had running contest. It took some getting used to, but we’re now all taking frequent walks between buildings #1 and #2 for meetings, coffee or lunch. And, if construction goes well, in spring 2018, building #3 will be opened. The city center of Wijchen has a lot of Yoasters walking around!

opening yoast building #2

Bring your parents to work day

To many of the activities we undertake at Yoast, we let people bring their partners and children. Most of our colleagues do not have families of their own yet. Some of them even live with their parents. We therefore decided to organize an event, to which everyone could bring their parents: ‘bring your parents to work -day’.

We showed the parents around, told them what we’re working at and explained about our products and the growth of our company. It was great fun to meet everyone’s parents. Next year, we’ll definitely organize another ‘bring your parents to work-day’. We’ll  do a bit rebranding and make it an even more inclusive event: the ‘bring your family to work-day’. Some of the little brothers felt left out ;-).

5 years since Yoast hired first employees

In 2012 Yoast hired the first employees. Most of them still work with us today. That’s so very special to us! Of course Michiel started out as an employee in 2012, but quickly became one of the co-owners at Yoast. Mijke and Erwin were our 3th and 4th employee’s in 2012 and celebrated their 5th anniversary at Yoast this fall. We gave them special editions of Newton’s cradle to put on their desk. These cradles should remind everyone how much we love and value the people that work at Yoast. We hope they’ll all celebrate their 5th anniversary with us!

Learn how to optimize on all aspects in our All-in-one training bundle!

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yoast first employee anniversary

YoastCon 2017

One of the biggest highlights of 2017 was the second edition of YoastCon. It was so very awesome! The venue was gorgeous and we had some great speakers on stage! Most of team Yoast really enjoyed performing our ‘Yoast dance’ on stage too. And the afterparty!

It was great that part of our support team travelled to the Netherlands to attend YoastCon. As they live so far away (The United States, Philippines, Bangladesh) we communicate with them over Skype. It was great to meet them in person and show them some sights in the Netherlands. We’re already planning our next YoastCon in early 2019. Definitely stay tuned!

Teaching children how to code

We started a great project this year to teach children how to write code. A large portion of our development team spent several Tuesday-afternoons at one of our local elementary schools. We taught children how to built their own website and showed them the very basics of HTML, CSS and Javascript. It was a lot of work (10 years olds are always a lot of work), but great fun as well. We’re planning to do more courses for more children next year!

2017 was great fun

For Yoast, 2017 was a great year! We had lots of fun! Fun building our plugin and the My Yoast platform, fun developing online SEO courses, writing blog posts and shooting video’s. Time for 2018!

Read on: ‘Our most read posts of 2017’ »

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Both the free and the Premium Yoast SEO plugin come with several default settings. We’re all about sensible default settings! So, we’ve put a great deal of thought into setting these defaults, to make sure they’re right for most users. Still, it’s understandable that people get confused, for example when using our awesome configuration wizard, when they see the visibility of the post type ‘media’ set to ‘hidden’.

The last thing you want is to have all the media on your site invisible to your users. Of course, we don’t want that either, and won’t let that happen. So let me explain in this post why the post type ‘media’ is set to noindex in by default and what that means.

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Jez emailed us this question, something we actually get asked more often:

“Yoast SEO sets the post type media to noindex by default in ‘Post Type Visibility’. Why is this? Will my images still display correctly?”

Watch the video or read the transcript further down the page for my answer!

-video staat nu hier, moet wel nog even van private naar public!-

Post type ‘media’ noindex in Yoast SEO

“There’s this weird thing in WordPress where, if you upload an image, not only does it allow you to embed the image in the post, it also automatically creates a page for that image on your site. This is the media post type.

So now that single image has its own page and that page is very thin, because the only thing on that page is that image and maybe the alt text that you put in there, but there’s nothing else on that page. So this is thin content. That’s why we noindex it by default because there is really no reason to have that indexed by Google and to make sure that that thing ranks. So that’s why we do that, we like sensible defaults like that.

Of course, if you have very large media pages that have a lot more than just the image by all means set it to index, that’s why you can. Good luck!”

Ask Yoast

In the series Ask Yoast we answer SEO questions from our readers. Have an SEO-related question? Let us help you out! Send an email to

(Note: please check our blog and knowledge base first, the answer to your question may already be out there! For urgent questions, for example about our plugin not working properly, we’d like to refer you to our support page.)

