Yoast SEO 11.5: An updated mobile preview + favicon!

Yoast SEO 11.5 is out today. This release features a big change that gives you a better idea of how searchers see your snippets on mobile. Yep, we’ve overhauled the mobile snippet preview and brought it up-to-date with Google’s latest changes. And that, of course, includes that shiny favicon. Here’s Yoast SEO 11.5. 

Revamped mobile snippet preview

In Yoast SEO 11.5, the main star is the overhauled mobile snippet preview. This preview shows you how your search result will appear in the mobile search results. It looks exactly like a mobile search result in Google, including bolded keywords and a favicon.

In this release, we’re using the default favicon Google uses when they can’t find a favicon on your site. In a future release, we’re going to extract the favicon from your site and show it here, right in the snippet preview. How cool is that.

Of course, you can switch between the mobile and desktop views to see the differences between the search results.

The improved mobile snippet preview and the new location of the focus keyphrase in the Yoast SEO meta box

The focus keyphrase field in the block editor

We’re cleaning up the interface of the meta box and snippet preview to improve user experience and discoverability. In the previous release, we moved the focus keyphrase input field to a new location, right at the top of the meta box. Now, this all-important feature has the prominent place it deserves. You can see the new location of the focus keyphrase in the meta box in the screenshot above.

In the block editor, you’ll find the field at the top of the sidebar. See the screenshot on the right. It works the same as before, but it is now in a much more prominent place.

Only a little bit of Schema this time

After all the Schema structured data additions and finetuning, we’re taking it a bit easier in Yoast SEO 11.5. Regarding structured data, the only thing we’ve changed in this release is take out the primary image for a page of the WebPage piece and move it into its own graph piece. This way, it easier for search engines to discover the relation between the image, the page and the entities.

Update to Yoast SEO 11.5

Yoast SEO 11.5 isn’t a huge release, but the updated mobile snippet preview alone is worth the price of admission. The snippet preview is an essential tool to help you stand out in the search results, so use it to your advantage! 

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Yoast SEO 11.4: FAQ structured data in the graph

Yoast SEO 11.4 is out today. This release features loads of structured data improvements. We’ve improved the way Yoast SEO Schema works with AMP, plus we’ve enhanced our FAQ blocks and added them to the graph. Find out what Yoast SEO 11.4 is all about!

First: Our next live SEO webinar is coming up! Be sure to join us on June 26 for the Big “Is it a ranking factor??!!” Show! »

Once again: Schema

We’re still working hard on making our new structured data implementation even more awesome. In Yoast SEO 11.4, we’re not only improving the way we handle some things, but also reintroducing our FAQ structured data blocks.

As a reminder, please read our Schema documentation if you are interested in why we’re doing this and how it all came together. The release post of Yoast SEO 11.0 has a lot of background information as well.

FAQ structured data now in the graph

One of the latest rich results Google shows is the FAQ. To stand a chance of getting these highlighted in Google, you not only need an FAQ on your page but also FAQPage structured data. Luckily, Yoast SEO comes with structured data content blocks for adding FAQ pages to your site. These only work with the WordPress block editor.

The Yoast SEO structured data blocks let you add FAQ content quickly

The blocks are incredibly easy to work with:

  • Pick the FAQ block
  • Add a question
  • Give an answer to that question
  • Add an image, if necessary
  • Repeat for all your question for this particular FAQ

Our blocks automatically generate valid FAQPage structured data in the background. Google is now ready to pick it up, like it did with this page:

The Yoast Diversity Fund page has a nice FAQ listing

In Yoast SEO 11.4, we’ve improved the code generated by our FAQ structured data block following Google’s latest changes. In addition, we made sure all data is nicely stitched into our graph. For FAQ pages, search engines now not only can identify these pages as an FAQ but they can also figure out how these pages fit in the grander scheme of things.

To get this done — and to make it as flexible as possible —, we’re introducing a new action and a new filter. The wpseo_pre-schema_block-type_<block-type> action allows you to change the graph output based on the blocks on the page. The wpseo_schema_block_<block-type> filter lets you filter graph output per block.

You can read more about this new API in our Gutenberg Blocks Schema documentation.

Now also on Reader mode AMP pages

The new Yoast SEO Schema implementation works perfectly well with modern AMP pages, but there where some issues with the Reader mode (formerly known as Classic mode). These issues have now been fixed.

The focus keyphrase field is now right at the top

UX improvements

We’re doing a number of design changes to clean up the sidebar and meta box in order to improve UX. In this release, we’ve moved the Focus keyphrase field to the top of the meta box and sidebar, making this essential item much easier to find. We’ve also linked the SEO and readability scores in the Classic Editor. A click on these items now leads to the corresponding fields in the Yoast SEO meta box below. Stay tuned for more UX improvements in coming versions of Yoast SEO.

