The SEO update by Yoast – February 2024 Edition


Update transcript

Hello everyone!

I hope you can all hear me and see me because I’m Nynke, I’m the host of today and I will make sure we’re all ready for the next SEO update by Yoast!

And it’s a really cool one because we have had the highest registrations since a few months so we’re really proud that you and happy that you are all joining us today.

Everybody’s doing this already but I’m super curious to see where you are joining from.

I’m currently in the Yoast headquarters as you might be able to see from the nice designed background behind me.

And I’ve seen people from all over Europe, all over North America already so that’s awesome to see.

While you’re sharing your location I’m gonna kick off with some household notices before we really deep dive into all the updates.

First of all, this session will be recorded and you will be able to find all the resources that you need on

There will be a nice green button below which you can click and then find all the resources for this webinar.

Also, we will do a Q&A at the end of all the updates and Crowdcast has a great function for Q&A where you can ask questions, you don’t have to put them in the chat but there’s a special place for that.

And you can even upvote questions of others so we know what the most urgent questions are that you want to get answered after today’s update.

If you’re on mobile it can be a little question mark sign at the bottom of your screen.

So, before we really start I want to introduce you to, you see their nice avatars on screen already, our hosts for today, Alex and Carolyn.

They are both principal SEOs with a lot of experience in all kinds of industries and they will make sure that everything that you will hear today is helpful and you will know the implications of all the updates of February.

I can promise you, there’s a lot that will come your way during this update.

And if you run an eCommerce business, I’m really curious to hear if you run an eCommerce business, I can recommend you to pay extra attention to an update in the SEO news category.

It’s a bit at the end but there’s something really nice in store for you in that update.

So, without further ado, I will invite Alex and Carolyn on the screen.

There you are.

Let’s see if Carolyn’s there.


Please take it away.

I’ll be back when we start the Q&A.

Thank you very much.

It’s good to be here.

It’s been a busy month hasn’t it Carolyn.

It feels like the month went, I can’t believe it’s the end of February already.

Everything’s going so quickly.

I know, I know and I thought again it might be a slow news month but again we’ve been wrong.

But again, you were wrong.

It’s a good thing you’re not a betting man.


I never bet.

I don’t want to take these risks.

Essentially, it’s January.

Everyone’s done their January, get in there, need to do stuff in February.

Let’s do a load of updates that make a lot of confusing language that will make us debate a lot for the next month.

Let’s get through it because I know there’s so much to do.

What are we going to discuss today?

SEO news, which I reckon will take quite a lot of the time.

We’ve then got some AI news because there has been a lot happening in AI too.

It has been a busy month for a lot of people.

And then after that we’ll go through a couple of WordPress items and lastly we’ll have a couple of Yoast updates.

And of course Q&A.

So first for Q&A, always need to make sure on the right hand side, I don’t know which way I’m pointing, but on one side, on the right hand side, there is a nice question mark below the chat icon.

Make sure that if you have any questions in there, ask in there.

And also if you want a question asked that someone else has asked, then upvote it.

And most upvotes are probably, which is nice to know.

But of course you can chat, tell us where you’re from, tell us if you’ve got any other interests or anything else that you might have observed in the last month of SEO yourself.

If you want to learn more about anything today, you can go on to this, which is

I can’t say Yoast because it doesn’t spell right. where you’ll be able to see this replayed video that you’ll be able to do in slow speed if I’m talking too fast as well.

And of course you can get all the links to the different stories we’ve been going through today.

And if you need to learn more over the month, you can learn from how to start with SEO.

And of course that’s within Yoast SEO academy.

And it’s also worth mentioning that this morning I published our updated SEO Glossary, which I will at some point during this course of the update will share in the chat so you can have a look and tell us what you think of it.

So SEO news.

What’s happened first?


Tell us about what you think about INP.

So it’s paving way in what?

Two weeks or something?


So there’s been confusion about what’s getting replaced and what’s not getting replaced with Core Web Vitals.

I know initially when this was announced, everyone’s like, oh, Core Web Vitals don’t matter anymore.

It’s just one facet of Core Web Vitals that’s being replaced or a metric that they think is more appropriate and actionable than the old one.

The old one was first input delay.

The new interaction is interaction to next paint.

Interaction to next paint is, I would imagine, similar to largest contentful paint.

So it’s just a metric.

It’s not the end of the world.

No one thinks that just making maxing this out at 100 is going to instantly give you any kind of ranking boost.

This is still a piece of the Core Web Vitals pie.

I would focus, if I were you, on getting the majority of your pages, if not all of your pages, into the good area.

Get them green.

Don’t worry about making everything perfect.

Don’t let good be the enemy of, or don’t let perfect be the enemy of good.

I never get that right.

Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good.

You want good.

Everything has to be at least good.

You don’t want needs improvement.

You don’t want poor.

You want everything green.

But other than that, green is fine.

Doesn’t have to be 100 percent.

That’s why there’s a point of having space for green.

Otherwise, green would just be 99 and 100, if not just 100.

And then everything else would be orange.

So, yeah, don’t be too paranoid about every single metric, because you’ll spend more time on that than you should do on other, more natural elements of the website.

So it’s still good to know that don’t get too scared if something goes up or something goes down.


Have a look.

There might be something very easy to do.

And if there’s something more important to do, at least you’ve got a little bit more clearer information since we’re deaf and it isn’t just going to be a six month nightmare for you.


I wouldn’t panic too much.

This is fixable.

This is doable.

