Yoast SEO Plugin Review updated March 2014.

Reviewing Yoast WordPress SEO Version 1.4.25 by Joost de Valk : “The first true all-in-one SEO solution for WordPress, including on-page content analysis, XML sitemaps and much more.”

Let’s see if Yoast SEO lives up to the hype, everyone and their dog loves the free Yoast SEO plugin, but is it any good?

Yoast SEO Plugin Testing

Yoast WordPress SEO Plugin
Yoast WordPress SEO Plugin
Yoast SEO Plugin

I’ve never used the Yoast plugin on a live production site, it doesn’t provide the post Panda/Penguin and Hummingbird level of WordPress SEO I expect for a website, the Stallion WordPress SEO Package is better, the Yoast SEO tutorials and reviews are based on testing on a Localhost server (development site).

Testing WP plugins and themes on development sites can result in issues not seen with live WP sites and vice a versa, that being said I’ve looked through Joost de Valk’s plugin code (Joost is the main developer of the SEO Yoast plugin and other WordPress plugins and some Genesis child themes) and he clearly knows his stuff when it comes to PHP coding and WordPress plugin development. Awesome code: I see why it’s such a popular SEO plugin, STABILITY.

Yoast SEO Tutorial Review

WordPress SEO Plugin by Yoast
WordPress SEO Plugin by Yoast

I’ll try to be fair with the plugin review and Yoast WordPress SEO tutorial information (I’ll be referring to the Yoast SEO Tutorial information at times at https://yoast.com/wordpress-seo/), but I’m going to tend towards the SEO damaging parts of the plugin (noindex and rel nofollow SEO for example) and the Yoast SEO tutorial rather than a general plugin review/SEO tutorial.

With how much detail I’m going to go into, the last thing you want is details like the plugin activated with no errors or I run a plugin called Blackbox that lists depreciated WordPress code and PHP errors and PHP notices and Yoast SEO didn’t generate any issues. As a potential Yoast user you want to know what’s not good from an SEO perspective for your website.

There’s loads of Yoast SEO plugin tutorials (how the plugin does XYZ) and “we love WordPress SEO by Yoast reviews” sort of fluff in Google, so if you don’t agree with how I view the state of post Hummingbird WordPress SEO and where I think Google SEO is heading, feel free to find another review/tutorial.

I’m generally going to go through the plugin one options page at a time and discuss in detail SEO problems and search engine optimization theories as we go along: I can write about SEO for hours.

Yoast WordPress SEO Tutorials

And that brings us to the first Yoast WordPress SEO Tutorial regarding WordPress Paged Comments.

For my test site I’m using the default WordPress theme Twenty Fourteen.

Yoast WordPress SEO Plugin Review

WordPress Paged Comments SEO
WordPress Paged Comments SEO

Yoast SEO Paging Comments is Enabled

In this section I discuss the SEO value of WordPress Paged comments, on the Yoast WordPress SEO General Settings page there’s a big red warning message about using paged comments.

As you’ll read this advice isn’t best SEO practices 2014 and might damage your sites Google rankings (especially mobile search traffic) and damage the user experience. You might find reading my WordPress Duplicate Content SEO Tutorial which touches on paginated comments.

Yoast SEO Homepage Title Tag Tutorial
Yoast SEO Homepage Title Tag Tutorial

Yoast SEO Title Tags Tutorial

Why do we call them title tags when they are title elements?

In this part of the Yoast review I dissect the plugins title tags output and the advice about (in)correct title tag usage within the Yoast SEO tutorial.

The Yoast SEO plugin default title tags output isn’t best practices, the plugins defaults are OK for a branded domain (like wordpress.org) but not ideal for a website that’s not brand targeting and wants to get maximum SEO from the title elements.

Yoast WordPress SEO Noindex Meta Tag

The noindex robots meta tag when used incorrectly can damage a WordPress sites search engine marketing work.

Webmasters spend countless hours generating backlinks that send valuable link benefit (PageRank/PR) to their sites only to have it wasted on category and other archive sections of a site WordPress SEO plugins prevent from being indexed by Google! Yoast WordPress SEO adds “noindex, follow” robots meta tags or even worse “noindex, nofollow” robots meta tags in a failed attempt to sculpt PageRank: unfortunately the noindex robots meta tag doesn’t sculpt PageRank, it wastes it and when associated with the nofollow option deletes PageRank!. Read the noindex SEO tutorial to discover why.

David Law

David Law : Technical SEO Expert with 20+ years Online Business, SEO, Search Engine Marketing and Social Media Marketing experience... Creator of multiple WordPress SEO Themes and SEO Plugins. Interests: wildlife, walking, environmental issues, politics, economics, journalism, consumer rights.

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