Update now

In the release cycle ending with Yoast SEO 11.4, we’ve fixed a number of bugs and enhanced our Schema implementation. The FAQ is the next item to be added to the graph and there’s more coming up. We’ve also started work on improving the UX of the meta box, making it easier to use and enhance the discoverability of the features.

Find all changes in the changelog for Yoast SEO 11.4.

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Yoast SEO 11.3: Even more enhancements

High-time for another release, namely Yoast SEO 11.3. This release features enhancements and bug fixes aimed at improving the way your favorite SEO plugin performs. In this post, you’ll find everything you need to know about Yoast SEO 11.3! Plus, a word on supporting older versions of WordPress and helping people upgrade their PHP versions.

But first: on supporting older version of WordPress

While developing Yoast SEO, we’ve always had a rule of supporting the two most recent versions of WordPress. This helped us focus our efforts on the platforms that needed it most. With the release of WordPress 5.0, we stretched that rule. We kept supporting WordPress 4.9, because we wanted to give users ample time to get ready to switch to WordPress 5.0 and its new editor — or keep using the Classic Editor, of course.

Now, as soon as WordPress 5.3 comes out, Yoast SEO will go back to supporting the two most recent versions — WordPress 5.2 and 5.3 in this case. We’d also like to urge users to upgrade their PHP software on their hosting platforms to at least 5.6, the minimum requirement of WordPress 5.2. Better yet, if possible, we’d like everyone to make the jump to the 7 series of PHP. Everyone will thank you!

Joost wrote a post explaining why we have this policy and why we’re deciding to go back to it.

With that said, let’s move on to Yoast SEO 11.3.

Enhancements and fixes

As in the last couple of releases, we’re still fine-tuning and improving our new Schema implementation. We launched this huge addition in Yoast SEO 11.0 and we’ve been stunned by the enthusiastic reception it got. But, of course, we won’t rest on our laurels just yet.

In Yoast SEO 11.3, we’re now letting users set an image for persons as well. Just go to SEO → Search Appearance → Knowledge Graph & Schema.org and pick or upload an image. This image will now be added to the structured data graph for this particular user.

You can now upload an image, photo or logo to go with the person

In addition, we fixed several bugs in the Schema implementation. These mainly concerned issues with setting and picking the Person for the site and the Schema output it generated.

Other enhancements in the plugin include a new wpseo_should_index_links filter which you can use to disable the link indexation. Plus, we’ve added support for builtin taxonomies so you can add the blog archive page to the breadcrumbs.

You can find all changes in the changelog for this release.

Update now and be sure to come back soon

So there you have it. Yoast SEO 11.3 is a release focused on ironing out some kinks to make your experience as smooth as possible. We added several enhancements that’ll prove beneficial for our Schema implementation, for instance. Try out Yoast SEO 11.3 and update whenever you’re ready!

One more thing. Seeing all these updates make you wonder why we release so often? Would you like to know why we have a two-week release schedule? Well, you’re not the only one. Soon, our very own Caroline will go into detail on how our development process functions and how the release schedule actually works. Stay tuned!

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Supporting older versions of WordPress

As soon as WordPress 5.3 comes out, Yoast will only support WordPress 5.2 and WordPress 5.3, and not versions before that. This means we’ll end our support for WordPress 4.9, which we’d kept alive for a little bit longer than usual to allow people to transition to WordPress 5.0 and the classic editor. I’d like to explain why we have this policy and why we’re deciding to go back to it.

Building software for WordPress can be incredibly complex. We work in a world where there are always a couple of versions of WordPress around. Next to that, plugins can do almost anything (which they do), which also means they can interfere with each other. Every site has a different combination of plugins, leading to tens of thousands of different combinations.

Modern code

At Yoast we pride ourselves in using the best tools available to build solutions for our users. With WordPress 5.2, the WordPress core team upped the minimum PHP requirement for WordPress from PHP 5.2 to PHP 5.6. We always want our software to work on the minimum requirements for WordPress, which means we could only use functionality from PHP 5.2 up until then.

Note: I know these version numbers and the fact that they’re so alike can become confusing. We’ve certainly had some confusion around that internally. I apologize for that in advance, but as you’ll understand, I can’t change these version numbers.

PHP is the language that most of the WordPress backend is built in. PHP 5.2 was released in 2006, while PHP 5.6 was released in 2014. As you can see, that’s 8 years apart, and 8 years is an incredibly long time on the internet.

By going back to our policy of only supporting the current and previous version, and thus only supporting WordPress 5.2 and 5.3, we allow ourselves to develop using PHP 5.6. Because we can use PHP 5.6 now, we can develop faster and more securely.

What does “support” mean?

When we say we don’t support an older version of WordPress it means we’ve stopped testing with it, and things are likely to break. It also means you won’t see Yoast SEO updates until you’ve updated your WordPress to a supported version.

My site doesn’t work with the classic editor

For a small portion of sites, I know this leaves them in limbo, which we hate. If you have a custom WordPress solution, built with old versions of plugins like Advanced Custom Fields (ACF), you might be “stuck”. Even though ACF has done an incredibly good job of migrating to Gutenberg, that might not “save” you.

