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Marieke van de Rakt PhD

I'm the CEO at Yoast. My main focus is on growing the company. I'm really passionate about maintaining open and friendly company culture. I'm also heavily involved in the marketing of Yoast and Yoast SEO Academy: the online courses platform I founded.

You can find Marieke on: TwitterLinkedinFacebookInstagramWordPress

I studied Sociology and Communication Sciences at the Radboud University in Nijmegen. I obtained my PhD in Social Sciences in January 2011. Since then, I worked as a researcher as well as a teacher at multiple universities. Since the beginning of Yoast, I have been involved in the company. As of September 2013, I gave up my position at the university and decided to focus solely on my activities at Yoast.

While I started as Chief Strategy Officer, I am now the CEO at Yoast. Together with Joost, Michiel and Omar, I run Yoast. My main focus is on Academy; I develop products that help people to set up their own SEO strategy. My expertise is on SEO copywriting and site structure.

I’m married to Joost de Valk and we have four amazing children together.

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Got a great WordPress project? Apply for our Diversity fund

WordPress wouldn’t be WordPress if it wasn’t for the people. A strong community that’s open to anyone that wants to do something with this open-source platform. But also a community that’s made up of a lot of volunteers, people investing a lot of their time and other resources to make WordPress even better. To make […]

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Yoast diversity fund

6 site structure mistakes and how to avoid them!

If you take your SEO and users seriously, you’ll be working on a kick-ass site structure. But, setting up a decent site structure can be challenging. Maintaining a decent site structure when your site is growing, is even harder. With all these new pages on your site, it’s easy to overlook something or make a […]

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site structure mistakes

Why you should use a focus keyphrase only once

Your focus keyphrase is the keyword(s) you want your post or page to rank for. If you’re particularly eager to rank for a specific keyword, you’ll probably be tempted to optimize many articles on your site for that keyphrase. But, that’s not what a focus keyphrase is for! You should only ever use a focus […]

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SEO tutorial for beginners: How to start with SEO?

If you’re not already working on it, now is definitely the time to start with SEO. You need to rank high if you want customers to find you online. So, what should you do? How do you get started with SEO? Or, how do you start with SEO on a brand new site? In this […]

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Beginners guide: Yoast SEO


Google’s algorithm is amazingly smart and incredibly dumb at the same time

Google is really smart, amazingly smart. The algorithm is very close to reading texts like human-beings. At the same time, parts of Google’s algorithm aren’t smart at all. Computers aren’t that good at understanding ‘what is what’ on a page. If you have a recipe site, you’ll need to tell Google what an ingredient is, […]

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Google’s knowledge panel: What is it and how to get one?

Google’s knowledge panel is the block you’ll find on the right side of your screen in the search results. Nowadays, you’ll see it for a lot of queries. It presents the results of Google’s Knowledge Graph, which can be seen as an engine connecting all kinds of data Google finds on the web. If you […]

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ranking high in Google


How to measure the success of your content SEO strategy?

If you want to measure your content SEO strategy’s success, you first need to establish your goals. What’s the purpose of your strategy? Do you want higher rankings? More traffic? To evaluate your content SEO strategy, you should identify what success means to you! Once you’ve established your goals, you can measure the success of […]

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measure the success of your content seo strategy