Missed YoastCon 2019? Learn from our takeaways!

YoastCon 2019 was amazing. The atmosphere was great, the venue inspiring, the speakers extraordinary and the attendees incredible. We had such a great time! Personally, this is my kind of conference. Where else can you discuss the importance of structured data and the power of entities in semantic search than at a conference like this? In case you missed it, or if you want to relive it — we asked some of our colleagues their SEO-related takeaways from this year’s YoastCon.

YoastCon was two days of SEO goodness

First, let’s take a step back. YoastCon 2019 was our two-day SEO and online marketing conference held on February 7 and 8 in Nijmegen, The Netherlands. In two days, attendees saw talks about many topics, from link building to site migrations and SEO copywriting to artificial intelligence in search. There were super smart guys from Bing and Google, the latter declaring their love for the WordPress CMS. Some of the talks will be available on our YouTube channel soon, while others will be exclusive material for subscribers to our online SEO training courses.

Joost de Valk and Alberto Medina from Google talking about WordPress at YoastCon

This is what stuck with us the most:

Marieke de Rakt – CEO of Yoast

Rand Fishkin’s talk got me really thinking about brand and the importance of a good brand. Throughout the conference that resonated in many of the other talks as well. Having a strong brand and a clear mission is really important. For me, that’s going to be a big focus in 2019.”

Joost de Valk – CPO of Yoast

“What surprised me most is how everybody seemed to be on the same track again, using the website as “home” and social accounts as “outposts”. This was different from a couple of years ago and it’s a trend that I fully welcome.”

Omar Reiss – CTO of Yoast

“My favourite takeaway from YoastCon was when Wolfgang Blau presented SEO as a global interest that lacks real organization. There is no network of stakeholders and experts protecting the interest of “findability” or “information availability” on the internet. This got me really intrigued and I’m sure I’ll spend some more thoughts on this topic in the future.”

Willemien Hallebeek – Content team lead

“I love this writing hack from Kate Toon: “If you don’t know how to start your article or get stuck quickly, write with a white font. By doing this you can’t start editing before you finish your draft.” So simple, but effective!”

Sjardo Janssen – Front-end developer

“I liked Jason Barnard’s talk about getting in the knowledge graph. His advice: Make sure other sites confirm facts about you, if you want to get a knowledge graph in Google and Bing. The more sites point out facts about you, the bigger the chance! And don’t forget to claim the knowledge graph!”

Melina Reintjens – Content manager

“My main takeaway was that SEO is a lot of work and that you’re never done optimizing your site. There’s always more to improve — both technically as well as content-wise. And that’s not all: you need to invest time into building your brand, managing your reputation, all while the big players on the internet keep changing the rules. So big kudos to everyone who’s working tirelessly on their site: you’ll get there!”

Alexander Botteram – React engineer

“I loved Jono Alderson’s dystopian future. We explored a world where each of us competes over finite resources, and where an all-seeing, all-powerful AI called Global decides who wins and who loses. The main rules to live by?

– Rule 1: You should be healthy.

– Rule 2: You should be creative.

– Rule 3: You should be popular.”

Caroline Geven – Creative online marketeer

“My main takeaway was not directly related to SEO, but I did get to practice something I learnt at the conference. I was so impressed by Geraldine DeRuiter’s talk on online harassment. A week later I received my first piece of hate online, but instead of it getting me down I got inspiration for a new post on dealing with this kind of stuff.”

My takeaway

I was impressed by how many of the people I spoke were talking about Schema structured data and the underlying connectedness of everything. It seems that more people seem to understand how important this technology is to help search engines figure out what it all means. Search engines figured this content thing out pretty well — they can assess the quality and make assumptions based on what a piece of content is about. What it misses, is how everything fits together in the grand scheme of things. We can help them with that. There was even a search engine at YoastCon whose lead engineer showed how to do that — here’s Bing’s Arnold Overwijk:

“If you use markup data, you make our life much easier. We can show them as results, but we can also use it for machine learning.”

At Yoast, we share this view and that’s one of the reasons why we’re rebuilding and improving our structured data content blocks for the new WordPress editor. Soon, you’ll be able to make content powered by structured data by simply dragging a block into your content and filling in the content. Job postings, review, recipes — you name it!

YoastCon 2019 takeaways

YoastCon 2019 was a great ride. We’re sure every attendee had a fantastic time and left with a list full of SEO tips. We’d like to thank each and every one of them for coming and making it such a memorable two days. Hope to see you at the next YoastCon!

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Live indexing for Bing & Google coming to Yoast SEO

As we announced at YoastCon, we’re working together with Bing and Google to allow live indexing for everyone who uses Yoast SEO. In an update currently planned for the end of March, we’ll allow users to connect their sites to MyYoast, our customer portal. After that we’ll roll out live indexing, which means every time you publish, update, or delete a post, that will be reflected almost instantly into Bing and Google’s indices.

How does this work?

When you connect your site to MyYoast, you’ll authorize it to send messages back and forth. One of the types of messages that will be sent will be when you publish, update or delete anything on your site. We’ll pass that notification on to Bing, and Bing will check the changes within approximately one minute of you hitting the button.

You will not need to connect your site to Bing Webmaster Tools to do this. It’s all handled automatically. For Google the details on this are not entirely determined yet, but a Google Search Console account will probably be required.

We do, of course, recommend making use of both Bing Webmaster Tools and Google Search Console as they can give good insight into why your site is or is not performing well in the search engines.