While we think that sucks, we don’t really have any option for you other than to go to your website developer and explain them that this isn’t a state you want to stay in. You really should move to newer versions of WordPress. We will keep on supporting the Classic Editor for a few more years, so if they make it work with that, you’re good.

I don’t see any Yoast SEO updates

There are a couple of different reasons why you can’t see Yoast SEO updates. As said above: if you’re on an old version of WordPress, you will not see them. So update your WordPress first. If that’s not the case, please reinstall the plugin, simply delete it and install the latest version manually. That won’t delete any of your data, don’t worry.

Go and update your site!

So, if you’re on an old version of WordPress, go and update. Of course, before doing anything like updating plugins or WordPress, always make sure to test and back up your site!

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Yoast SEO 11.2: Schema enhancements and more

Today, we’re releasing Yoast SEO 11.2 into the wild. This release contains several enhancements to our Schema structured data implementation, plus a number of community contributions and general bug fixes. In this post, you’ll find everything you need to know about Yoast SEO 11.2, so dive in!

More Schema improvements

These past couple of weeks saw quite a bit of development in the structured data department. In Yoast SEO 11.0, we launched a structured data implementation that automatically generates a graph for any given website and its pages. In Yoast SEO 11.1, we improved the way we handle images in structured data, among other things. We said we wouldn’t be done on the Schema front for some time. Well, Yoast SEO 11.2 brings even more structured data goodness.

Image improvements

As mentioned in the release post of Yoast SEO 11.1, we’ve been working on a better way to pick images correctly for use in the generated structured data. In this release, we’re introducing a new way to make sure we always include an image in the structured data. Now, we pick the first image in the content for the Schema output if you haven’t set a featured image.

Tailor the Schema output

Of course, it’s possible that you’d like to incorporate your own Schema pieces into our graph. We already have the wpseo_schema_graph_piecesfilter to help you extend the Yoast SEO Schema. This way, you can tailor the implementation to your own needs. In addition, we’re now introducing a new filter that will help you control what Yoast SEO outputs. The new wpseo_schema_needs_<class_name> filter helps you disable or enable specific pieces of the graph.

Last but not least, we’ve also added a filter called wpseo_schema_person_social_profiles for adding or deleting social profiles to show. Read our Schema API documentation to find out how our Schema implementation works and how you can tailor it to your needs.

Community help

Yoast SEO 11.2 is a community-driven effort. We love getting outside help, so thanks everybody. In this release, David Tolnem and Saša Todorović came up with a filter for adding posts with a custom post statuses to the sitemap: wpseo_sitemap_post_statuses. This means you can now use the custom post statuses made in tools such as Edit Flow and add these to the sitemap. Saša also helped fix a bug together with Jessica Zehavi. This one was a bug where URLs with a non-Yoast SEO related xsl query string parameter would result in a blank page.

Rami Yushuvaev helped us make translating the plugin easier by merging near identical strings and he fixed a bug concerning an incorrect URL leading to Pinterest’s claim page.

Better sitemap debugging

To help you debug your sitemaps, we’ve decoupled the sitemap debug information from the general WP_DEBUG flag. Instead, we now offer the YOAST_SEO_DEBUG_SITEMAPS flag to better control this functionality. Now, we can output more specific debug information on the sitemap pages.

Update away!

Yoast SEO 11.2 fixes several bugs and enhances the Schema implementation. Thanks to our highly valued community, we have a number of fixes and improvements. We always enjoy seeing so many people contribute to our open source plugin. Interested in contributing? Please read our contribution guidelines on GitHub.

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Announcing a new integration: Yoast SEO for Neos CMS

As you might know, Yoast SEO isn’t exclusive to WordPress. Together with our partners, we’re looking to bring our popular SEO plugin to more open source platforms. After releasing Yoast SEO for Magento 2 and TYPO3, together with MaxServ, we’re now launching a new integration: Yoast SEO for Neos CMS! Sebastian Helzle, core developer in the Neos team and freelance consultant, built it with help from us.

Neos: a flexible, innovative content management system

Neos began many years ago as a proposed follow-up to TYPO3, but has been moving in its own direction since 2015. It is a fully React based CMS offering many innovative features to manage content. The system is highly flexible and allows for some impressive options to custom build high-profile sites.

neos logo

For content managers, working with Neos is a dream. Due to this flexibility, there are many ways to work with and maintain content. One of these options is to let content managers edit content directly from the front-end or use the writer mode to focus on getting those articles written in the first place. In addition, you’ll also find a fully customizable, personal workspace. The workspace is a copy of the website you’re working on and lets multiple editors work on a part of the site or a piece of content at once. It can also be used to draft and fine-tune pages before publishing them.

In that workspace, users will now find the Yoast SEO analysis to help them improve the SEO-friendliness of their content.