This is by no means the end of the world or even a seismic shift in your reality.

Just focus on getting it to green.

Don’t worry about getting things to 100 percent.



So talking about getting things to 100 percent, we had a very, very long post by Jarno van Driel, who I’m sure the fans here that were mentioning him here.

So what you can see here is a schema entry on one URL.

I think there was 700 in that.

I think he actually found something with 7000 entities and trying to take Jono for his money as the most complex schema entry ever.

But anyway, he went through a very big rabbit hole.

So if you’re in the mood for having a very complex read about structured data, EEAT and any, if at all, correlation, you can do here.

And he does it in a very nice way, bit of a storytelling way.

But in short, no, it doesn’t influence EEAT.

Structured data and EEAT, whilst they have a connection in code, don’t have a connection to do with actual more visibility.

Maybe you can elaborate more on the connection of structured data and EEAT and what people should think about it.

Oh, geez.

So I think what we’ve discovered from reading all this is that it’s complicated and that everybody, the way people’s brains make the connections from point A to point B when it comes to structured data and EEAT and rankings, they go in different directions.

I think the important thing is that we all kind of arrive at the same place.

The things to remember about EEAT is that it’s not a ranking factor directly.

And fixing your structured data is not going to necessarily improve or change what Google thinks about you as a person.

Actually, the more I think about this, the more confused I’m making myself.

I guess the short story is you need the structured data to help the search engines understand what’s on the page, what you’re talking about on the page, but mostly to make it easy for them to take pieces out of the page that they want to use and repurpose for other things.

It is not going to help with your rankings, other than it makes the engines understand what’s on the page better.

And if what’s on the page is worth ranking, then they will rank it.

You’re not going to tell them the page is about something it’s not because the structured data is there to make it clear.

EEAT is so subjective.

It’s not, you know, we talked about that.

What was the thing we talked about about Tucker Carlson?

Having his name on an article isn’t going to make that article rank better because he has more authority.

It’s because he is a more widely searched, higher search volume thing.

And that his entity is going to be attached to or associated with that article because his name is mentioned.

So whether he wrote the article or the articles about him, it will show up for his name.

It’s not going to magically provide fairy dust that will make your entire site have more authority.

Yeah, which I’m still not sure is entirely clear as mud.

Maybe I think we were trying to describe it in the simplest way and using Tucker Carlson was a good example because he’s such a well known.

Sorry, he’s got a lot of visibility online.


So our scenario was with Tucker Carlson do write a post in a very low authority news outlet and not talk about it anywhere.

And the only thing connecting him to this post would be structured data.

The point is, would that would it be influenced because of who Tucker Carlson is?

And the answer in short would be no.

The result of him publishing it and people seeing that and then linking to or citing that is the result of him as a person.

And that is the factor that goes into the ranking is what happens as a result, not because it’s him.

Yeah, so he is a person is popular and it will attract links because of who he is.

But I mean, that’s not really something you can affect your structured data.

That’s not a thing that you can affect through any machinations of your own.

That is a thing that is a fact.

He is as a part as an entity attracts links.

So it’s sort of like news jacking.

I don’t know.

News jacking a long time ago would be where you would write a news story about something and you would mention something that was related to it because you could work it into the article but the article really wasn’t about that.

Because you mentioned it, it would attract links and get more publicity.

So long time ago when Hillary Clinton and was running against Barack Obama and the Democratic primary in the US.

Hillary came to West Lafayette and did a rally.

Well, it never mentioned Barack Obama.

But at the time he had a much greater search volume and more velocity in the searches and in Google News than Hillary did.

So I added a line to the article that mentioned that her primary competitor in this race was Barack Obama.

All I said, I mentioned his name in the first paragraph.

The story got so much more traffic so many more views because I sort of hijacked that that mention and I feel like this is very similar.

But again, not a ranking signal.

You’re just taking advantage of the notoriety of something else.


Like this is very clear as mud.

Well, it’s good to know right good to know but if anyone wants to go even down an even deeper rabbit hole.

Do read that you’ll get you’ll get a link in the next email about it.

So what do we have next.

Google have revamped the SEO starter guide, which is interesting they’ve halved it in size.

And they’ve made it much simpler for a beginner to understand or a beginner to intermediate, which I think is really good.

I mean there’s not much to cover in there that you know it’s not a new update is it’s just repurposing the same content but the interesting thing is getting rid of that half because of a few reasons not to overcomplicate things.

And also because some things with technology kind of being dealt with, whether it’s through plugins like ours or whether it’s on Google side with how to read that stuff.

But it was, it was good to know that it’s done I know that advanced SEO is like why is it gone.

Dumber, but it hasn’t it’s just not for them.

I think sometimes you have to write.

You have to not get too complex or detailed, or even nuanced with your instructions to people at the beginner end of the scale, because it’s a lot to keep track of, and if you mess up any of the foundational points in your head.

Any more advanced stuff will start to not make sense.

Or if you skip over a foundational part and go straight to the advanced, you don’t understand the mechanics of why this is what it is.

Then I think the problem that you run into as people start making leaps of judgment and logic leaps that land them on not solid ground and things get messed up and there’s weird, weird interpretations, it’s best if you say less.

There’s less to misinterpret.

Yeah, exactly.

And which is, I’m talking about less to interpret you know that’s what Google have been doing this month which leads us to our next story of what’s a factor, what’s a signal what’s a system, and I don’t know if anyone has been looking at discussions on Twitter or not, or months and you’ve got people like Ryan Jones, who you know well who has been getting into discussions as well.

