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Continue Reading Is Yoast SEO the Best WordPress SEO Plugin?
This is funny, I’m in the process of rewriting the code behind the Stallion WordPress SEO Plugin. Giving it a serous update using the boilerplate plugin code as a template, considering adding new features in the future.
Have added the Stallion Responsive Themes Yoast SEO Warnings page (a page which lists bad Yoast SEO settings related to section wide noindex) and stumbled upon Yoast’s WordPress SEO Tutorial : https://yoast.com/wordpress-seo/ and it’s interesting to see my SEO ideas are in there now.
2.2 Headings Although most themes for WordPress get this right, make sure your post title is an <h1>, and nothing else. Your blog’s name should only be an <h1> on your front page, and on single, post, and category pages, it should be no more than an <h3>. Your sidebar shouldn’t be crammed with <h2> and <h3>’s either etc.
I’ve been creating WordPress SEO themes since around 2006 using similar advice. Difference is my advice is only use headings in theme code that add SEO value to the page. So no headings in sidebars, no headings with none SEO important phrases.
Back in late 2010 I had an argument with Joost de Valk on the WP-Hackers list (see other comments especially SEO Experts and WordPress SEO Plugins and the main article for details) about WordPress SEO, basically you can’t get full SEO out of a website just using WordPress SEO plugins, you have to optimize the theme.
I said this about the Yoast SEO plugin:
Anyway, had a look at the plugin above and it doesn’t add anything truly worthwhile. It’s not an SEO plugin IMO.
At the time (late 2010) all the Yoast SEO plugin did was title tags and meta tags, totally pointless. This got under the skin of Joost de Valk (Yoast plugin developer) and he got a little irate :-)
At the time I quickly reviewed Yoast’s website and it was awful. One point in particular was poor using of headings (H1, H2, H3…) in the WordPress theme they used. Recall the 2.2 Headings part of the Yoast WordPress SEO Tutorial.
From the 2010 Yoast site review:
Why on Earth would you want the words Why Yoast is so speedy Categories Friends My Other Projects Wrapped in H3 headers on lots of posts?
So in 2010 Yoast was using theme techniques they now advise against. I wonder where they got that SEO idea from :-) For the record I was the first theme developer to create WordPress themes which only had a theme H1 heading on the homepage. It was one of the first things I fixed in my very early SEO and AdSense themes way back in 2006/2007 when I first started using WordPress.
On a similar note had other arguments with Joost de Valk about the Yoast plugin including section wide nofollow options (adding nofollow to all internal links from categories for example). Interesting that several years ago he thought it was good practice, but today the Yoast plugin lacks those sitewide nofollow features. Those features should have been removed in 2009 at the latest (before the Yoast SEO Plugin existed).
Seems I tell him a SEO plugin feature is SEO damaging and several years later he agrees, I guess he listens eventually :-)
Shame about all the SEO damage he’s done to millions of WordPress sites in the meantime!
BTW the Yoast plugin section wide noindex features are also SEO damaging, I wonder if he’ll ever remove those? If he reads this in 2016, guess he’ll update the Yoast Plugin to best SEO advice in 2020 :-)
Yoast WordPress SEO Tutorial Copies my SEO Theme Ideas :-)