Thanks to our Yoast SEO JavaScript package, porting the SEO analysis to other platforms is doable as this package has everything you need. We’ll keep it updated with our regular plugin releases and these changes will also end up in integrations with other platforms like Neos.

You can find more information on Yoast SEO for Neos on GitHub. Or download Yoast SEO for Neos CMS in the Neos Package Center.

You can find Yoast SEO for Neos right where you need it most — in the Inspector

What can you expect from Yoast SEO for Neos CMS

Neos recently received a powerful native SEO module called Neos.SEO 3.0, which handles the most important SEO options, like XML sitemaps, canonicals and hreflang natively. The integration of Yoast SEO in Neos, therefore, focusses mainly on the content analysis part. It will also help users visualize how their content will appear in the search results and on social media channels. Together, these tools help site owners and editors publish awesome content on a well-optimized site powered by Neos.

In Yoast SEO for Neos 1.0, you can expect the following features:

  • Top-notch SEO tools right inside the Neos Inspector: helping you improve your posts and pages.
  • Readability analysis: making sure that content is easy to understand for your audience.
  • SEO analysis: by entering your focus keyphrase, this helps you to improve the overall quality of your content.
  • Snippet preview for Google search results: see how your post appears in the search results and make it stand out.
  • Social previews for Facebook and Google: this is how social media will see your post.
  • Available in workspaces: Yoast SEO for Neos will work inside your workspace, giving you everything you need at your fingertips.

Of course, everything is powered by JavaScript and uses web workers to make sure that the backend of the site doesn’t have to wait for processes to finish. Everything works in real-time —  no saving necessary! Go try it.

Yoast SEO for Neos also features a welcome overview page that shows all feedback in one go

Supporting open source platforms

For years, we’ve been big fans of the open source community. Yoast SEO itself is open source and we owe a lot to this way of thinking and working. We want to support open source wherever we can, by giving back to the community. This also means that we’re actively looking for partners who can bring the incredible value of Yoast SEO to other platforms and communities.

Everybody needs to stand a chance in the search results — SEO for everyone, remember?

If you have suggestions or if you think you can help us, please reach out to us. Visit our Yoast SEO for your platform page to find out more.

Tell us what you think

The first version of Yoast SEO for Neos gives editors everything they need to improve their content for both readers as well as search engines. We’re looking forward to seeing the platform and our integration with it evolve. As always, your feedback is welcome.

Thanks for trying out Yoast SEO for Neos!

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Yoast SEO 11.1: Even more Schema enhancements!

You’ve probably noticed we’re doubling down on our Schema structured data implementation. In Yoast SEO 11.0, we rewrote what we output and how we do that. Not only that, we put every piece of structured data in a neat, interconnected graph. We’re not done yet! In Yoast SEO 11.1, we’re introducing proper image markup and tying our Video SEO output into the graph.

Video SEO tied into the Yoast SEO Schema graph

Our Video SEO add-on for Yoast SEO helps your videos to show up in video search. In this new release, we make the plugin even more useful by adding the correct structured data. Not only that, we’ll also tie everything into the main graph as generated by Yoast SEO.

In the structured data code, you’ll find everything search engines need to make sense of the video, from duration to embed URL, and from video thumbnail to description. Search engines like Google may use this information to get your video into a carousel or give it a badge so it can be distinguished as a video in image search thumbnails.

We use Schema’s VideoObject to output the correct structured data and made video a real entity in our graph. The beauty of it is that you don’t need to do anything out of the ordinary to get search engines to pick up your video. Simply give it good meta data like titles and descriptions, add an attractive thumbnail and you’re good to go! The plugin will automatically generate all the valid Schema code in the background.

You can find more information about Schema structured data in our Video SEO Schema documentation.

Google's Structured Data Testing Tool validates this video nicely
Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool validates this video nicely

Structured data for images in Yoast SEO 11.1

Another thing that was not final in Yoast SEO 11.0, was the way we handle images on a page and how we tie those into the graph. In Yoast SEO 11.1, we’re introducing a proper way to handle single images on a page. For the next version, we are also looking at ways of handling multiple images and how to determine the main one. Read all about how we generate the image parts for the Schema output.

The main image of the page will be neatly integrated in the Yoast SEO structured data graph
The main image of the page will be integrated in the Yoast SEO structured data graph

Exposing the imageObject is very helpful for image SEO purposes. Google has said many times that adding structured data to your images is beneficial. Now, you can give search engines loads of context for your images. As we know, they still struggle to figure out what’s in an image, so they need every bit of help they can get. Schema provides the context by telling what an image is and what its properties and meta data are. Keep this in mind when working on your image SEO — which you should do naturally, of course.

Yoast SEO retrieves the image caption if set, or uses the alt tag if that’s set. It is easy to forget, but the caption and/or alt text are incredibly important for search engines. Please make use of it! Also, make sure that the filenames of your filenames are descriptive and recognizable. We have an extensive guide with loads of tips on image SEO, please read that.

