Innovations by Yoast: Privacy by design

At Yoast, we strongly believe in privacy by design and we go out of our way to achieve it. Our rule of thumb is to never collect data we don’t strictly need. A good example of that is that we designed our SEO and readability analyses to work fully in the browser. 

Most natural language processing tools require users to send data to servers. There, machine learning algorithms analyze the data and return the insights gained. You can imagine many companies wouldn’t be happy if their product announcement drafts were sent somewhere else before publication. Fortunately, Yoast SEO does all the language processing straight in a web browser. Your drafts are safe with us!

Privacy drives innovation

In order to make that possible, we have to utilize the technological capabilities of web browsers to the fullest. For example, to prevent the DOM from freezing during analysis, we make use of a web worker. This is a separate thread in the browser in which we can do all the heavy lifting of the analysis. Another improvement we are working on is to analyze an abstract tree representation of the content instead of raw HTML. This should lead to dramatic improvements in terms of performance and reliability. Those are problems we wouldn’t have to deal with on the server as much.

Privacy by design starts with being conscious about the data we collect. We are proud that we’re able to provide our users with smart technology without having to collect any data. We’ve also often opted to not develop certain functionality if it required us to store data on our servers. Instead, we’ve always looked for ways to provide similar benefits with tools users can run in their own environments.