The future of SEO plugins for WordPress

I find myself becoming more and more defensive of WordPress SEO plugins, my own in particular. When people make jokes about them I tend to get angry, which is perhaps a stupid reaction, but it made me think: why would people make jokes about them, are they that stupid? What does the future hold for those plugins and what do they really do?

So I went and installed and played with a ton of SEO plugins. My conclusion: hardly any of the new ones are original or truly add value, but they all promise heaven. The more well known free SEO plugins, including my own, have mostly overlapping feature sets, with some of them having features that others lack completely, and code quality varying highly. Some WordPress hosting companies complain about SEO plugins in general, having seen quite a few of them now I understand at least where they got the idea that SEO plugins are slow. I guess the burden is on me to show that my WordPress SEO plugin doesn’t suffer from that slowness.

Luckily, I know some hosts make people move over from other plugins to mine, and I know for a fact that this migration guide on my blog is highly visited because people get complaints from their host about All in One SEO using too much resources and wanting them to move to my WordPress SEO plugin. Some other people still swear by AIOSEO though, which is, of course, fine: to each his own.


I was truly in shock when I saw some of the newer kids on the block though. Squirrly, notably, posted about the best WordPress SEO plugins two days back and wrote:

It should, first of all, be all white-hat and be up to date with the updates that came up post Panda and Penguin (Yoast and SeoPressor for example, are outdated from this point of view).

That’s quite a bold statement to make. When I asked them on Twitter to back up their statement, as it’s close to libel in my opinion, they didn’t really come up with a suitable answer, instead referring to my page analysis functionality recommending 300 words whereas “only 80 where necessary for Google News”.

It’s obvious what the difference is between me and them, just from that statement alone: I don’t just read Google’s guidelines, I actually optimize content and I know that you need a certain bit of content in a post to be able to rank well, even in Google news. How I know? Well I’ve worked with some of the biggest newspapers in the world to optimize their content, in fact, I’m currently working on a project for the Guardian involving a lot of Google news optimization. When asked, they couldn’t tell me what they are basing their analytics on, instead answering me with this:

But… Of course, I had to look at their plugin. Seems they’ve built a snippet preview (how original, it’s not like I didn’t add that to my SEO plugin like 2 years ago):

Squirrly snippet preview screenshot

It doesn’t even match the look of Google’s search results even in how it looks, second, it doesn’t highlight the target keyword, which they make you put in. Funnily enough, they then do a kind of analysis on your content that looks remarkably similar to what my WordPress SEO plugin does:

Squirrly SEO assistant

The difference between that plugin and mine is that they do this “live”, which is something I’ve been pondering for a while, but the way they do it is by sending all of your data to their server all the time. Now, if they did something on their server that added value, that’d be cool, but they don’t. And after 14 days of doing this for you, they make you pay for the pleasure of doing this. Now you can get the same kind of analysis, for free, by using my WordPress SEO plugin. As far as I know, only Copyblogger’s Scribe actually adds value in what they do by sending stuff to their server, this, on the other hand, is pure nonsense.

The plugin also adds an XML sitemap. Funnily enough, you’d think that if they want to sell something they’d at least have feature parity with what the free plugins do. But their XML sitemap doesn’t even contain custom post types, nor does it support images in the XML sitemap, both standard features in my plugin.

Lastly, they offer the option to add a favicon and apple icon (remember this free plugin? you might not, it’s 5 years old).

All in all, they’re trying to use a funny looking squirrel to sell something that not just my SEO plugin but several other free WordPress SEO plugins can do for you and do better. The most shocking thing? They’ve actually gotten funding, which shows you that some people will fund anything without doing research.

This is obviously not the future, so what is?

I have a whole lot of features planned for my SEO plugin, some of which I plan to add to the free core plugin, some of which will probably be more niche and I will therefore make into premium extensions, like my Video SEO and Local SEO plugins.

Scribe has been taking great steps and been adding more and more features that actually help people optimize their content properly. SEO Ultimate has some features I think people will like a lot, and though I’d implement them differently, I very much welcome competition like that: it forces all of us to move forward.

I’m looking forward to making it easier to optimize websites technically and to optimize content, as well as keep up with all the new things Google, Bing and other search engines put out there. The future of SEO is in integrating it more into all the other stuff we do, that’s exactly what my plugin aims to do.

Would love to hear what you think should be in the future of SEO plugins!

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86 Responses

  1. AlexBy Alex on 8 April, 2013

    I’ve tested alot of plugins (paid and free) for my website, but your plugin is the best so far.

  2. RanaBy Rana on 8 April, 2013

    Hey Joost de Valk,
    I love your plugin, I switched to it about few months ago and I am loving it still. I will stick to your plugin and not gonna waste 20$/month on this one or other.

