Road to Yoast SEO 3.0

It all started long, long ago in a town far, far away (from most of you) when Joost came up with a major improvement for our Yoast SEO plugin. “Imagine”, he said, “imagine that you’d no longer have to wait for your post to be finished and saved to analyze the content. Imagine that changes you’d make are reflected in realtime. Wouldn’t that make life a lot easier?”

When we all agreed it would, he decided this would be done. And this is what happened…

First, we needed more JavaScript knowledge, as that would be the language of choice for the real-time analysis. So we hired Danny and March 23 we opened up a new repository on GitHub; js-text-analysis.

Stand-alone text analysis

For a few months, a lot of work on the new js-text-analysis project was done and it slowly started to turn into a beta version. And that’s when we first spoke about it in public. On June 2, Joost wrote about the stand-alone version of the js-text-analysis on asking for feedback. And as you can see in the comments, we received a lot of positive responses.

Screenshot of stand-alone YoastSEO.js example

This encouraged us to move even further. Having a stand-alone library for text analysis allowed us to use it on other platforms as well. That’s why we teamed up with GoalGorilla and started working on Yoast SEO for Drupal.

API breaking changes

Meanwhile, we knew that switching from the old analysis to the new one meant change for everyone that integrated with our plugin. So on August 26 we announced API breaking changes in a newscast on, giving developers a chance to adapt to the upcoming changes in time.

While working on the js-text-analysis we decided that name wasn’t as catchy as we’d like it to be, so we renamed it to YoastSEO.js and changed the GitHub project accordingly, so it can now be found at YoastSEO.js.

Yoast SEO for Drupal

After months of work we decided to release Yoast SEO for Drupal 1.0-beta during DrupalCon in Barcelona. At a great launch party we showed the Drupal community what YoastSEO.js was capable of. For everyone who missed the party, we also wrote a blog post about it.

The Drupal community really adopted our module and we got a lot of very valuable feedback, an incentive to improve YoastSEO.js even further. This lead to a developer beta on October 8. Omar even wrote a thorough blog post about it on the new Yoast Dev Blog.

New UI for Yoast SEO

Now all we had to do was finalize YoastSEO.js and integrate it in Yoast SEO. And so we did. We even managed to make awesome changes to the layout of the Yoast SEO metabox, making it far more user-friendly and intuitive. We decided that this new layout allowed for a great new feature for Yoast SEO Premium, analyzing up to 5 focus keywords per post!


Just two weeks ago, Omar wrote another piece on the design decisions for YoastSEO.js. Internally this marked the start of a super-intensive testing period where 4 developers have been trying to break the new Yoast SEO in every possible way. And when our own pace of finding bugs and enhancements started to slow down, we released the Yoast SEO 3.0-RC on twitter and the support forums, and it even made the Post Status newsletter!

Here it is; Yoast SEO 3.0!

We’ve been testing Yoast SEO 3.0 until late last night before we decided, this is it. This is the version we’re comfortable releasing. We’ve tested more than ever before, we’ve announced changes months ahead, we’ve asked everyone to try the Release Candidate and got no negative responses.

The last months have been a rollercoaster, but we’re truly happy to present to you Yoast SEO 3.0!

If you do find bugs, we’re sorry. Report them on GitHub, and we’ll get them fixed.
Thanks, we appreciate it!

Coming up next!

28 Responses to Road to Yoast SEO 3.0

  1. lgaspo
    lgaspo  • 8 years ago


    after update from yoast 2.3.5. to yoast 3.0.4:
    Img shows situation with yoast 2.3.5.
    – everything is OK (I use woocommerce product)
    this img shows situation with yoast 3.0.4 (same woocommerce product)
    – meta description is OK
    – SEO title is missing (there is only %%title%% %%page%%…and so on)
    – main keyword (Hlavne klucove slovo) is missing
    – Content analysis is not loaded
    this img shows errors in chrome console
    – there are 2 errors:
    – first in wp-seo-shortcode-plugin-302.min.js
    – second in yoast-seo-302.min.js
    this img shows first error in debugger
    – this error is not critical at that moment, but it is potentially dangerous
    – problem is in for…in loop with arrays
    – as you can see captureKeywords array is empty captureKeywords = [], length = 0
    – but mootools.js librery adds to every js array additional items ($family, append, associaiate, … and so on)
    – in this way, despite captureKeywords is empty, it contains in the first index value (i = “$family”)
    – so everybody who use mootools.js has this potentially problem
    – more about mootools.js problem here:…in
    – so, I use a little quick hack to resolve this problem (commented code marked as Lgaspo)
    this img shows second error
    – this error stops loading of Content analysis
    – because I do not have unminified version of yoast-seo-302.min.js I am not able to debug it
    – problem is in “status” property
    – so I only delete “.status” from minified version of file
    this img shows situation after erorrs repairing
    – meta description is OK
    – SEO title is still missing (there is only %%title%% %%page%%…and so on)
    – main keyword (Hlavne klucove slovo) is still missing
    – Content analysis is successfully loaded

    So, question is, why is SEO title and Main keyword missing ?

  2. Harry
    Harry  • 8 years ago

    After updating from 3.03 to 3.04 the following happened:

    *The text contains 1 words. This is far too low and should be increased.
    >>> The article shows more than 300 words. Why does Yoast mention this >

    *Bad SEO score. The focus keyword doesn’t appear in the first paragraph of the copy. Make sure the topic is clear immediately.
    >>> This is not the case. They focus keyword does appear in the first paragraph.

    *No outbound links appear in this page, consider adding some as appropriate.
    >>> The page has an outbound link

    *No subheading tags (like an H2) appear in the copy.
    >>> This is also not true. This page contains subheading tags.

