The latest news in SEO and WordPress: July 2020

Every few weeks we have an SEO News video in which Jono Alderson and I, along with other experts, share the latest SEO news with our academy subscribers. Last week, we decided to try this in the form of a webinar where viewers were able to ask us questions right away. Because this was such a success, we’re already planning our next webinar. In this blog post, I’ll discuss the highlights of our July 2020 webinar to give you an idea of what’s new in the world of SEO!

Stay on top of the latest changes in SEO by getting a Yoast SEO academy training subscription. This also gives you the opportunity to watch earlier videos of SEO News and develop vital SEO skills by completing a variety of courses.

What’s new with Google and Bing?

Our friends at Google and Bing have not been sitting idly by, so we had lots of news to share. Here, I’ll give you a few highlights of what we discussed.

Scroll to text

Google has been testing it on AMP for quite a while, and now it’s probably here to stay: scroll to text. So, what is it? When someone does a search on Google and clicks on a featured snippet result, Google will send this user to the specific piece of text on the page and highlight it. Seemingly, without the context of the introduction above or content surrounding this answer. And although this focus on getting a quick answer is understandable from a user’s view, it seems quite contradictory to Google’s view that long-form content provides more quality and a better user experience.

So, what does this mean for us? It might mean some changes to your design, for example considering a sticky header to keep your brand in the picture wherever someone is on your page. But mostly, it means that structuring your content becomes even more important to make sure that each part of your text can stand alone. To make it easy, you’ll have to treat every piece of text on your page as its own landing page. Our SEO Copywriting training, which is part of our Content SEO training course, can definitely help you out with that.

Licensing program for news publishers

With an increase of zero-click searches (where questions are being answered at the top of the SERPs), it’s becoming more difficult for certain businesses to get people to click through to their site. And this makes it more difficult to make money and create new content. That’s why Google has launched an early pilot for news publishers. A licensing program in which they’ll pay publishers for high-quality content, to make sure they’ll be able to keep their business running and provide people with complex and deeper stories on different issues and interests. Now, this is still a pilot for specific countries and specific publications, so we’re curious to see where it goes.

Free product listings in the SERP

Google has a product tab in their search, but they seem to be shifting more and more to showing products directly in the search results. And the latest announcement in this is that if you have schema.org and structured data for the products on your site, your products become eligible to being shown directly in the search results. Without paying Google. And this is pretty cool because it’s a step in opening up the web further for everyone. Anyone who uses schema.org and implements their structured data the right way can compete, even with the bigger players. If you haven’t implemented schema.org yet, our Yoast SEO plugin and WooCommerce SEO plugin can help you with that.

Bing Site Scan tool

Bing has launched the Site Scan tool, a potential competitor to existing tools where you can crawl your site to find technical SEO issues. It’s not as extensive as other tools you might be familiar with, but it gives you reports on things that are broken and can impact your rankings. So it’s definitely worth having a look at.

There’s lots and lots of more fun news we discussed in the webinar, such as a page experience update, the latest on structured data for recipes, a new fact check label, and more. To get access to this and other videos to stay on top of the latest news in SEO and WordPress, you can subscribe to one of our Yoast SEO academy training courses:

What’s new in WordPress?

Web Stories (beta)

The upcoming release of WordPress 5.5 comes with a few noteworthy features which we discussed in the webinar. But in this blog post, I want to highlight one of them: Web Stories. Now, this is still in the beta stage, but this editor shows us a promising next step in the way we create and present content. To put it in understandable words: Web Stories makes it possible to present your content in a visual, engaging and swipeable way on your site (think Instagram or other visual social platforms).

The cool thing with this new feature and others like it, is that the Google team actively collaborates with us to make sure it will work together well with our plugin. In the case of Web Stories, someone from Google made a pull request on our Yoast SEO Github. Which is essentially a request to review the changes they will make before they’re final. This gives us the opportunity to anticipate them and make sure our plugin will seamlessly work together with this new editor by giving out the right metadata.

XML sitemaps in core

Another feature worth mentioning is that WordPress will be adding XML sitemaps in its core. This is pretty cool because it’s a feature that was still missing from WordPress. For everyone using our Yoast SEO plugin, we will disable this default sitemap for the simple fact that Yoast SEO already adds a sitemap which helps Google find your content. Don’t worry, we know what we’re doing. We’ve actually worked with a team from Google on optimizing our sitemap feature and the one Yoast SEO provides is just more up to date concerning metadata.