    However, I have a small question. Where Matt Cutts suggests to keep the keywords in content, but not much; wordpress seo plugin suggest to keep at least 1% density in the content. But, I afraid, if I write a article on around 1200-1500 words and my keyword is 3 words long, will it be bad to 12-15 times presence of the keyword in the article? In such cases, what you suggest? I though, if it would be great if putting the keywords 3-4 times for any size of articles would be enough.

    What is your opinion and suggestion on such situation please? Thanks in advance.

    • Joost de ValkBy Joost de Valk on 8 April, 2013

      Well I hate to say it but usually 1% works better than 0.5%… But don’t think about it too much, especially with long form content you can definitely go under.

      • RanaBy Rana on 8 April, 2013

        That makes sense and understandable. Thanks :)

      • Robin ScottBy Robin Scott on 9 April, 2013

        I’d agree with that – don’t concentrate at all on keyword density or anything else. To do so would be “unnatural” Google (Matt Cutts in particular) is always talking about this: not over-optimizing.

        For what it is worth, my opinion is that Joost’s SEO plugin is perfect for all the under the bonnet stuff (titles, H tags, etc) that the webmaster / content producer doesn’t want to focus time and energy on (that’s why we use a CMS in the first place, rather than hard-coding every page, after all!) – BUT, you shouldn’t be spending too much time and energy on trying to “trick” Google into thinking you are number one… rather, you should be producing the content which DESERVES to be number one: if you do, Google (and the rest of the internet) will find you. That is their job.

  3. FAT MediaBy FAT Media on 8 April, 2013

    Unfortunately, most of the other SEO plugins out there are horrible. They’re horrible from pretty much every angle. Code, user experience, performance, feature bloat… So I can understand where people are coming from when they say that SEO plugins suck. They’re right, most of them do.

    Still, its unfair to write SEO off completely. If anyone refuses to install and use WordPress SEO because they think it will screw up their site somehow, that sucks! I’m glad that you’re outspoken and committed to moving things forward because someone has to defend our position to the WordPress community and I can’t think of a better advocate. Yoast for President! ;)

  4. Alex HartmanBy Alex Hartman on 8 April, 2013

    Not everyone is a good webmaster. A lot of people just follow the crowd when they use All In One SEO Pack. It is a bit like buying the same stocks that everbody is already buying… which is never a good idea.

    When you are really focusing on SEO and you know what you are doing, you have to use your plugin.

    When you are an amature you use other plugins, because you have too less experience and knowledge to know that your plugin is absolutely better than the rest.

    A lot of people are only focused on backlinks (or rather obsessed), title tags, meta descriptions, meta keywords (very oldschool) and keyword density. But they are overlooking a lot of other signals, and all of them are included in the WordPress SEO plugin in stead of other SEO plugins.

    I really like the feature that the XML sitemap is broken into different sitemaps. For example, when the categories XML sitemap was created, we really started to rank powerfull on the keywords of these categories with some of our blogs.

    Lastly, I have a question: why did you delete the ‘Last posts from’ widget on the dashboard when your plugin is activated? Bad CTR? Annoying for webmasters?

  5. HassanBy Hassan on 8 April, 2013

    The UI of Squirrly alone was enough to make look somewhere else. Best plugins are the ones that don’t feel like plugin– they just seamlessly integrate with wp-admin.

    • MikeBy Mike on 26 April, 2013

      Something makes me think they’re targeting the wrong demographic. If you need bright green and red boxes all over the place to help you out, then I have to believe you won’t be being successful with SEO anyway.

  6. HassanBy Hassan on 8 April, 2013

    The UI/UX of Squirrly alone was enough to make look somewhere else. Best plugins are the ones that don’t feel like plugins– they just seamlessly integrate with wp-admin.

  7. DomBy Dom on 8 April, 2013

    Joost, I don’t think you have anything to worry about. Their comments have no basis; being only backed up by slightly witty retorts. The way they come across is hardly professional.

  8. Menachem RosenbaumBy Menachem Rosenbaum on 8 April, 2013

    You really believe in your product if you don’t mind linkin out directly to your competition.
    Many marketers would never do a thing like that even if they really believe in there product they only think short term.
    Thanks for providing the community with such good plugins!

  9. LucBy Luc on 8 April, 2013

    Joost, Don’t try to defend your plugin. It’s absolutely the best SEO plugin for wordpress.

  10. MikeBy Mike on 8 April, 2013

    Ya can’t let “competitors” or cum-unity jokes get to you.
    One million people aren’t going to delete your plugin and switch to Squirrly overnight.
    But IMHO it’s time to de-emphasize Google.
    Whatever you can do to fork SEO so others can compete in Search and so web sites can see their niche content rank better the better.

  11. ShubhamBy Shubham on 8 April, 2013

    Some times i am getting error that their are no focus keyword in content but it is their so i think yoast need to fix it soon.