Well it first kind of started from a tweet, I think it was by Danny Sullivan or from the Search Liaison that said, call web vitals aren’t a ranking factor.

Now, other people may disagree with that and go how can you say that you’ve been telling us all this time about speed performance introducing CWV, making sure telling us, make sure everything’s better faster.

And then you’ve got that INP trying to get into green just then.

Why should we care if CWV isn’t a factor.

Well, he kind of answered that in there we look at many things and not one thing.

And it might not be a direct ranking factor but then they kind of, again, add fuel to the fire.

They say that it’s not a factor to signal.

And it’s kind of goes into like lawyer talk at that point.

Do you know what I mean?

What’s the interpretation of a word?

What is the word that you should use?

And I even I even made that gift myself when I was talking to Jarno funnily enough about this, you know, everyone’s pointing at different things of what is a signal ranking and system.

Again, overthinking right saying too much trying to interpret every word just.

I think when Google talks about ranking factors, they mean the actual algorithm, which to be fair, they don’t even know what that is at this point.

The contributor, the signal that Core Web Vitals is sending is.

All of those things make up fast page load and good user experience.

So, well, the Core Web Vitals themselves individually are not part of the algorithm officially.

We all know that your page speed and the user experience are ranking factors.

So Core Web Vitals explain to you the different things that go into a good user experience so that you can fix that.

That’s why it’s important.

But once you start.

Google has always spoken in a very Clintonian sort of way.

You have to semantically dissect everything they say and look at the words that are used in the context that they are used.

And that is really the only thing that those will be applicable towards.

They don’t.

They’re not in the business of giving away the secret sauce, assuming they know what the secret sauce is at this point.

So are Core Web Vitals signals or are they ranking factors?

Google says it’s not.

We all know that it is clearly important because we can see a change in how we rank when your Core Web Vitals go in the tank, because that means there’s something wrong with the site.

It’s slow.

The crawlers are having problems with it.

The users are having problems with it.

And when the users have problems with the site, Google is not going to recommend your site to the users because they want the users to be happy.

So it’s all it all goes into this mishash of how they’re going to rank things.

Just because Google says this is not officially part of the algorithm doesn’t mean that they’re not looking at it.

And it doesn’t mean you can ignore it.

It’s weird because as you were saying secret sauce in my head, my analogy was going to I was thinking about McDonald’s fries, for example, and the secret and the actual source, the Big Mac sauce.

And it is people try to replicate it and you can’t get it exact.

But does that mean that the sources are pretty sure it ‘s Russian dressing with relish?

I’m sure it is.

But like, for example, if you close your eyes and you eat McDonald’s fries, you know that’s McDonald’s fries quite I would be able to I think I’m that confident I’ll be able to distinguish that fries from another fries.

But the other fries are still fries.

It’s still fries and it’s still edible and it’s still very tasty.

But McDonald’s have that specific recipe on it.

But that doesn’t mean that no fries aren’t good fries.

Maybe it’s a bad example.

Maybe it is.

I don’t know.

Maybe I just like fries.

But you know, it’s one of those you can’t unless it’s clearly this is just a raw potato and you’ve not done anything with it.

You’ve not put it in the oven.

You’re not put anything around it nor seasoning on it.

It’s not proper fries.

But I guess it’s a potato.

They’re both potatoes.

Now we’re into entities.

We should get away from this, shouldn’t we?

I feel like we could go a lot deeper on the potato analogy.

Maybe we’ll work on that.

So what else have we got?

Well, Google’s taking stuff away again, aren’t they?

This is an interesting one.

So web stories evolved from AMP.

And I know everyone likes to hate on AMP and AMP is being kind of lost to the sands of time at this point.

That would explain why they’re taking away web stories.

Web stories are a complicated, pain in the butt way of generating effectively a text based HTMLized kind of reel or Instagram story, except it’s on Google and it’s kind of on AMP and Google’s putting it in their cache so they can serve it faster, which is what they did with AMP, which is why AMP was AMP.

The point is, though, it was hard to do.

There was no easy way to do this.

And it wasn’t generating.

It wasn’t generating enough revenue.

I looked at Google’s development site and I remember when they launched this, they were kind of twisting the arms of big news publishers to go into and invest heavily in these web stories.

And we’ll link to you.

We’ll use you as a case study.

One of the primary case studies was Vice.

Vice is shutting down this week.

So clearly that went well for them.

I think long story short, is it bad that they’re going away?


Is anyone going to miss them?


It’s a shame.

It’s a shame.

That’s what happens, doesn’t it?

But yeah, web stories.

It’s like, do they like the news or not like the news?

But we’ll see.

Probably next month they’ll have brought it back like FAQ snippets, right?

Yeah, I don’t think they will, though, because I don’t think there’s I think they’re going to just lean into the reels and the Instagram stories and the things that already exist that people are actually using and monetizing.

I just don’t think enough.

I don’t think there was enough adoption of these web stories to make them viable.

Which is good, though.

A little more real estate for everyone else as well.



So what’s next?


Haven’t heard that in a couple of months because nothing’s been updated or nothing’s turned.

But one thing that was interesting this month was a lot of debate about classifiers and timings on do I wait?

What do I do?

If I get if I got hit by helpful contents update and I do and I did everything I needed to theoretically the next day, do I have to wait until Google does something again updates the algorithm and in short the answer is no.

