Yoast SEO 4.0: lightning fast internal linking

After months of hard work, we are ready to show Yoast SEO 4.0 to the world. In this version, we’re shipping an awesome Premium feature that many of you will find very, very helpful. We’ve figured out how to make the search for related posts to link to, fast and faultless. In this post, we’ll explain what you can expect.

Related posts for internal linking

Historically, related links plugins did one thing well: add unnecessary overhead to your site. The performance was less than stellar and the search results subpar. In addition to that, related posts where often presented in a separate box, instead of directly in the post, where they belong. It’s hard to solve this complex issue, but we’ve managed to do it.

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Premium customers of Yoast SEO will now find a new box on the right-hand side of your site, called Yoast Internal Linking. This box shows a couple of links that are proven to be relevant to the text you are working on. It uses the most prominent words from the previously introduced Yoast SEO Insights tool to find posts that use the same words.

We all know the best links in your posts are the ones you pick out yourself. So now, after you’ve written a couple of hundred words, the related post tool will automatically kick in and give you linking suggestions. You can easily visit the link to check out the article or directly copy the link by clicking on the icon next to it. Or, if your browser supports it, drag and drop the link in your post. To use the internal linking tool, you need WordPress 4.7 or the REST API plugin.

Lightning fast, faultless linking

Every calculation is done in the browser, using the words in Yoast Insights. After figuring out the twenty most prominent words in your post, the tool sends a request to the server to get the best fitting articles. It presents the returned posts in a list, where the number one result fits the best with the article you are writing. The more matching words are found in an article, the higher it appears on the list.

To get the most out of the internal linking tool, you need to calculate the most prominent words for your complete site. To help you with that, there is now a feature called Site wide analysis, where you can turn on the analysis it needs to do its work. The initial indexation may take a while, depending on the size of your site. You can see the progress in the tab. In the future, we will be making it even faster. In addition to that, we will also introduce a CLI that large scale sites can use to trigger the indexation process.

Site wide analysis prominent words

We’ve been using Yoast SEO 4.0 Premium on yoast.com for some time, and we’re madly in love with it. We are sure you will value it as much as we do. Don’t use Yoast SEO Premium yet? Well, now is a great time to buy a license!

Yoast Insights and Internal Linking

Left: prominent words for a certain post. Right: the suggestions Yoast Internal Linking gives

Updates in Yoast SEO 4.0

Besides the very useful Internal Linking feature in Yoast SEO 4.0 Premium, there are also some nice additions to the regular version. It’s now fully compatible with WordPress 4.7, including support for the user selectable language in the dashboard. We’ve also been working hard on improving the support in the content analysis for French and German. We understand transition words in French better. Manuel Augustin helped us add support for the recognition of passive voice in German.

We hope you are as excited as we are! Download the new version now and let us know what you think. We love to hear from you.

You can find the complete changelog on WordPress.org.