  12. NinjaBy Ninja on 8 April, 2013

    I’m using yoast WordPress SEO plugin on all my websites because I think it is the “cleanest” and the most white-hated WordPress SEO plugin. I have used other WordPress SEO plugins: Ultimate SEO, SEOPressor and Squirrly, but none of these plugins follows Google Webmaster Guideline as well as WordPress SEO plugin does. WordPress SEO plugin focuses on optimizing your website so it is search engine friendly and compliant instead of “tricks” you use to gain rankings. It doesn’t encourage you to write for the search engines (must bold, italic the keywords, starting the title with keywords…) but for your readers.

  13. Mark RischBy Mark Risch on 8 April, 2013

    It is easy to get defensive about our babies isn’t it? Your longevity, readership, plugin rating and download numbers can’t be denied. You have that for a reason. Why worry about the “lessers” trying to feed off your toe nail scrapings? You should be relishing their attacks! Nobody attacks second or third place. They only attack the leader.

  14. Jeffrey L. SmithBy Jeffrey L. Smith on 8 April, 2013

    Joost, first of all, thank you for mentioning SEO Ultimate in this post, much appreciated.

    We have the utmost respect for you, your plugins and of course your reputation as an invaluable contributor to the WordPress community.

    Regarding your comment about doing things differently, admittedly, the user experience was not a high priority initially for SEO Ultimate, as we never really intended for this plugin to be consumed by the masses.

    In fact, we deliberately didn’t elaborate the features until recently and kept most of the functions under wraps to minimize competition with our user base.

    It was more like our coveted SEO toolbox for creating repeatable results for clients without having to custom code everything from scratch.

    However, as the features grew, we later implemented modules to compartmentalize the features as well as allow people to still use other plugins (if they were already) or migrate to the same features implemented in SEO Ultimate (to keep everything tidy under one dashboard).

    While there are other goodies we would like to add, there is a limit to FREE and we also intend to offer a premium version with enhanced functionality and new modules; and much like yourself, we recently fired our clients and intend on solely offering plugins, software and a framework that works with SEO Ultimate amply named the SEO Design Framework.

    There is a lot of noise in the space (SEO Plugins, Software and Themes) but in all honesty, having great competitors like you is what this is all about and providing great tools for others to monetize their websites.

    It’s inspiring and even though we are not as well known in the industry, it’s great to have a benchmark like your WordPress SEO Plugin to add flavor to the broad scope of SEO as it evolves.


    • HassanBy Hassan on 8 April, 2013

      Wow, man!

      …I mean, that was one of the most eloquent and respectful comments I’ve read on the internetz for a loooong time.

  15. MuskieBy Muskie on 8 April, 2013

    “Don’t let the bastards get you down.” — Kris Kristofferson

    A lot of people online are full of crap. Few people have been doing SEO since before Google existed and most experts won’t publish any data to back up their claims. So “Don’t let the bastards get you down.”

  16. Ian RogersBy Ian Rogers on 8 April, 2013

    I am on board with you, man. I have been using WordPress for the majority of my career in WP and SEO. Your plugin is the one that finally made sense once I found it. I had been using All-in-One SEO before that. Once I discovered yours, I realized that there are a few things with that plugin and other alternatives that I wasn’t even aware of. In other words, I didn’t know what I didn’t know.

    The other aspect that I like above your plugins is that you are following two different sets of standards in the plugin development, WordPress standards and Google / search engine standards. This carries a ton of value in itself, knowing that if WordPress or Google were to ever update or change the “standard” you would be updating the plugin to reflect those.

    I have never had your plugin break a theme or conflict with another plugin. I can’t say the same about other SEO plugins. When you follow the standards and rules that Google and WordPress provide, your plugin is bound to be number 1. Those who use other plugins may not be completely aware of what the best practices are. If they educated themselves on that, research and testing will clearly show you that your plugin is the best choice.

  17. TylerBy Tyler on 8 April, 2013

    It’s hard take any SEO advice from a website that has it’s text embedded in images……

  18. Sal SurraBy Sal Surra on 9 April, 2013

    I’ve been using WordPress since 2007. In the beginning, the best plugin was the all-in-one seo plugin, and for years was touted as the best for wordpress, until Yoast came along and uploaded the WordPress SEO plugin. Since that time, I’ve updated all of the WordPress sites that I managed to the Yoast plugin and it’s been rock solid. It is by far the best seo plugin you can get for WordPress. It reduces the need of additional plugins, and makes the process much easier. By putting in this one plugin, I was able to remove 5 other independent plugin and that is always a good thing.

    I was shocked the other day, when in my WordPress SEO community on Google Plus, someone posted an article saying that All-in-one Seo was the best plugin for WordPress Seo. I quickly jump in there and responded by saying not only was the article without a publish date, that it was also out-dated in that WordPress Seo by Yoast is the best plugin today.