    Before updating to 3.04 above mentioned did not occur. It seems all of our pages get an wrong content analyses.

    How can we fix this ?

  3. Cheryl Perkins
    Cheryl Perkins  • 8 years ago

    Updated to 3.0.4 The snippit editor appears. When I try to modify the title tag, all the verbiage disappears. Yikes! Not user friendly.

    What happened to the handy character counter for the title tag and meta description count?

  4. Mark
    Mark  • 8 years ago

    I have update to version 3.0.3 and clearing my browser’s cache (firefox), but i have this error “Unresponsive Script – yoast-seo-302.min.js?ver=30.3:1

    • Taco Verdonschot

      Thanks for your feedback. Could you please take a screenshot of the JS errors and include them in a bug report on GitHub?

      Thank you so much!

  5. Malou
    Malou  • 9 years ago

    Great new plugin you guys made!

    • Taco Verdonschot

      Thanks a million!

  6. Ian Sterling
    Ian Sterling  • 9 years ago

    We’ve had Yoast SEO Premium for a while now and it’s great and easy to use, but the new versions 3.0.1 and 3.0.2 killed our site with a server error 500. Now 3.0.3 has arrived and we’re back up and running. I’m not a web expert I just manage the basics on our site so I don’t really know what’s been happening. So thanks for acting quickly to solving the issue.

  7. Michael Hermansen
    Michael Hermansen  • 9 years ago

    The 3.0 version is clearly not ready, I’ve had nothing but problems using it on about 35 sites. Nothing saves correctly, it’s not giving accurate grades for posts.

    • Taco Verdonschot

      Despite all the feedback we’ve gathered, we unfortunately did run into a few issues.
      If you want to help us prevent that in the future, please sign up for our beta mailing list.

      Thanks for being part of the solution!

  8. Roland
    Roland  • 9 years ago

    Having a few issues since the release of 3.0.2, the focus keyword is showing as not there in the page title, even though it is. Also in the snippet section the title and description are no longer auto generated like in 3.0.1. This is happening in multiple articles and including ones done earlier today using 3.0 and 3.0.1.

    • Taco Verdonschot

      There was an issue with some of the minified JS files in release 3.0.2. Upgrading to 3.0.3 should solve this.

  9. Dan
    Dan  • 9 years ago

    SCRIPT_DEBUG = true

    will make console errors disappear

    • Taco Verdonschot

      When you update to version 3.0.3 this should be resolved, after clearing your browser’s cache.

  10. Dan
    Dan  • 9 years ago

    These are the errors I get in console when I am trying to edit a normal post

  11. Dan
    Dan  • 9 years ago

    You’ve just released 3.0.2 today 19th Nov but in the Changelog it appears as released in 18th


    • Taco Verdonschot


  12. Paul King
    Paul King  • 9 years ago

    FWIW I’m pretty sure Yoast 3.0.1 and a javascript minification plugin conflict was to blame for my issues. In my minify settings I chose to exclude the following scripts: yoast-seo.min.js, wp-seo-post-scraper.min.js

    Although I still do get an occasional error looking at debug logs, I am able use it on an affected site like it is used on an unaffected site (joys of writing for 5 blogs on 3 hosts are I know what it’s supposed to look like)

    • Taco Verdonschot

      Thanks for your feedback!

  13. Kristian
    Kristian  • 9 years ago

    The update of Yoast SEO broke our site as well.

  14. Bill
    Bill  • 9 years ago

    What the heck happened? This update does not work, the snippet editor takes out my categories, I can’t add meta descriptions, when I tried to add a new page in my custom categories, the url gets screwed up.

    • Taco Verdonschot

      Sounds like you ran into an issue in version 3.0 or 3.0.1. Have you upgraded to 3.0.3 yet?
      Does that, and clearing your browser’s cache afterwards, solve the problem?

  15. Paul King
    Paul King  • 9 years ago

    Installed on two WP systems. One of them works fine, the other refuses to accept the keyword. I type a keyword, it disappears. As far as I can tell previously created items have the keyword, just newly created ones I can’t save it.

    feel free to contact me, looks like I’m not the only one with the issue

  16. Chirea Bogdan
    Chirea Bogdan  • 9 years ago

    I am using Yoast on my website for 3 years now. Today I recieved the 3.0.1 update but unfortunately the update has been blocking the adding of keywords to the article. Everytime I tried to push the enter button or clicking the submit button the action did nothing. Also the snippet preview , under the article section Yoast SEO, didn’t worked. I only was able to see the 3 icons, but clicking on them didn’t do nothing. Unfortunately I was forced to disable the plugin. So until a new version of the plugin resolves the problem I am forced to use something else.

    That’s too bad …

    • Taco Verdonschot

      Hi Chirea,

      Have you already tried if version 3.0.3 solves the problem you described earlier? If you haven’t, please follow these steps:

      • * Update Yoast SEO to versions 3.0.3
      • * Clear your website’s caches and the caching mechanisms from all your plugins (e.g. WordFence)
      • * Clear your browser’s cache.
      • * Edit or add a post to see if this fixes it

      If, for some reason, that doesn’t do the trick for you, please create a topic on the support forums. Include a detailed description of the problem and screenshots, so you can be helped easier.


  17. Ugur
    Ugur  • 9 years ago

    Hello Taco,

    Unfortunately, the latest version broke my site and it does not work on my site. My site is in Arabic so I believe the problem arises for being RTL.

    Can you please tell me how can I go back to the previous version.


    • Taco Verdonschot

      Hi Ugur,

      Are you already on version 3.0.3?
      If so, I suspect you ran into an issue that has been reported on GitHub as well. It’s prioritized on our development team’s roadmap and you can follow its progress on GitHub. If you have any additional information about this issue, please add it in a comment to help us find the solution.