Read more: ‘The beginner’s guide to 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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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, 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, 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!

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In this article, I’d like to highlight the snippet preview in our Yoast SEO plugin. What is it, how does it work and what should you pay attention to? First of all, I have to point out that Google makes the final selection of content for your mention in the search result pages. No matter how much effort you put in optimizing your meta description, if Google feels that another snippet of your pages answers their visitor’s search query better, it will use that snippet instead of your meta description. Is that a problem, you think? I think it isn’t. It’s Google helping people understand your page better.

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Let’s look at that snippet preview

You can find the snippet preview in the so-called meta box, right below the edit field in WordPress:

Yoast SEO's snippet preview - How to make your site stand out in search results

As you can see, the meta description needs optimizing and the title is perhaps a bit long. Now, where do we change all these things?

Your site’s title

If you want to make your site stand out in search results, this will always have to be optimized one page at a time. Branding should be consistent on all pages, by the way. Looking at a single search result, the page title is the thing that gets the most attention in the search result pages. It’s in the largest font, the blue color pops. It’s usually also the most consistent thing in there. Your titles look like this by default (due to settings in our plugin): ‘page title’ – ‘site name’. Now if that is something you’d like to change for this specific post, simply click ‘Edit snippet’ and you’ll get this screen:

Edit Yoast SEO snippet preview

As you can see, the template of the title is displayed here. %%page%% will give you the number of the page is you have spread the article over multiple pages, %%sep%% is the separator or divider you can pick in our plugin as well. If you want to adjust the title, you can do that here. For tips on how to set that title up, please read Crafting good titles for SEO.

Read more: ‘Titles and meta variables in Yoast SEO’ »

Meta descriptions

We have written quite a lot about that meta description. It’s the only ‘tool’, besides the title, that Google gives us to optimize our invitation to our website. In the meta description, you highlight what your page is about and why the user should visit it.

Note that the meta description is a suggestion for Google, as I mentioned earlier. If Google doesn’t use the meta description you enter or edit here; some reasons could apply:

  • Your meta description doesn’t match the search query of the user. If you optimize your meta description for a certain keyword, which differs from the query, Google might decide to pick some sentences that fit the query better instead. Again, that might be a good thing.
  • Your meta description is over-optimized for a certain keyword, or considered to be too focused on sales/spam. Sometimes you may manage to squeeze in an emoji or icon of some kind, most of the times Google prefers text. I think most users do, by the way. It allows for more characters if you leave the fluff out, so your sentences are easier to read.

The length of that meta description

Now let’s discuss the length of that meta description. At the moment, we stick to approximately 160 characters, but times they are a-changing. Just recently, Google mentioned longer meta descriptions. This means we can squeeze in a few extra lines of text. However, Google will display this in some cases, not all. It might be just the meta descriptions that Google creates for us.

Longer meta descriptions also means that the first result will get some more attention, which fits Google’s aim of showing you the best result right away. And, think along the lines of voice search as well. MOZ’s example of our meta description post aligns nicely with the voice search example Joost used here. It’s consistent this way. Not sure if that’s the thought behind it, but it came to mind.

At Yoast, we keep a keen eye on what’s going on here and if we find the logic behind this new length, or Google tells us, we will find a way to incorporate this in our plugin. For the time being: results are still perfectly fine in the current length!

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Optimizing your slug

Last but not least, you can also alter your slug. That’s the post-related part of the URL for that post. In our snippet preview editor, you can change that slug. Remove some clutter, make sure there’s focus. If possible, add the preferred focus keyword in there. Google could change that slug into ‘breadcrumbs’ a lot of the times, by the way. But if your URL is in the results, it’s nice to have the focus keyword in bold there as well.

One more thing: site links

Last but not least: site links. Site links are the links that you sometimes find below your main mention:

Site links for Yoast

As you can see, it’s one mention, with multiple extra site links below it. Now, this isn’t in our plugin or snippet preview, since we as site owners can’t control or suggest these. Google even removed the option to demote any links here last year. So it’s out of our reach, to be honest. Just wanted to clarify that :)

In conclusion

That’s it. You can easily optimize your mention in the search result pages if you use the snippet preview, and editor, in our free and premium Yoast SEO plugin. It’s an easy, convenient way to present Google with a ready-to-use, optimized snippet for their search result pages. Now go and optimize :)

Keep reading: ‘The beginner’s guide to Yoast SEO’ »

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