If you were to do something, everything you needed to do within 24 hours, well, at least what what Search Liaison saying you should be able to recover without waiting for what’s going to happen next.

And if you continue to do stuff in a positive way, the classifier runs continuously and therefore the quicker you do things, the quicker you’ll recover theoretically.

But you have to do the right things.

You have to do things that will actually make your content more helpful, not just rearrange the deck chairs on the Titanic.

Yeah, well, what’s the right thing here then?

So, so there’s no interpretation.

I mean, your content not crap.


So it’s interesting to see a lot of people who are saying I’ve not recovered.

I’ve done everything I can.

But part of me also says, well, an algorithm is a computer and it’s checking on you.

So clearly you’ve not done what it wants you to do.

Oh, I’ve covered when I’ve done everything that I can sounds an awful lot like my children when they say, I can’t find my shoes for school.

I looked everywhere.

And without fail, I will say, if I go check in your room under your bed, will I find your shoes?


Did you look everywhere.


Did you look there.



It just, it seems like a thing a kid would say.

Clearly, clearly if you have not recovered, you have not done the right things.

So you have not done everything.

The HCU is about helpful content.

If you got hit, your content was not helpful.

Therefore, make your content helpful.


I think one thing he didn’t answer though, or they didn’t answer whoever was behind the tweet that day was if you did everything you needed to and you completed your list today, how long it would be until that recovery happens.

There’s no, there was no set timeline.

So if the classifier is running all the time, then I guess it would be how long will it take the crawler to grab your data, recalculate it, and then determine that you’ve done enough to start seeing a change.

So if they’re looking at, let’s pretend that we know what they’re doing.

Let’s pretend they’re looking at the average of the content throughout the entirety of your site.

That means it’ll have to crawl all of the content on your site or at least enough of it to count as, you know, 50% plus one or whatever it is their magic number they’re looking for.

And everything that they’ve looked at has to add up to the right number.

I’m sure they know exactly how many pieces of content they have on your site has submitted to the index right if they know the total they know the magic number for that percentage.

They’ve got to recrawl everything and you’ve got to hit the magic number.

Do you know what the magic number is?


Are they going to tell you?

Also, no.

Just go through all of your content, all of the content that they might be looking at, and make sure that it’s helpful.

If you have not touched every single piece of content to ensure that it is meeting that standard that helpful standard, then you have not in fact done everything that you can do.

Yeah, and things like, oh well I’ve connected them to a profile that’s now real, and I’ve done the bio and, you know, I’ve connected all the dots and all the schemes.

I’ve connected them to a profile that’s not real as opposed to the fake one that I was lying about 10 minutes ago so therefore you should totally trust me.

Exactly, exactly.

They know all of that, you know, it doesn’t even, it doesn’t take Google’s algorithm or much to figure out that if there was something written three years ago, and now a new person has written this same piece of content, you’re probably not helping yourself there.

Just, for the record, Google does not look at your site in a vacuum.

It’s what they know about your site is not exactly what is there right now they know everything ever it is like your permanent record from grade school.

They know that you ate paste in kindergarten.

They know that you were had chickenpox and we’re out of school for three weeks in second grade, they know these things and they’re not going to forget and they might hold it against you.

Yes, they will so don’t don’t do anything online is is the lesson which we’ve all failed at already haven’t we.

So, next, new search experiences, but only in the EEA, which is the European Economic Area.

Okay, let’s go with that I mean, it’s pretty small.

Yeah, it’s pretty close in Europe, right, they have changed the rules on what some comparison sites are doing and comparison based searches in search results.

This was via court ruling was it D Mac, I think, the MAC something like that about, you know, monopolizing results on search engines.

So in short, if you are an ecommerce person or you do holidays and comparison, that kind of stuff, all of these things are going to be better for you.

If you’re again, if you’re in Europe.

Oh, it’s the European Economic Area I was right.

Thank you.

That was a good guess So yeah, that’s good.

And it makes things more fair and a bit more democratic on the search, nothing you as the audience will probably need to know nothing you need to change.

Just that if you’re in Europe, it benefits you.

And because of this ruling so thank you judges.

The next update is quite a big one from a techie point of view.

Google have now added support for schema rules around product variants.

In short, if you’ve got a t shirt in different sizes and colors, you can now have better control over the way that structured data is provided to Google.

And that helps you with things like Merchant Center and any other feed that goes with that, and it makes searches much more of a better experience right so you said you were searching for a red dress and it brought up the yellow dresses and even though it’s a small thing.

I’m sure it frustrated you know when just to have that and puts you off the search and you may not go back to my shop as well because you saw that brand that puts you off.

Well it was frustrating and it was actually shoes and I was looking for a specific color a specific variant of a specific type of shoe in my size and I provided all of those things.

And it pulled up a lot of sites where they had my size but they didn’t have that color, or they didn’t have any of the things that I specified except they carried that shoe, and they didn’t even have them in stock, which was also frustrating.

There are, you know, again this all goes back to Google wants to make a satisfying and happy user experience.

And as a user, I am happier when they show me pictures and take me to places that have the thing that I am trying to find.

Yeah, and I think the other thing to think about is that as time moves forward because this is being supported.

If you don’t do it, you won’t be visible in those places.

So if you are selling red shoes and you do not put red, you may not appear in results that are filtered with red, even though the technology can understand that it’s a red shoe from reading the picture and all of that kind of stuff it still may not, because it’s not the structured data you have spoon fed to them, may not be enough.

May not be enough to get you in that search result.

So that’s very important to do.