If you’re reading this on Thursday (Feb 7, 2019), you might still catch one of Bing’s principal engineers, Arnold Overwijk, discuss this live at YoastCon through our live stream on Friday.

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7 reasons to come to YoastCon

Tickets to YoastCon are selling very quickly! And people from all over the world will be joining us. We’ve sold tickets to a lot of people from the Netherlands and from the US. But we will also be welcoming people from Belgium, Germany, Poland, Bulgaria, Romania, Albania, Israel, South-Africa and even people from Brazil and Senegal. And for at least 7 good reasons.

1. Google and Bing will be there!

Google’s WordPress team will be at YoasCon. They’ll fly in both from Silicon Valley and from Switzerland. Bing is also sending search experts. Both companies will present on stage. At Yoast, we communicate and often work together with the largest search engines, making sure our plugin does exactly what it should do to get your site ranking. Want to hear what Google and Bing have to say about SEO?  YoastCon is the place to be!

2. Intimate event

Lots of SEO conference are really large (with over 1000 attendees). We’re planning for an intimate event (with about 400 attendees). Most of our speakers will be at the conference for both days. You’ll have every chance to ask questions or to even talk to them in person.

3. Hang out with the Yoasters

We would really like to meet our audience. We love to meet people who read our blog and use our plugin. Do you have any questions about our plugin? We have a support booth open the entire conference. You can ask us anything! Please come by and tell us what you like and dislike about our plugin. Or just hang out with us, play some foosball or have a few drinks.

4. Food and drinks will be great

Lunch and drinks are included. As well as coffee and some treats. On both days, we’ll end our conference with drinks. Great food, great drinks, and great opportunities to meet new and inspiring people.

5. That awesome line up of speakers

I’ve written about it before; you do not want to miss our amazing speakers. The line up of YoastCon 2019 is so very awesome. Alberto Medina from Google, Rand Fishkin, Aleyda Solis and Jono Alderson at one conference. And that’s only four of them. Unbelievable.

6. Practical workshops

Inspiring keynote talks are great, but if you want some practical help with your SEO, YoastCon is also the place to go. We have some amazing workshops prepared. I just finished preparing 3 workshops on SEO copywriting, site structure and keyword research. In these workshops, we’ll really help you get started with a practical aspect of SEO. We’ll make sure it is completely applied to your very own unique situation, so you’ll go home with actual results!

7. The venue and Nijmegen

Not convinced yet? YoastCon will be in Nijmegen in de Vereeniging, which is one of the most beautiful concert halls of the Netherlands. And Nijmegen, that’s where I was born. Very laid back, very welcoming, very awesome. The venue is located in the city center, and there are countless bars and restaurants to get some dinner or to hang out after our conference.

Get your YoastCon ticket nowOnly €499 (ex VAT) - limited availability!

Still not convinced? Check out the after movie of the previous edition of YoastCon! Hope to see you on February 7th!

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Don’t miss these SEO workshops at YoastCon (Feb 7 & 8)

YoastCon is just around the corner. We’re already starting to get nervous, excited and anxious. It’s going to be so very amazing. Our speaker line-up is crazy. We’ve managed to get together the very best of the SEO community in one place for two whole days. But besides these amazing speakers, we’ve also scheduled some kickass workshops you don’t want to miss. Read all about these workshops here!

Why workshops?

In the many, many talks you’ll be able to attend at YoastCon on February 7 and 8, you’ll probably get lots of SEO tips. Let’s put into practice these tips immediately! That’s what we’ll help you with in our workshops.

In all of these workshops, you’ll have to work yourself. Our team will be there to assist you and help you with your own site, right there at YoastCon. You’ll have every opportunity to ask questions to our SEO experts, because the groups will be small.

Get your YoastCon ticket nowOnly €499 (ex VAT) - limited availability!

Which SEO workshops?

You’ll be able to follow workshops on SEO copywriting, Site structure and Keyword research. In all of these workshops, our very own Yoast Academy team will help you out with your questions. We’ll give you a step-by-step tutorial on just how to write an amazing SEO-friendly text. Or, we’ll help you to rethink your site’s structure or to begin your keyword research. You can attend these workshops both in English and Dutch.

We’ll also host a workshop in which we’ll teach you the ins and outs of the Yoast SEO plugin. Are you getting everything out of it? There might be features you haven’t discovered yet, that can save you costly time. We’ll teach you how to use Yoast SEO to its full extent in this workshop. You can attend it both in Dutch and English.

On top of that, we offer workshops in which you can learn how to Review your own website. During this workshop, you’ll dive into your own website. How optimized is it? Are there any gaps or flaws? Learn what to do to make search engines love it! Our SEO team will teach you how to thoroughly review your own website. You can immediately bring all this new knowledge into practice. You can attend it both in English and Dutch.

Finally, we offer a workshop for developers: Thinking about code: creating a CMS using DDD. Are you experienced with programming and basic design patterns? Then this workshop is for you. You’ll take an architectural look at content management and explore creating your own CMS. It will be in English and will be conducted entirely on paper!

All workshops will take one hour and a half, except for the technical workshop which will take three hours.

Get your YoastCon ticket nowOnly €499 (ex VAT) - limited availability!

See you at YoastCon?

Want to know more about our workshops? Read all about it on our YoastCon Workshops page. Do not forget to claim your ticket! We’ll hope to see you at YoastCon!

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