    Now, I’m hearing that another plugin is trying to say that Yoast’s plugin is outdated, I don’t buy that. He is constantly making updates to his plugin and added new features that are helpful. I can’t believe someone without a shotty plugin that is trying to sell services would try to say that Yoast’s pluging was outdated. What a cheap marketing tactic to get press and attention. I guess it worked somewhat since Joost has now written about it and reviewed it.

  19. LarryBy Larry on 9 April, 2013

    Hey Joost

    Don’t take it to heart we have been using your plugin on a number of our sites with great success for years.

    Remember if you call a plumber or any sort of tradesman they will always bag the previous guys work.

    We have tried various types of plugins in the past (not all SEO) and have ended up deleting a number of them as they are useless when you update to the latest version of wordpress as the developers have lost interest due to low number of downloads.



  20. pixelsmarketerBy pixelsmarketer on 9 April, 2013

    Okay, I admit it, I have website envy for a great number of good looking and well functioning websites.(Damm you Yoast & others) I know I’m unexperienced compared to some, but one day I will be a website Jedi Master…I’m focused and believe in my determanation to succeed!

    With that being said, In my first version of my site I used AIOSEO, then I upgraded to thier subscription plan>>> you get forum access. BFD!

    I signed on to the subscription version, thought my discounted trial was good for 30 days, NOT, just 2 weeks(apparantly i’m too stupid to understand what i signed up for) 2 weeks later AIOSEO billed me for a upcoming month of service. I called them to ask whats up with that, had to leave a message-odd they and myself are in NC on the same time zone.Either way never got a call back to explain what was going on re: billing. I called back and spoke to an Englishman-could look his name up but he’s not wothy of my time to do so. That good old boy explained to me that I was SOL and that I totally misunderstood what i signed up for. They, according to him biled me correctly- no problem i thought- i need my site to rank.





    sorry for all the CAPS.

  21. BRBy BR on 9 April, 2013


    I have been using your WordPress SEO plugin from the beginning. I am very happy with it and therefore, never felt the need to look around for other options.

    However, recently I’ve noticed three instances (two minor & one major) where it will be great to have some clarity.

    1. Page Analysis: All my posts carry one featured image. But somehow, I always get the following message in Page Analysis:

    “No images appear in this page, consider adding some as appropriate.”

    Is this a bug or am I doing something wrong?

    2. Facebook OpenGraph meta data: I have activated this option under the social settings but somehow, when someone shares my post, the featured image does not render properly in FB.

    I tried using FB Debugger tool and got this message:

    “fb:admins and fb:app_id tags are missing. These tags are necessary for Facebook to render a News Feed story that generates a high click-through rate.”

    Any idea how to rectify this?

    3. Lastly, I had a strange experience with a new theme as I started seeing duplicate titles for everything. As a result I had to edit various theme files viz. header.php, single.php, page.php , template-full.php
    index.php, category.php etc.

    Of course, I contacted the Theme Author for a permanent solution (as I will have to repeat this exercise every time I update the theme). He told me it’s because of the Yoast SEO plugin I am using. This is what he had to say:

    “I’m not sure how to handle the Yoast SEO plugin issue. I have a hard time with it, due to how Yoast handles it’s integration with themes. It “Highjacks” the wp_title function, meaning I can’t use that function (a standard wordpress function) in my theme. What that means is if I remove that function, then customers who don’t use that plugin won’t get the same basic SEO title structure with the theme. I don’t want to require users use that plugin. The easiest thing to do is to have Yoast update the plugin to play more nicely with themes that use that function.”

    Thought, it will be good to bring these issues to your attention in case there are any solutions. Especially, for the last issue – if you can advice anything , I will be happy to recommend that to the Theme Author.



  22. JaneBy Jane on 9 April, 2013

    Joost, your plugin is by far a great SEO plugin for free. I’m now using SEOPressor and won’t complaint Yoast’s plugin in any way. It has many many features quite close to various paid plugins!

  23. TyseoBy Tyseo on 9 April, 2013

    Your plugin is my favourite seo plugin : it does very well the basic seo work. But People prefer to fool themselves and say their poor results come from bad plugin instead of blaming themselves…

  24. Madhav TripathiBy Madhav Tripathi on 9 April, 2013

    I am using your plugin. Thesis theme has many SEO features but i switched from it for responsive design. So an SEO plugin was necessary. After installing your SEO plugin saw SEO checker that is very helpful.

  25. AdamBy Adam on 9 April, 2013

    Hi, I usually don’t comment on blog posts but your plugin is by far the best. I’ve tried aload of different Seo plugins but I do find yours to be the best.

    Keep up the good work

  26. Bas JanssenBy Bas Janssen on 9 April, 2013

    They’ve got nothing on the SEO plugins of Yoast. The basic WordPress SEO plugin brings great result for every corporate website when used correctly. Of course you also need a good linkbuilding strategy.

    Especially the Video SEO plugin brings AMAZING results to our clients for totally different businesses.

    The Local SEO plugin is kind of a mystery so far, when it comes to result. Any thoughts on this, Joost?