You didn’t provide that specific information, even though the picture matches, but somebody else did.

So it’s not that you’re not necessarily in the results, but you’re far back because other people did it better.

So, this isn’t a case where you just have to be faster than the slowest gazelle to be eaten by the lion.

Anyway, the point is, you need to do it right, because somebody else is going to do it better and if you want to beat them, you have to at least be as good as they are, if not a little bit better and faster and more what the user wants.

And before we go on to the next one, we did have a user asking a question, what about service variants?

They didn’t say anything about it as very quick answer to that.

But I’m sure when those come out, that will be a wonderful thing to incorporate.


If you do have service variants, my advice is maybe to just adopt the stuff now.

And then when they do click on the switch like they have with product variants, you’re already there.

So that answers that question, even though you didn’t ask it in the question, I’ll let you off, because you have a good username.

So, the last one in the SEO news.

Oh, you’re going to want to talk about this, aren’t you?

Oh yeah, this is why I contributed.

So Reddit and Google are expanding their partnership.

Reddit is selling Google access to the entirety of Reddit’s database, all of the user contributed information for $60 million per year.

And Google is going to use this to train their their language models.

So they’re going to train their AI using content from Reddit.

This is frightening because the intellectual average of the content that’s on Reddit is interesting.

We’ll call it interesting.

My concern is that if the AI is learning about humanity from the, I don’t want to say garbage.

I’m sure some of the comments and posts are very intellectually, you know, wonderful, but a lot of them aren’t.

A lot of them are silly memes.

A lot of them are rude.

There are there are entire groups that are dedicated to hating people or companies.

And if the content that you’re getting is all is all that negative vile, what is the AI going to start saying about things?

Okay, so let’s look at celebrities.

There are, there are hate groups about certain royals, let’s say I know I wanted to say, say one off top of my head and I’m trying not to say the name.

Let’s say there is a royal adjacent person that everybody likes to hate.

Everything that people say about that person that’s in Reddit is going to get learned by this AI and then if you ask the AI in the future, you know, why does everyone hate so and so it’s going to tell you as though it is fact.

All of these nasty things that people have said whether they’re true or not, and that can be applied to companies that can be applied to politicians.

If the prevailing political bias on Reddit is goes leans one way or the other, the AI will adopt that political bias.

I just don’t know that this is a great.

I don’t know that I want the robots learning about humanity from Reddit.

It’s, it’s like having the robots learn about humanity from 4chan.

It is.

I don’t know I see the not the flip side because I get what you mean like that I think the term you’re looking for is degen is degenerative language everywhere, and I get it but unless Google is on a challenge to understand the gender behavior and know what not to do and learn from it to provide a more objective view and understand what opinion is.

I don’t know, because we are complex to learn, aren’t we, especially when we’re hidden behind keyboards.

So it’s a very big challenge for them.

Lisa just commented AI is Xyber 9 and the 80s kids have warned us they have and there’s so many times that the politicians now are proposing things that either have to do with AI or controlling the weather that I just think to myself like, I have seen this movie and it went badly for us.

Why are you considering this there.

Somebody said something about we’re gonna, we’re gonna shoot a rocket into the into the sky and we’re going to figure out how to block the UV light to that global warming, get stopped.

That is literally the premise of Snowpiercer, and the world is plunged into an ice age and everyone dies.

So, you can’t even you can’t even live peacefully in a small space.

There’s only how many are worth of them 1000 and everyone gets an argument so it’s massive.

Yeah, it’s gonna be interesting what they do with it but then obviously this has had snowball effects on the fact that Reddit is having huge uptick in visibility.

It’s ranking for anything.

And like people are laughing at one of the comments was like just post something on Reddit if you want to rank, but like away from that joke that’s literally what happened this month, someone was literally telling people that.

Yeah, was it hello, not HelloFresh that’s brand in the UK Hello something they wrote a post about how they don’t like how Reddit is ranking above you know, independent sites and, and then someone posted it on Reddit and then the Reddit higher, it was like they were living their own inception.

It’s, it’s crazy.

Well, and but you’re kind of at the mercy of the mods in those red in those subreddits the moderators can block people that they don’t want in there so it’s not like as a business you can go into a subreddit that is dedicated to hating you and defend yourself because the moderators could very easily block you.

And then they can be DGEMs as well, we discussed it last month didn’t we were taking away half of the SEO content right.

Yeah, we’ll see.

Basically, we’re speeding towards apocalypse and we’re all going to die.

We are, we are we’re talking about speeding I know that we can chat for ages by everything so I’ll go in other news.

Very quickly, schema has launched version 25, and it adds support certification.

Officially retires the cache link which I actually found really really useful.

Just use instead.

Google search also having issues with recipe sites I don’t know if they’re back they kind of went away.

That’s part of the schema, schema issues in the SERPs a site map book with hyphenated file names got found I think it’s been plugged, and it had nothing to do with WordPress or Yoast XML site maps so don’t worry.

Yandex got sold the 5.2 billion, which sounds like a lot but I think it was a lot less than what it was valued a bit ago or something I don’t know what happened but it was so here that’s the market cap for Google or one of the other search engines that’s really kind of peanuts.

It is I would like to possess but yeah I don’t think anyone needs to care much about Yandex unless you are based in or operating Russia, because I think it got bought by a big Russian player or something.

So if you’re, it’s good if you’re in Russia, operating in Russia is probably the only thing I know.

Google said they’re going to clarify EEAT and quality rated guidelines documentation which will be interesting.