Confused about all this Schema structured data talk? Here’s why and how we’re making structured data much easier to implement and this story describes the concept of schema using a little robot.

Yoast SEO Premium: Better recognition of German keyphrases

In Yoast SEO Premium 10.1, we introduced word form support for the German language. This made it the second language, after English, to receive the full language support. In Yoast SEO 11.1, we’ve fine-tuned the language support. The plugin is now better at recognizing German keyphrases that include words with an i or e in between vowels (e.g., schrieen, schreien, speie). In addition, we’ve also improved the recognition of German 3rd person singular verb forms (e.g., “arbeitet”).

Update to Yoast SEO 11.1

Yoast SEO 11.1 not only features a number of Schema enhancements, improvements to our Video SEO add-on and better German language support, but also several bug fixes. You can find every change in the changelog of this release.

For the past couple of weeks, we’ve been improving our structured data support with an innovative implementation that includes a full graph. We’re not done yet! There’s still a lot to do and you can expect much more from us in the near future. Remember our structured data content blocks for WordPress’ new block editor?

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A story about Schema, structured data and robots

Once upon a time, a little robot came to a site to figure out what it was about. The robot read some words and followed some links and said: “Well, there are a lot of mentions of this particular word, so this page must be about that!” She sent out orders to the mothership to file the page in a giant register so the page could be retrieved for this particular term. The robot worked long hours to get all the pages she could find in that register.

After a couple of years, the robot was very experienced and smart. Her programmers trained her to read better so she could figure out what a piece of text was about. She could even distinguish in what cases it would make the most sense to show it. She even started to use context to judge a piece of text instead of just finding mentions of that particular term.

But, smart as the robot was, her makers needed outside help to get her to fully understand the world. The robot did not have the capacity to grasp all the knowledge and she needed help connecting what she knew.

Luckily, some smart humans built something incredible called SCHEMA: a giant thesaurus for robots just like our little hero.

In it, she found everything she needed. It told her what she could look for to determine a particular page was about a product, an event or a person. She learned about movies, books, authors. About recipes, ingredients and cooking instructions. She found out how people relate to each other, to past events and to abstract concepts that were always a mystery to her. Everything she read was instantly clear to her — she was so happy!

Websites using this SCHEMA thesaurus well, helped robots like her to make sense of the world. She finally knew everything. In return, she could reward those sites with spectacular shiny stuff in the search results. But she could only reward those sites that implemented it well and that was a problem.

She soon found out that there was much to be desired. Many sites offered only small pieces of magical SCHEMA and none of it was interconnected to sources that could help her do her job better. She tried asking for help — pleading for site owners to improve their use of SCHEMA, but to no avail. Until, years later, a massively popular plugin for the biggest content management system in the solar system offered to help the little robot.

Nervously, she looked at the internals of the SCHEMA implementation of the plugin codenamed Yoast SEO 11.0. “Wow, this is just what I need!”, she said. “I’ve never seen this before. This is SCHEMA that I can read and understand. It is complete, it shows me where pages reside and how people and organizations connect. Most importantly, it is interconnected! No longer do I have to guess where everything goes. It’s all in a graph — a neat little package —, ready for me to gobble up!”

And all was well in the world.

(Yes, your author has read Marieke’s posts on storytelling)

Results of using Schema structured data

Schema-powered structured data is one of the hardest, most abstract pieces of web technologies to describe, while also being one of the most important ones. I hope the story above has made the concept a lot clearer for you. Now that you’ve formed a mental image of what we’re talking about here, let me show you what adding structured data to your site can lead to.

A better understanding of your site

We always say you should do everything in your power to help both search engines and searchers to find out what your site is about. Using structured data gives you superpowers in the eyes of the search engine. Since you are labeling the most important parts of your content or site elements and connecting them to other parts, you are making sure that search engines truly understand your site. No longer do they have to guess about what everything means — you can just tell them.

Getting stuff into Google’s Knowledge graph gets a lot easier once you add relevant Schema to your site. Not only that, other platforms like Pinterest love this kind of data as well.

Rich results

Another reason for implementing structured data is the spectacular shiny stuff our robot heroine promised: rich results. Rich results are enhanced search results and they come in many forms, from star ratings to fully enhanced recipe snippets. Many are powered by structured data, but sometimes, you get them without doing anything — besides having an awesome site, of course.

Here is an example of a structured data powered rich result:

An example of a recipe rich result, powered by structured data
This is a recipe result (not currently supported by Yoast SEO)

With the new structured data implementation in Yoast SEO 11.0, you get a firm foundation to build on. While you’ll have a bigger chance of getting rich results by using Yoast SEO, there’s no guarantee that you’ll get them — in the end, the search engines decide who gets what.

