New SEO analysis: a look behind the scenes

Our new Yoast SEO analysis has been released. At Yoast, we are all very excited! The changes in Yoast SEO are the result of a long process of researching and evaluating our SEO analysis. And we’re not going to stop improving! Want to know more about what Yoast is doing to provide our customers with the best SEO analysis possible? Read all about it in this post!

About the project

About a year and a half ago, I initiated a new project at Yoast. As someone with a background in scientific research, I wanted to back our SEO analysis with some proper research. In the case of Yoast SEO, a lot could actually be backed up with data, it just hadn’t been collated yet. I wanted to be sure, I wanted to be able to explain to our users why the checks in Yoast SEO are there, what the ideas behind the checks are.

That’s why I put together a team of experts: SEO-experts, developers, and linguists. Since August of 2017, we’ve been working together. The main goal of our team was to check whether what we’re saying in our SEO checks still makes sense and to base that on actual data. A lot of urban myths exist in SEO, so we were trying to clear up any misconceptions.

What did we change?

The recalibration project has led to some changes in Yoast SEO. For instance, we added a check on keyword distribution. It checks whether or not you use your keyword, and whether it’s evenly distributed throughout your text. While working on the recalibration, we also came up with the new functionality to recognize word forms (plurals, past tense, different word order). As Google is getting better at understanding texts and context, we felt that we needed to update our SEO analysis and make it smarter. That’s probably the most visible result of our recalibration-project.

We also critically evaluated all of the checks. When exactly should a bullet turn green and why? We’ve made some changes in the checks. Every check now has a page on which we explain what the check does and when exactly it turns orange or green.

Yoast will continue to study SEO

Google is changing its algorithm regularly. That’s why we need to stay on top. This project started out as an evaluation of all the Yoast SEO checks, but we realized that we can never stop evaluating. Yoast has always been on top of the SEO news. What’s more, we have regular meetings with Google and Bing and we’ll continue to have these. And, we’ll evaluate our SEO checks regularly, making sure that they are as up to date as can be.

Before releasing our new SEO analysis, we invited all of our customers to participate in a beta test. We’ve received some great feedback! But feedback does not stop after the beta-phase. So feel free to tell us what you think! Send an email to if you want to give some feedback.

A big thanks to my wonderful team!

This new SEO analysis was a team effort. Working together with a group of SEO experts on one side and linguists and developers on the other side has been truely inspiring.

The SEO team was primarily in charge of research, seeking out the latest thinking and what that means for our plugin. We had two linguists when we started the project, who are also competent coders, so they have an instinct for what is and isn’t feasible within the existing plugin. Since much of our plugin has to do with text and language, their input has been so very valuable. They really upped our game! Since then, we’ve even hired more linguists. In fact, we have an entire team of linguists that also learned how to code.

Want to know more: check out our documentary!

We’ve actually made a documentary about the research behind the new SEO analysis. Want to know even more? Go check it out, it’s at the top of this post!

The recalibration team at work

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