  27. shaBy sha on 10 April, 2013

    i just changed my platform from blogspot to wordpress. im still new to SEO for wordpress but ur write up is so interesting. so much to understand !

  28. TonyBy Tony on 10 April, 2013

    This plugin is just perfect!. Thanks!

  29. Navjot TomerBy Navjot Tomer on 11 April, 2013

    Remembering the old time when only 2 or 3 seo plugins were available. Now Seo plugins are most available plugins in wordpress plugin database (Although most of them are bullshit when they compared to your plugin.)

  30. adityaBy aditya on 11 April, 2013

    Hi Joost , I have been through lots of SEO plugins like aios, seo pressor, easy seo but final conclusion is that your plugin is best SEO plugin out there. I have been using many paid plugins too but they never satisfied me. If 100 people are saying bad about your work then makeup your mind that more than 100k people loves your plugin.

  31. Lane LesterBy Lane Lester on 11 April, 2013

    Joost, I think your plugin is the best, but I also think it’s the most complicated. I’ve started using FV Simpler SEO because:
    1. I don’t know how to make all the decisions involved with your plugin, and
    2. I want something I can enable quickly for my sites and those of my clients.

    If you or someone else provided a set of recommended settings that could be imported, I would use your plugin more often.

  32. JayBy Jay on 11 April, 2013

    Moved from AIOSEO more than a year ago and couldn’t be happier with the results. IMHO, any app whose builder is active and engages with users is going to have a superior products if for no other reason than they know what the issues are.

    Looking forward to seeing the next iterations.

  33. Matt AntoninoBy Matt Antonino on 12 April, 2013

    Well, after changing over 20+ of my own sites and TONS of client sites, I can say that while your plugin isn’t the simplest, who cares? I’m a professional SEO – I should be able to manage a plugin. Complicated doesn’t bother me.

    What I would like to see for WordPress SEO is to incorporate a few features I’m still using in other plugins. The Yoast sitemap let me remove Google XML sitemaps from 50+ sites. Now, I’d love something like SEO Slugs used to do. ( There are many ideas I could give you but as you said, you have a lot to do already. Is there a features forum/request form? I’d love to help the future of SEO plugins. :)


  34. DavysBy Davys on 12 April, 2013

    Hello Yoast,
    You have got the best plugin on the block :)
    I would love to see you offer a PAID white label version of it. As far as the future, I think you are going to be kicking some butt`s along the way.
    It would be nice to really have a white label version, so clients don`t get to see thinks I don`t want them to see.
    But I think is far enough for me to pay for it.

    Let me know what you think?

    Thanks again
    Brazil in the house

  35. Adam DonaldsonBy Adam Donaldson on 12 April, 2013

    Yoast: I believe you are the definitive in WP SEO. I’ve used your plugins for years and have never been dissapointed. I wanted to tell you this for a long time, so here goes: thank you for what you offer to the WP community!

    As far as the future of WP SEO:

    1. I think SEO plugins will begin to incorporate SEO for shopping cart systems like WooCommerce, and perhaps take it a step further to allow an easy way to get products to show up in Google Shopping (perhaps as a separate extension like the News extension).

    2. Your local SEO extension will be a great hit, and I’ve been dying to get my hands on it.

  36. Dave FowlerBy Dave Fowler on 12 April, 2013

    It is disappointing that the folks at Squirrly are trying to promote their product by criticising your own, especially as your plugin is such a solid performer (and my own plugin of choice – always the first I install). This does them no favours, and perfectly justifies your response in highlighting their shortcomings. Keep up the good work.

  37. RuddBy Rudd on 13 April, 2013

    Came across an article about Squirrly few days ago, but never wanted to try it out. When I first started using WordPress, I used AIOSEO. Then, I migrated to SEO WordPress and never want to use any other SEO plugin. I know what you’re capable of Yoast.

  38. Morris WongBy Morris Wong on 13 April, 2013

    Hi, Yoast :
    It’s always good for me to read your SEO articles and using your wordpress plugin on my BLOGs. There won’t be a definite future of SEO, I believe. Think about same situation 10 years ago, is there any clear idea about future SEO? Never mind, yours is actually one of the best. Thank you so much for all these efforts. *smile*

  39. DenrrouBy Denrrou on 14 April, 2013

    Hello, Mr. Yoast!

    Great post, and it obvious that your WP SEO plugin beats all the other SEO plugins out there.

    By the way: it would be nice if you could develop something for rich snippets.

    I’m struggling to get my hreview working on WP. I tried to follow your instructions from a post dated from 2010 but i guess its now working that way anymore.

    Is there any way you can review how do you implement the stars rating and product price on the review as you do with your WP plugins review pages?

    Thanks a lot, Mr. WP SEO! Your blog has been my bible for a long time now!