Here’s a selection of what we do at the moment. You can find a complete overview of all Google’s current rich results in the Search Gallery:

Logo and social profiles in the Knowledge graph

If you have an Organization, you can get its logo to show up in the Knowledge panel. The same goes for social profiles. Simply add these in the settings of Yoast SEO and they’ll eventually show up.

The Yoast Knowledge panel
Your organization might get a Knowledge panel like the one above

Personal graphs

The personal Knowledge panel of Joost de Valk

If you have a site representing a person, you can add the necessary social accounts. Your image will be grabbed from Gravatar. You can set this in Yoast SEO. Not every person will get a Knowledge graph panel — there’s more at play here. Google combines this input with other sources to build a panel. Once you have one, you can claim it and suggest edits.

Articles

Search engines might do cool stuff with articles marked up with structured data. For news publishers, this is important because this might also mean a top spot in the news carousel. For this, you need NewsArticle Schema in your articles and our News SEO plugin provides this for you. Yoast SEO itself, automatically adds regular Article structured data to your articles, including information about the author and how the page connects to the main entity of the site.

An example of a Top Stories carousel result
For some outlets, working with structured data helps them get in the Top Stories carousel

Local business

An example of a local panel

Our Local SEO plugin takes care of everything you need to get your local business correctly visible in the search engines. You can add opening hours, geographical information, contact information, business locations — including multiple locations under one name, et cetera.

Breadcrumbs

A breadcrumb is a navigational tool that helps searchers and search engines figure out where they are on your site. If you activate this in Yoast SEO, you might get something like this in the search results:

An example of a breadcrumbs rich result
An example of a breadcrumbs rich result

Products

Our WooCommerce plugin adds a cool possibility for getting rich results for products. If you combine this with other structured data, you can get really expansive rich results in search results with ratings and everything. You can also be featured in image search and different product carousels. In addition, Pinterest will pick up the main product on your page more easily.

An example of a rich result with reviews, ratings and product information
An example of product, ratings and reviews schema in action

Structured data is hot

This article, including the adventures of our little robot, aims to show you a small sampling of structured data powered search results. Working with structured data was always hard, but we’re fixing that — and you don’t have to do much for it!

Yoast SEO 11.0 has a completely rebuilt structured data framework that adds more sensible, and more importantly, interconnected structured data to your site. Search engines can pick this up and do interesting things with. We’re not done yet, because we have a lot more cool stuff coming up!

Read more: Schema structured data is hard, but we’re making it easy

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Yoast SEO 11.0: Structured data awesomeness

Structured data is incredibly important. Many of the current and future search enhancements are — or will be — powered by structured data. While search engines are good at reading content, structured data can help them to understand. Yoast SEO has supported some basic Schema markup for ages, but now we’re going much further. Yoast SEO 11.0 features a completely rewritten Schema.org implementation — the first one of its kind, offering a fully integrated graph.

Revamped Schema implementation

Optimizing for entities — i.e. people, places and things — and how they relate to each other makes a lot of sense for search engines, as it gives them all your connections on a silver platter. With structured data, they can much more easily understand what your pages are about, and the properties of those things. It can help them understand that this web page is an article about a product, made by a specific brand. They no longer have to figure everything out themselves, by just reading content and following links.

Note: Search engines will still follow links in order to discover content and to help them to understand those relationships, but entities help them to really reinforce that knowledge.

Google is moving from a search engine to a discovery engine in an effort to provide searchers with relevant content, answers or products before they even know they need to search. There’s a reason they called Google Discover just that. Google is looking for concepts and connections to help them understand the world, and to present these in new ways. Rich results will become much richer as time goes by.

Entity graphs

Good SEO strategies must consider entities. That’s why we’ve paved the way to help you tell Google exactly what your site is about — automatically — just by using Yoast SEO 11.0. Now, we build an entity graph for you, behind the scenes.

An entity graph is a representation of a topic, which describes the entities — people, places and things, for instance — and defines their relationships via properties. Or in this case, how your site is connected to your pages, organization, authors et cetera.

What does this mean for you

The age-old problem with structured data is that adding the necessary code is tricky. Schema structured data relies on JSON-LD to get that data to search engines. Yoast SEO has added bits and pieces of structured data for ages, but Yoast SEO 11.0 raises the bar tremendously. And you don’t have to do much to make use of it. Just fill in the information we ask — simple things, like if your site is for a person or an organization — and you’re good to go!

Traditionally, every piece of structured data added by WordPress plugins or content management systems itself was put in contained little blobs. This lead to pages having many individual pieces, which had no way of talking to each other. And since the end goal of working with entities is to make connections for discovery, something had to be done.

Working on a document set up by Jono Alderson (with input from Google engineers, among others), we set out to rewrite how to best approach implementing Schema markup, and how WordPress can use this efficiently. Not only that, it had to be extensible as well, so every piece of structured data out there can hook into this proposed standard.