I’m sure a lot of techies will have lots of complaints or interprets one sentence in the 79 page document differently and cause a massive Twitter explosion.

Google confirms a fixed a week long search and indexing that happened at the very beginning of the month it happened for about a week and I think it affected 1% of sites or something, but that was all plugged up.

Machine learning is removing fake reviews.

I would have liked to have talked about this longer, but as there’s not too much to cover really, they’ve been able to get more sophisticated identify fake reviews and been able to deal with stuff on a very big base I think they’ve got rid of 43% of fake reviews in the last year.

Good because a lot of them were fake.

They are, they are and they were good, good riddance.

And lastly, Google will clarify the use of AI to generate content for SEO purposes, which has been basically them thinking since they removed it away from the definition remember from what’s good content make sure it’s human, human produced and they removed it and this is going to be the results of that.

We’ll get through all of that in two minutes.

Crack on to AI news.

Look at this video of three puppies playing in the snow isn’t it lovely, and also not real, which is crazy.

This is Sora that was introduced by open AI.

It’s not available to the normal people yet, but some high end influencers, videographers, designers that kind of stuff to understand everything about it and see where the weaknesses are.

But it’s been interesting to see some of the examples, I don’t know if you’ve seen any of them, like beyond what OpenAI put in that page you know with the woman walking through Japan, or something, were frighteningly good.

They are, and a thing to note here is that this is this is version one, like, this is the worst that you’re going to see it.


So, if you were there they’re cherry picking what they’re showing us so it could be.

We’re highly dependent on the inputs that receives, but we don’t know that yet but what they are choosing to release is clearly very good.

But remember, Google faked one of their product launches so we don’t know that that opening eyes done that, but we also.

I’ve become a very distrustful person.

But it’s interesting to see what people will do with these videos because you could actually now produce videos that are helpful, right, if you want to go back to Google and how it’s interprets them, you know if you are talking about taking a dog out for a walk in the snow why wouldn’t this video make sense even if it has imperfections from a machine.

I read a post about a video that a videographer just dissects all the videos that they’ve released and if you look at everything closely you can see things that people don’t walk exactly on the floor.

You know some people just have three arms, you know as they’re walking along it’s lots of imperfections but again, this is the worst, and it’s not even open to the puts that are working on that right now.

And remember that ChatGPT only came out just over a year ago.

So what’s this going to be like in a year.

That’s the crazy thing.

The speed of change and speed of developments is just my brain cannot even.

It’s, weird and I’m, I also feel for video producers as well because this will cut a lot of stuff out but hopefully provide an opportunity for them to be so because they know all the terms, they’ll know the perfect, the perfect command to put in whereas I would, I just say put three dogs in the snow, but I know that a videographer will put in a small essay to describe the same scene.

So that might be something to think about as well.

Bard has now re renamed itself to Gemini which should have been done on day one, because I don’t know anyone that thinks that Bard is a good, whoever, I’m sure the person who made the product name is no longer there.

There’s a new name now is part of a new name, and this was announced the same day as Sora getting released.

And they also announced that 1.5 is coming out, and there’s a nice little graph showing off how much more powerful and faster and cheaper, they are than OpenAI.

So, it’s going to be interesting once that all gets released how that’s going to play out, but they’re basically claiming that wipes the floor of ChatGPT for, I feel like this is always going to be a case of, you know, upping each other, which is probably good for development I mean having a competitor does tend to push you to innovate and make your product better so yay, yay for competition.

Yeah, I’m going to be interested to see what they do and how fast they do it as well because obviously they’ve had to become part of the race and talking about becoming part of the race I like how all of these stories are connected it’s quite it’s quite good.

OpenAI are developing an AI web search.

It makes sense I mean if it Google’s going to come after OpenAI.

You know, flagship product.

It makes sense that when you get big enough and strong enough you go after theirs.

And if they believe that their technologies better and that they’ve got a better, you know, a better mouse trap, then they should they should enter the, they should throw their hat in the ring and become a competitor because, let’s be honest Google doesn’t really have.

I know been tries.

You know, bless their hearts, they do try.

Everybody else tries but Google still has like 97% of the of the market so let’s get somebody else in there let’s see if we can disrupt this a little bit and make Google defend their position, rather than just right on their laurels.

They should, because search volume, Barry Schwartz did a survey on Twitter and I think on LinkedIn I think is combined bit of data together that less than 20% of SEO is or people who participated in this, think that nothing’s going to happen with search results, and actually nearly 40% think of search is changing by over 25%, which actually goes back to OpenAI making the web search, making it more interesting they’re probably reading this stuff as well going.

If I was in Google I would be, I’d be my heart would be racing a little bit faster at the moment.

Decide what to do, but that’s the search team right not the AI team they can they can they can do their own stuff but it’s going to be very interesting to see how accurate this is in a year, I mean we’ll be talking about it hopefully in December talking about what actually happened over the year.

So, I don’t think Google is actually going to sweat about this because I think the, I think the way the SERPs are changing is going to make it so that the only way you can appear above the fold in a premium position is PPC, which is only going to drive up revenues.

This is maybe bad for organic marketers I think for from Google’s perspective this is going to be revenue enhancing.

Yeah, I mean, it’s going to be very, very interesting and again, now, I mean, the last AI is again about Google doing something that made something called Gemma.

Oh, I’m just seeing that there’s a play on Gemma, Gemma maybe I don’t know.