  40. MichelleBy Michelle on 14 April, 2013

    @ Rana & Joost: Cool. I didn’t know about the 1& keyword density idea being prime. Going to have to check some blog posts out….! Gracias! ~Michelle

  41. Pierre LechelleBy Pierre Lechelle on 14 April, 2013

    Great post and thanks for this awesome plugin ! For me the future of SEO tools is to create an overall experience. I mean: take also care of the outside world and not just focus on on-site optimisation.

    That could led for instance to Rankings, Links checker etc…

  42. Christina WarrenBy Christina Warren on 16 April, 2013

    You know I love and evangelize for your stuff anywhere I can (and I need to get back to you regarding reviewing some of your newer stuff), quite frankly, you’re the best.

    As someone who uses your plugin daily at work (and much less frequently on my personal blog), I can attest that it hits all the right buttons. The fact that you built stuff in for Twitter cards early on was even helpful for my husband, the lead developer on a Django-based news site. I told him to basically take apart your plugin, see how you did Twitter cards and then write that in Python rather than PHP. Seriously, you could probably make money selling a Yoast SEO plugin for other platforms (since the demand would be so much less, people would pay, I think, for the privilege, even if you also made it open source).

    As for the “new” guys. Whatever man. Lots of talk and buzzwords but nothing to back it up. You’ve got the goods. You’re the leader for that reason. Keep on keeping on!

  43. CasperBy Casper on 16 April, 2013

    I am missing the argument that you cannot compare (software) products based on it’s features. Everyone can add features. The power lies in the choices you make, what do you want to support and what not. And also, how do you implement them.

    In most cases, the product with the most features, is not the best product. Quality of code, UX but also the educated choices that has been made building the product is what makes the product.

    And your SEO plugin is definitely a ‘smart’ product. It is sad that there are not so many smart WordPress plugins out there. But luckily, there are coming more and more quality plugins.

    Don’t look too much to your competition. It makes you add more features you don’t actually need.

  44. Robert AbelaBy Robert Abela on 16 April, 2013

    Hi Joost,

    I’ve used your SEO plugins for the last couple of years on several business websites, blogs and even corporate websites.

    I’ve seen drastic traffic improvements in just a couple of days when I changed from some other SEO plugin to yours; your plugins do work as advertised.

    I wouldn’t worry much about Squirrly and what they say. They are using a typical “loser” approach by trying to put down competitors rather than gaining users and customers by promoting their plugin features. They are trying to play a mind game. Just look at the ranking of your website and their website, and that will automatically answer the question of who is best in SEO.

    You already have a lot of followers and users, just stick to your guns and keep on releasing awesome plugins. Let your users and statistics do the talking for you.

  45. Conor TreacyBy Conor Treacy on 16 April, 2013

    Every now and then we’ll install a different SEO plugin just to see what the competition is doing, but every time we do that we come right back to Yoast. Having been in the SEO world for a long time, I’ve seen some pretty awful “programs” and “scripts” but there’s a few that are done right – this is one of them.

    Meanwhile, we just finished another design for a client yesterday and the first thing installed was the SEO Plugin, then a backup script.

    I personally love the plugin, and after just a few short minutes with clients, they too love the plugin. Competition is usually healthy, but when competitors turn out similar stuff, or lower grade and then tout it as “new and exciting”, that just gets annoying!

  46. jamesBy james on 17 April, 2013

    Thanks for the great tip and article

  47. Jane PhelpsBy Jane Phelps on 17 April, 2013

    Wow – that was quite a BOLD statement. Your plugin is still by far the best – and not outdated. I do have a question though about the keyword field. Current belief is that we should add the title and description, but leave the keyword out of Yoast. What do you think of that?

  48. Timothy EttingerBy Timothy Ettinger on 18 April, 2013

    I’m a newbie when it comes to blogging. A competitor was recommended to me.. but for some reason I gravitated towards yours. It was highly rated and I know a couple people who are using it. I can see why! Your plugin is easy to use, and has taught me a lot about SEO by using it. Keep up the good work! I would say you will definitely be a part of the future of SEO!

  49. DennisBy Dennis on 18 April, 2013

    Guess they got some new users from the traffic you sent them with this post! Hey, at least you didn’t link to them :) (aside from the link in the comments lol)

    I can definitely say that I’ve experienced a lot of better “actual” results from your plugin vs AIOS. Been testing it for a year side by side. Makes a whole load of difference. Keep it up.

  50. Dougy HuntBy Dougy Hunt on 19 April, 2013

    I have always found internal linking the most time consuming process. Is there any future plans to auto link previous focus keywords? or even if there was an option to make 3 of say up to 10 possible options and it auto links them. That would be great!

    Also, I love Yoast SEO. It has done wonders for the clients I manage. I follow your work and I have learnt so much. Imitators come and they will go :)

  51. Kiki van GurpBy Kiki van Gurp on 19 April, 2013

    I have no experience with other SEO plug-ins but have recently uploaded yours to a friend’s site and it seems to be working wonders. When I get started on a website of my own, I will definitely be using it again.

