Why does Yoast SEO ask to index a site’s SEO data?

Since version 14.0, Yoast SEO stores metadata for all pages in a separate database table. This allows us to fetch all of a page’s metadata in one simple database request (rather than lots of individual requests), resulting in much faster page loads.

Before 14.0, we stored metadata like titles and meta descriptions in different places for different types of pages. For everything to work best, this data needs to be migrated to the new table. To do this, Yoast SEO will ask to index your site’s SEO data.

For sites for which we haven’t processed the metadata yet, we show the following notification:

The Yoast indexing notification.

What are my options?

  • Yoast SEO will automatically process all content while pages get visited. This only needs to be done once per page. After that the page load will be much faster. If you do nothing or dismiss the notification, most of your SEO data will gradually be stored in the new table anyway.
  • When clicking “Start processing and speed up your site now”, Yoast SEO will start processing all of your content at once and store its SEO data in the new table. Your site will immediately receive the speed benefits of the new database table.
  • On big sites, this can take quite some time. Users can always exit and resume the process later. They will receive a reminder notification after a month if they didn’t dismiss the notification altogether.
  • If a site owner knows their way around the server, they could also run the indexing process using WP CLI. That should be faster and is easier to schedule at a time when site traffic is low.
  • When clicking “Remind me in a week”, the notification disappears and pops back up again after a week to remind you to run the indexation later.
  • When clicking “Hide this notice”, the notification disappears and we will no longer show it. Users can always find the indexing tool under Yoast SEO > Tools if they change their mind. Here’s what it looks like:
The yoast SEO Data indexing tool.

Do I need to run the indexing process every time I add or update content?

Fortunately you don’t. Whenever you save content or metadata, Yoast SEO will add / update its SEO data automatically.