This is like a lighter laptop friendly open model AI, I don’t want to define the term open model, as opposed to open source, because there is a kind of, it’s not open source.

It’s at least an open license model, an open license model which has its own meaning, which is, this is what I copied and pasted from their own site.

It allows the free use but restricts it from being used in harmful ways.

Yes, that’s nice kind of open source but don’t you can’t make adult.

Like, I guess with

That feels subjective like what’s harmful.

I’m not getting into that now.

We’ve got WordPress needs to do.

There’s not too much, except for WordPress 6.5 beta one is ready for testing.

And for anyone who doesn’t do beta testing.

This is probably a sign that you’ve got a few weeks until 6.5 is actually going to be released, maybe a couple of months, depending on what those bug fixes are.

But there are some cool, cool ones to look at such as you can upload your own fonts really easily.

There’s plugin dependencies which I think is very cool.

In short, if you, if you’re using actually we can use it with Yoast if you’re using some of the premium products you do require the core product in there as well like free and premium at the same time, and they use dependencies but some plugins can’t even work without another plugin being there.

So this creates and closes hole on that.

And as well as that we’ve got like cool overlay things for all of their themes and stuff like that making all the blocks, which easier, more intuitive, and much better performing.

Lastly, we’ll end up with Yoast news.

Well Yoast news, we can tell you that there’s a lot of improved AI results in the next version, especially in non English.

There is a release somewhere on our blog on our releases blog that tells you all the specifics of what has been improved.

There’ll be even more in our next release.

And lastly in the Shopify app there’s some minor bug fixes and stuff, but it might be worth noting even though it’s not on a bullet point here that product variants stuff that we did talk about before is coming in both our WooCommerce and our Shopify apps.

I can’t confirm the date, but it will be soon.

And we’ll sure to let you know on X or Twitter or LinkedIn, whoever.

So with that, where can you see us in upcoming events.

So Carolyn you’re at PubCon on the fourth, which is only a few days away you’re speaking aren’t you?

I am I’m speaking on the fifth I’m talking about WordPress.

AI, empowering your SEO through WordPress plugins that are powered by, wait, empowering your SEO with AI powered WordPress plugins I’m pretty sure that’s the title.

That’s the title.

That’s a tongue twister slides I’m sure it’s going to be good it’s going to be good though.

I’m very useful right is that they’re going to be shared publicly or is this an in an in house PubCon thing just in case.

No, I think eventually they do release it but they.

It takes a little while to be released but I will write up a summary of my talk and provide my slides later probably on the Yoast website.

So I’ll make sure I’ll make sure you guys are covered.

Don’t worry.

We’ll both be at WordCamp Asia representing if you’re in the area.

I’m also going to be SMX Munich, just after WordCamp Asia, neither of us will be at CloudFest but I know that Carol will be there and I believe you will this maybe Taco will be there.

And I’ll also be at BrightonSEO in Brighton in April, one that got missed in the middle was Women in Tech SEO.

There’s an event in London, and I know that there’s several of us there representing Women in Tech SEO.

We have one in Chicago that’s also not on the list.

The Tastemakers conference and I want to say it’s the 15th and 16th of March.

It’s in Chicago and it’s for food bloggers, so that should be fine.

Hopefully I’ll get a lot of fun food.

Well let’s chat, about it again next week.

So the next one is the 26th of March at 4pm Central European time.

We’ve got nine minutes, because we always blabber, or do we blabber, or there’s a lot, there’s a lot on right isn’t there, I’m sorry Nynke.

Okay, it’s okay I think we were all distracted a little bit by all the McDonald’s and fries things going on and getting deep into all the AI troubles that are coming our way.

No it’s fine I think it was a great update, and I’m sorry about everyone experiencing issues with the stream.

In the beginning of this update I was celebrating that we had the highest registrations in a few months.

It might be that Crowdcast can handle our popularity on this platform.

I haven’t heard any buffering, so I think the recording will be clean.

The recording is mostly, is usually clean so please watch the recording if you missed a few important bits.

Talking about important bits we have a lot of questions, and we have one question with the most far most upvotes and obviously it’s about AI because that’s what people are worried about.

And the question is, will Google punish ChatGPT generated pages?



Not today.

I don’t think I don’t think they’re going to be able to tell.

Not yet.

I think, I think if you’re good about how you write it, I think, I think no one can tell.

I would also maybe say, as soon as they release that using AI for SEO content thing that Google did mention that they were going to do, read that with a fine tooth comb.

If you are generating pages with ChatGPT and that and you are guilty of using AI content, then read it and then if there’s anything that’s telling you against, just update it a bit and make sure that it’s got enough useful stuff in there to be helpful for them.

So I think this is like using stock photography and photos that you shouldn’t, that, you know, don’t use stock photography.

If you take it and run it through a filter, it changes it a little bit.

So be be smart about how you use AI to write your content.

If you’re generating something that is bad or inaccurate, or has silly mistakes in it.

That is ultimately what’s going to give you away and the fact that it was generated by AI isn’t why you’re being punished.

The fact that it’s not good is why you’re being punished.

And of course there are tools like Yoast SEO if you want to do some checks on readability and SEO and yeah, be helpful.

Make sure you at least check all the other boxes I think I think.

Okay, let’s go to the next question.

We have a bit of time.

This is about cornerstone content, one of the principles behind also the Yoast SEO plugin and how and site structure of course.

The question is how do I choose which web pages should be my cornerstone content?

Go for it.

Yeah, I would say when you’re evaluating articles or pages, look at the content is you’re looking for foundational content.