What’s new in Yoast?

With an ever-changing SEO world around us, we understand the importance of improving our work to keep up with these changes. Not just in terms of adding more languages to our Yoast SEO plugin, but also in providing everyone in the community with an easy and natural workflow.

Duplicate Post

That’s why we recently acquired the Duplicate Post plugin from its original developer Enrico Battocchi, who has also joined our team as a senior developer on the plugin. This plugin lets you duplicate any post or page in WordPress, and all its settings, with just one click. You can read more about this plugin, and what it can help you with, in our announcement post.

Improved publishing workflow

What’s new in Yoast SEO is an improved publishing workflow and the possibility to tell search engines how to treat links that you add to your content. These are both features to help our users create quality content that fits into a good SEO strategy. The improved publishing workflow helps you keep an eye on the rankability and readability of your text, but also makes it easy to share your new post right away.

Rel attributes for links

The rel attributes we’ve added for links, might not be recognized as a Yoast feature right away, but they are. And I’ll tell you what they’re for. This feature helps you mark external links as nofollow, which is always a good idea if they lead to pages you don’t really want to endorse. Also, you can use the sponsored attribute to show search engines that an external link is commercial. These attributes help Google get a better sense of what happens with links on the web.

You can read all about these new features in our Yoast SEO 14.4 release post. And if you’re curious about the other topics we discussed, have a look at our Yoast SEO academy subscriptions to get access to these SEO News videos.

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Celebrating 10 years of Yoast: 20% off everything!

Woohoo! Yoast’s 10th birthday is coming up on the 28th of May 2020! You might have seen our celebration calendar over the last month, where we’ve taken a trip down memory lane. And we’re so happy that you’re along for the ride. As a thank you, we’d love to give you a gift: for the next few days, you’ll receive a 20% discount on ALL Yoast products!

My personal recommendations

1. Yoast SEO Premium

Joost created the original WordPress SEO plugin back in 2010. And to this day, it’s our most popular plugin. It’s even the #1 WordPress SEO plugin out there! We’re super proud of all the amazing things this plugin can do for your site. You’ll be able to:

  • Optimize your site for the right keywords
  • Avoid dead links in your site with the redirect manager
  • Get previews for sharing on social media
  • Receive content quality and link suggestions – as you write!

This is a limited-time offer, so get it while it lasts!

2. Yoast SEO: readability analysis

Our mission at Yoast is “SEO for everyone”, which is why I want to highlight one of my favorite features of the free version of Yoast SEO: the readability analysis. This analysis makes sure that your text is easy to read for your readers. Why?

Readability determines whether people understand the message you’re trying to get across with your text. And trust me, this is important for your SEO and sales. So make sure to use this feature in Yoast SEO to write excellent, SEO-proof copy!

Install the free version of Yoast SEO ▸

3. Yoast SEO academy Premium subscription

In 2015, we launched the Yoast SEO Academy, which was sort of my Yoast-baby at the time. The online SEO training courses in Academy teach you vital SEO skills you can apply right away. Do you want to learn everything there is to know about SEO? Our Premium training subscription includes:

  • All content SEO training courses
  • All technical SEO training courses
  • The latest SEO news from our experts

This is a limited-time offer, so get it while it lasts!

4. Yoast SEO academy Content subscription

If you know me, you’ll know that I’m crazy about content. Trust me, content SEO should be a key part of your SEO strategy! Because without content, it’s impossible for your site to rank in search engines. That’s why we’ve created the Yoast SEO academy Content subscription, which focuses on content SEO. The courses in this subscription teach you everything you need to know to create awesome SEO content. This subscription includes:

  • Keyword research training
  • SEO copywriting training
  • Site structure training
  • All-around SEO training
  • The latest SEO news

Get the Content SEO training subscription ▸

These are my personal favorites and I hope that they’ll become your favorites too! But, there’s more! Have you heard about our local SEO plugin? Or the Yoast WooCommerce SEO plugin? Check out our overview of all products that you can now purchase with a 20% discount!

This is a limited-time offer, so get it while it lasts!

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