Yoast CPO Joost de Valk explains the technical background in the post Schema.org is hard, we’re making it easy

Yoast SEO 11.0 comes with a completely rewritten Schema structured data implementation. This new implementation uses a concept that is different from most other approaches to structured data. Here, we’re not relying on complicated arrays of nested properties, but a clean, complete graph that uses IDs to connect different nodes inside of it. The end result is stunningly effective.

What does this look like?

As an end user, you don’t need to know much about what goes on behind the scenes of Yoast SEO. Looking at structured data code, however, helps your understanding of how everything fits together and why you should fill out the information we ask in the plugin. As an SEO or a developer, you’re really going to enjoy this beautiful piece of interconnected code.

Here’s an example output of Yoast SEO new Schema implementation, seen through the eyes of Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool. This is generated for one of our most popular articles: WordPress SEO — The definitive guide.

Part of the articleoutput of Yoast SEO. See the Structured Data Testing Tool for the complete result

You can test the article yourself in Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool. Because yes, there’s more to the screenshot above.

Structured data in Yoast SEO

Yoast SEO will now output a lot more structured data about your website and how its pages fit together.

The structured data is based on the initial setting of Person or Organization. If your site represents an organization or business, please select Organization. If the site is your personal blog or anything representing a person, please select Person. You’ve probably set this up correctly ages ago, but there’s no harm in checking again.

Yoast SEO uses different profiles for outputting the correct structured data

Yoast SEO will automatically fill in the correct structured data with whatever you fill in during the setup of the plugin, or later in the settings of Yoast SEO. You can switch between these two settings in SEO → Search Appearance → General.

Here’s a very high-level overview of the types of structured data we produce. We output a so-called “base script”. This a @graph object in JSON-LD, which describes the Organization or Person, the WebSite and WebPage. These parts are on every page and will be appended with structured data specific to the page you are currently on, so an article on your site will get all of the above plus article Schema.

You can find a complete overview in our Schema documentation, that includes the specification for integrating structured data that we’ve used to build this.

  • The homepage:
    • Based on Person or Organization setting.
    • Uses WebSite for site-level specifics.
    • Uses WebPage for page-level specifics.
  • Single pages: like homepage, plus date information and breadcrumbs.
  • Single posts: adds full Article and Author support, the latter only when the website represents an Organization or the author is not the Person. Supports loads of properties, so see the code example above for an idea of how the Article code works.
  • Taxonomy and date archives: a single page with CollectionPage as WebPage.
  • Post type archives: a single page with CollectionPage as WebPage.
  • Author archives: a single page with ProfilePage and Person.
  • Search result pages: type of WebPage becomes SearchResultsPage.
  • 404 error pages: Like the homepage but without WebPage.

This leads to the following base script generated by Yoast SEO. This will be extended based on which page you are.

{
   "@context":"https://schema.org",
   "@graph":[
      {
         "@type":"Organization",
         "@id":"https://example.com/#organization",
         "name":"Yoast",
         "url":"https://example.com/",
         "sameAs":[
            "https://www.facebook.com/yoast",
            "https://www.linkedin.com/company/yoast-com/",
            "https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yoast",
            "https://twitter.com/yoast"
         ],
         "logo":{
            "@type":"ImageObject",
            "@id":"https://example.com/#logo",
            "url":"https://example.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/Yoast_Logo_tagline_Large_RGB.png",
            "caption":"Yoast"
         },
         "image":{
            "@id":"https://example.com/#logo"
         }
      },
      {
         "@type":"WebSite",
         "@id":"https://example.com/#website",
         "url":"https://example.com/",
         "name":"one.wordpress.test",
         "publisher":{
            "@id":"https://example.com/#organization"
         },
         "potentialAction":{
            "@type":"SearchAction",
            "target":"https://example.com/?s={search_term_string}",
            "query-input":"required name=search_term_string"
         }
      },
      {
         "@type":"WebPage",
         "@id":"https://example.com/#webpage",
         "url":"https://example.com/",
         "inLanguage":"en-US",
         "name":"one.wordpress.test - Just another WordPress site",
         "isPartOf":{
            "@id":"https://example.com/#website"
         },
         "about":{
            "@id":"https://example.com/#organization"
         },
         "description":"Just another WordPress site"
      }
   ]
}

Extras for our add-ons

Local SEO

For local SEO, having correct Schema structured data about your business is essential. Combining this with a Google My Business account, for instance, helps make it clear to search engines what your business is all about. In the new Schema set-up for our Local SEO add-on, we now offer multiple ways to correctly specify what do with a single or multiple physical locations, for instance. Our Local SEO Schema documentation has more information.

Our Local SEO add-on now ties everything in nicely with Yoast SEOs structured data

WooCommerce SEO

For WooCommerce e-commerce sites, our WooCommerce SEO plugin now takes the standard outputted Schema and builds a product graph that actually makes sense. We now make sure everything is connected like it should, for products as well as sellers. Read more about the output in our WooCommerce Schema documentation.

woocommerce schema
Our WooCommerce plugin generates awesome product structured data

News SEO

Our News SEO plugin now converts every article into a NewsArticle, and adds a publication year and copyright holder to give you a better chance of ending up in that coveted Top Stories carousel. More on that in the News SEO Schema documentation.