If a reader knew nothing else about your site or your topic, what is the most important thing that they should read to understand what you’re about.

That is a cornerstone.

The cornerstone is foundation.

So, someone starting from scratch they don’t know anything.

What is the piece of content they need to know.

What is the piece of content they need to know about this particular facet of your, of your topic.

So let’s say you sell candy.

They need to know about your candy making process.

They need to know, let’s say you make jujubes.

They need to know about your core jujube production process and what jujubes are and they need to know maybe what your recipe is or what you include or don’t include, but they need the core stuff.

They don’t need fluffy things there for entertainment purposes.

Foundational knowledge that is cornerstone content.

Well, I have nothing to add to that.

That was pretty good.

That was impressive.


Thanks, Caroline.

Let me see, we have one question about the helpful content update.

That’s, a topic that is here for a long time already.

Can we give the top three of things that people should do to recover from the helpful content updates.

The first one’s in the question, which is, which is the content itself.

Like, just try and think about it as, as you’re trying to introduce someone you’ve never met in a restaurant, you’re out with friends and you’re trying to explain everything on your site.

Would you go as far and if you were to read that page that you are even considering may not be helpful if you read that and then said it out loud to that person with that person actually learn something much, but they find it helpful if the answers no then.

It’s not it’s not helpful.

And also, old content may be helpful right as well so it doesn’t mean just getting rid of old content you need to understand what’s what’s actually not actually helpful at all.

And if it isn’t merge it with something else or remove it completely.

The second thing I would say is, don’t put too many ads on your page, so that I know we’ve all been to those sites I’m not going to say any specific brand but you know you can only read like this little part of the screen and because everything else is ads and you don’t care about anything else.

That’s not helpful as well.

But yeah, Carolyn you’re going to add.

I’m just going to add a while ago in Google News so this is for the news algorithm not the general algorithm, they had a metric where they looked at the amount of uninterrupted text that you had.

If we didn’t have a certain amount of text that was not interrupted by ads, they would not include that article at all so I know that they are capable of looking at spans of uninterrupted text, and they like spans of uninterrupted text.

So if you’re writing two sentences and then have big ads and two sentences and have a couple big ads Daily Mail.

You know, that’s not going to rank well.

That’s a, that’s a really practical way of looking at it as well.

Look at the structure and what else is on your pages beside the content you put there on there on the topic.


I think we have time for one more question.

I think we have a few questions with seven upvotes and I think it is nice to look into schema for a bit because this is nice topic I think for also the people worried about tech SEO, and all that.

The question is, if writing content about the latest information, which schema would be more suitable blog post or news article.

Well, I know you’re from news Carolyn but I don’t know I’ll go from a more not dumb, but less experienced place.

Is it worthy of being in the news.


The answer is no, and it’s a blog article.

If there’s your writing about, oh here’s, here’s a new, here’s a new attraction that’s opened up in Paris and I’m writing about travel to me that’s bit of a blog article, and the news article may come from the actual source of the building.

But what would you.

I think the difference between a news article and a blog or blog post comes from the source.

Are you a news outlet, do you regularly write news, does Google see you as a news outlet.

If the answer to that is no, then it’s a blog post and you are a blogger.

If we, if we phrase the criteria in what do you think.

And do you think it’s newsworthy I think we’re going to end up with a lot of things that are mistakenly marked news because, especially public relations people and certain marketers think that everything is newsworthy.

My store is having a sale, it should be in the newspaper notion.

So, look at look at what kind of publication you are if you are universally recognized as being a source of news or a news publication, then by all means make that a news article.

If you just randomly occasionally write about things, or you’re not considered a journalistic news outlet, I would call it a blog posting.

I think that’s clear it’s it’s helpful that people at least can start with themselves instead of the news article but just think of your own role on the web and how you provide that.

Okay article, it will, especially if you install our News SEO plugin, it will create a news site map and that news site map empties out every 48 hours so unless you are making new news articles.

Within that 48 hour span eventually that will empty and it will become blank.

And basically, you will not come and look at it.

Yeah, it’s basically useless to add news article schema, if you’re not actually publishing more news and updating stuff.



That’s it we have more questions left but we don’t have any time left so I know I disagree, I want to answer one more, right, is what you can pick one.

I’d like to delete some pages.

Is it okay to use the 410 code for those deleted pages.





I just asked for 10 up votes I felt like an obligation to make sure I answered that before the end.


Thanks for that Alex.

Well, this was the SEO update of February.

You won’t see me in a while, because I will be hopefully delivering a child somewhere in the end of April, but Taco and Florie will be here to take over hosting from me with obviously Alex and Carolyn in the industry.

I hope you all enjoyed today’s update.

You can already sign up for the next one end of March through the button below.

And, yeah, see you later this year I guess.

See you soon.

Thanks for coming everyone.

Bye y’all thanks for being here.


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Presented by

Carolyn Shelby, Principal SEO at Yoast

Carolyn Shelby

Carolyn is our Principal SEO. She leverages more than two decades of hands-on experience optimizing websites for maximum visibility and engagement. She specializes in enterprise and news SEO, and is passionate about demystifying the intricacies of search engine optimization for businesses of all sizes.

Alex Moss, Principal SEO at Yoast

Alex Moss

Alex is our Principal SEO. With a background in technical SEO, he has been working in Search since its infancy and also has years of knowledge of WordPress, developing several plugins over the years. He is involved within many aspects of Yoast from product roadmap to content strategy.