  52. AnnaBy Anna on 21 April, 2013


    I figured it is time to thank you for once for what you do for us.
    So THANK you for all your efforts and good luck with the new direction.

  53. oloyede jamiuBy oloyede jamiu on 22 April, 2013

    hi joost,
    Your plugin is the best i have come across in all perspective. I have used all in one seo, seopressor e.t.c my hosting company has been complaining of exessive use of server resources. Thanks for making this plugin.

  54. Ray CunninghamBy Ray Cunningham on 22 April, 2013

    Hi Joost! I love your plugin and have now stopped using any other for SEO. I am a little frustrated at the moment though as the page analysis problem has appeared on some of my pages giving an incorrect word count. I am using latest WP 3.5.1 and version 1.4.7 of your plugin.
    Please can you help me fix it? Not sure where to start. Thanks

  55. Ashish GillBy Ashish Gill on 24 April, 2013

    i am using your plugin from last 6-7 months on my website and i must say your plugin is the best from the rest. Keep updating and doing the great work.

  56. CharlieBy Charlie on 24 April, 2013

    Not that I need to reinforce the obvious but your attention to detail is superb. Good luck with the Guardian gig. Sounds like a dream to dig through that much content and data.

  57. KapilBy Kapil on 25 April, 2013

    Hey I am big fan of your wordpress plugin. It helps a lot for optimizing the content. Great work.
    I will be always thankful to you.

  58. MichielBy Michiel on 25 April, 2013

    Hi Joost,

    I am wondering, does the “canonical feature” of your plugin (v1.4.3 and later) work properly?

    Here: you write “Some older canonical link plugins for WordPress, including my own, had a wrong canonical link element for the homepage at times, and unfortunately this is still wrong in All In One SEO Pack.” Has this issue been resolved already?

    Thanks for any and all insights!


    • MichielBy Michiel on 25 April, 2013

      Apologies, I’m mixing up some things. “All in One SEO Pack” is (of course) not the same as “WordPress SEO by Yoast”.

      All these names look so much alike! :-)

  59. Hamid RoshaanBy Hamid Roshaan on 26 April, 2013

    I have used other premium plugins also but I think that yoast is best option as it is totally free and best of all that it is best SEO plugin and is also recommended by big bloggers in the market, I am using it on my 4 blogs and its going awesome

  60. samBy sam on 27 April, 2013

    only recently installed a wordpress blog on my site and researching has led me to yoast as a good seo plugin. am about to install it.

  61. hasaanBy hasaan on 28 April, 2013

    I am using this plugins . some problem has attemp

  62. newtechBy newtech on 28 April, 2013

    After the various Panda updates a number of sites have been penalized for having poor quality content, low levels of content and duplicated content. Panda has also penalized sites for having unseen content for SEO purposes or keywords shoehorned where they don’t really fit. Thanks to the updates, it is now more important than ever to look at a site’s content from an moral perspective in technic SEO and ask, ‘Is this for the user or for the rankings?’ The two are not mutually exclusive, however; designing a site’s content t for the user will result in positive rankings

  63. CathyBy Cathy on 28 April, 2013

    I use this plugin combined with highly targeted pages and blog posts and I am killing the competition! I put a new page or post up and usually within a week it is no 1 on page 1 of Google. It works and it works well!

  64. Edward R.By Edward R. on 28 April, 2013

    Joost, IMO, your plugin is superior to any others presently available, whether free or commercial.

    It’s certainly not perfect, but it’s pretty damn good.

  65. newtechBy newtech on 29 April, 2013

    Google’s Webmaster Guidelines sketch best practice for website owners, and the use of technic that break our guidelines may cause us to take action on a site. However, not all violations of our Webmaster Guidelines are CIP Digital 1 (118)connected to content created purposely by a site’s owner. Sometimes, spam can be generated on a good site by malicious visitors or users

  66. Nathan ConnerBy Nathan Conner on 30 April, 2013

    Interesting article. I’ve been using SEOPressor and the Yoast SEO plugin for all my on-page optimization, Yoast’s is really awesome. I recommend it as a staple for all new blogs.

  67. Greg BorchardtBy Greg Borchardt on 1 May, 2013

    OK, you have convinced me. I have been using All In One SEO and I like it, but I will be using yours from now on.

    I also like the tip that content should have a minimum of 300 words and the keyword density of about 1%. I realize that I have been over-optimizing the sites I have made.

    I like your writing style – it is very informative and, most importantly, easy to understand and comprehend.

    Thanks a bunch!

  68. newtechBy newtech on 3 May, 2013

    What are the basic keywords you want to rank for?
    What are a few of your main competitors you want to beat?
    Describe your previous experience with SEOs.
    Was it good/bad? Why?
    What’s making you change SEO vendors now?
    What do you wish your old SEO did for you?