Built to be extended

We’ve built our Schema framework to be extended. It’s pretty straightforward, and we ask everyone working on these kinds of implementations to adapt this. Together, we can truly put the Linked Data part in JSON-LD and link up large parts of the web — something that benefits us all! Start with the Schema integration guidelines.

Structured data blocks are coming

But wait, there’s more coming! With this intelligent, innovative Schema framework in place, we are working hard on rebuilding and expanding our structured data content blocks for WordPress’ block editor. These blocks help you visually build content like how-to’s, FAQ’s, recipes and job postings. In the background, it automatically generates Schema structured data that neatly ties into the graph we build for that page. How awesome is that! More on that soon.

Update to Yoast SEO 11.0 now

So there you have it. Yoast SEO 11.0 features a brand-new, revolutionary Schema implementation — one that is destined to give search engines all your connections on a silver platter. This is a great development, not only for you and for search engines, but, more importantly, for the web in general.

Great things are coming!

Ps: read more about structured data in our ultimate guide

The post Yoast SEO 11.0: Structured data awesomeness appeared first on Yoast.

Yoast SEO 10.1: Wortformen auf Deutsch

A while back we released Yoast SEO 9.0. This was a huge release for us, as we made our SEO analysis smarter. Thanks to something called stemming, i.e. breaking words down to their smallest form to do complex analysis on, we can now detect word forms. Since then, improving your content has become a much more realistic process as the plugin is better at finding your most important words inside your content. In addition, users of Yoast SEO Premium can improve their content using synonyms and related keyphrases. Today, we’re rolling out word form support to a new language: German.

Wortformen auf Deutsch!

While writing a German language article about the joys of Yoast SEO, your keyphrase might be “Die Yoast SEO Analyse richtig verwenden”. As of today, Yoast SEO Premium will now take other forms — for instance, singulars, plurals, comparatives or past-tense variants — of those words into account as well, even if they are spread across a sentence:

  • “Wie verwendet man die Yoast SEO Analyse?”
  • “Wie du die Yoast SEO Analyse richtig verwendest”
  • “Wie ich die Yoast SEO Analyse richtig verwendet habe”
  • und so weiter.

No longer do you have to fight to use the words in the same form as in your focus keyphrase. Awesome right? Word form support makes it a lot easier to improve your text, because the Yoast SEO plugin automatically takes different forms of the same word into account as well. If you write naturally, these words and word forms often end up in your text without you thinking about it. By using word forms, Yoast SEO Premium makes the process of optimizing content more flexible, natural and realistic. It’s liberating!

We’d also like to remind our German language Yoast SEO Premium users that they can use related keyphrases and synonyms. Using these features together, you can use Yoast SEO to paint a complete picture of your subject and have it checked thoroughly. Together, we make your best content yet — enjoyed by both users and search engines!

Read our glossary of terms if you need more insights or watch the video below, this explains some of the concepts mentioned:

And don’t forget the infographic that makes these definitions instantly clear!

Yoast SEO word forms infographics
Focus keyphrase? Synonyms? Word forms? Related keyphrases? Now you know!

Our team of linguists spent a serious amount of time bringing the morphology features to other languages. Following English, German is the first in what will, hopefully, be a long line of languages to receive full language support. Stay tuned to see what’s next!

Other language updates in Yoast SEO 10.1

Besides working on getting German full morphological support, our linguists also worked on improving the current languages. For instance, for Swedish we now use a much improved list of transition words. And thanks to Sílvia Fustegueres, we can introduce a better list of Catalan transition words. Not only that, she helped us increase the recommended sentence length limit for Spanish and Catalan. Now, these are more in line with best practices in these languages. Thanks, Sílvia!

Spring cleaning and enhancements

Spring has arrived and that means it’s time to clean up some stuff. Once every while, we go through the plugin to identify and remove all the functionality that we deprecated. This time we looked at functionality from before Yoast SEO 6.1.

Out with the old, in with the new. Here are some of the other changes in Yoast SEO 10.1. With the demise of Google+ it doesn’t make sense to keep mentions of that, right? In return, we added a LinkedIn profile URL field in the user profiles. We’ve also added a Wikipedia URL field to the social accounts list, to be used in sameAs Schema.org output. We’ve aso removed the og:image:alt tag as it causes potential accessibility issues when sharing content via Facebook.

Update to Yoast SEO 10.1

So there you have it, Yoast SEO 10.1 offers a lot on the language front. Users in the German speaking market can now enjoy everything Yoast SEO and Yoast SEO Premium have to offer. Word form support unlocks a whole range of ways to improve content by using the improved SEO analysis, synonyms and related keyphrases. Yoast SEO has your back!

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