  69. Jonathan MichaelsBy Jonathan Michaels on 4 May, 2013

    Great read. I’ve been using the Yoast SEO plugin since day one. I do not think you have anything to worry about at all! After switching from All in One SEO I immediately noticed a increase in traffic, a lot of the pages did not rank previously.

  70. LABy LA on 4 May, 2013

    What a nice joke!
    Don’t bother with them Yoast, your plugin is pretty much amazing. I’m not exaggerate but consider the functions and the free price, I’d really never ever use paid SEOUL plugin anymore.

    Their joke about your plugin is to gain more interest to their plugin. See? Now I know that their plugin exist.

  71. TJ GreeneBy TJ Greene on 5 May, 2013


    I, like so many others, use and love your SEO plugin. It really is the best in my book. It is among the first plugins I install on all new sites and it even made it to the top of our site’s list of “Recommended WordPress Plugins For Every Blog”.

    I read the copy and watched the video about Squirrly’s plugin on their homepage and was less than impressed. I also did some further research, which only served to reinforce my poor opinion of this product. Needless to say, I will not be using it and can’t in good conscience recommend it to anyone.

    - The product is gimicky.
    - The pricing is exorbitant.
    - I found no concrete details on their site documenting the effectiveness of their product, only empty marketing junk.
    - Found lots of dubious marketing ploys like this: A link to download it from the repository with this text, “Get a Beta Invite. limited downloads available. get yours now!” Really!?! Special invites and limited time offers at the repository! Come on, guys!
    - No refund policy because, “Due to offering the Free Trial with full features, fast and excellence-oriented support, we do not offer a refund. Our clients usually make their decision in the first 7 days. It doesn’t take more then that to see if the product offers them enough value.”
    - A seeming willingness to say anything to hawk their product. I found several instances of statements like this around the web:

    An excerpt of a poor review on a support thread, “As an SEO tool it sux and lacks the fine tuning of such great free tools like SEO by Yoast and All-in-One.”

    Excerpt of Florin Muresan’s reply to that poor review, “People who use Squirrly and pay the monthly subscription love it for it’s simplicity. We don’t want to build a Yoast, that’s made with lots of geeky settings, most of which don’t really even have an impact on SEO, after the Penguin/Panda updates. Our automatic SEO does.”

    I could go on, but what’s the point.

    Best Regards,
    TJ Greene

  72. Tom DupuisBy Tom Dupuis on 5 May, 2013

    Hi Joost,

    What about using keyword variations? SEOmoz talked about this in their article on “perfect on-page SEO” using chocolate donuts as the example. Or interlinking relevant pages/posts, like how you did with your plugin in this article. If possible, would you ever consider incorporating those features into your plugin?

    Love your main SEO plugin by the way. Definitely going to be trying out the others.


  73. Tom DupuisBy Tom Dupuis on 5 May, 2013

    Hi Joost,

    What about using keyword variations? SEOmoz recommended this in their article on “perfect on-page SEO” using chocolate donuts as their example. Or interlinking relevant pages/posts like how you did with your plugin in this article. If possible, would you consider incorporating these features into your plugin?


  74. PuiuBy Puiu on 5 May, 2013

    Why are we still talking about this, I don’t know: WordPress SEO is the Mercedes of wp seo and the rest is…well, history!
    Who in their right mind isn’t “driving the Mercedes” these days on their wp website?!
    On a personal note, I’ve launched my website (small local niche) in October last year (2012) and “drove this awsome Mercedes” to top 5 on Google for ALL my major keywords and phrases (50 of them) in less than 2 months.
    We should buy this guy a ton of coffee for giving this Mercedes for FREE!
    Respect J!

  75. Yusuf ChowdhuryBy Yusuf Chowdhury on 6 May, 2013

    With all honesty I tested all the so called popular SEO plugins and by far your SEO plugins is the best in terms of ease of use and functionality. It’s like having a personal SEO assistant. I can’t wait to see what kind of upgrades you are going to add and if you charge premiums, that would be so worth it. I always recommend it to any WordPress website users.

  76. Jackie AllumBy Jackie Allum on 6 May, 2013

    Although I think yoast is pretty awesome and I do use it on a few of my site but I also use SeoPressor 5 (on my main site) and get some really good results with it so I don’t think they’re outdated. Squirrly on the other hand… well… it’s not my cup of tea at all. Tried it once and deleted it straight after as I just couldn’t get used to the feel of it.

    • Jackie AllumBy Jackie Allum on 6 May, 2013

      *yoast* – I mean wordpress seo… I don’t have my right head on today!

  77. Kurzove SazkyBy Kurzove Sazky on 7 May, 2013

    I’m stick with WP SEO. I’ve tried also some others plugins but it was more my curiosity and for me WP SEO has everything which I need. Sometimes I have problems with compatibility with others plugins but nothing which couldn’t be solved.