Yoast SEO 11.6: HowTo Schema update and UI changes

Yoast SEO 11.6 is out today. Of course, we did the regular round of bug fixing, but the focus of this release is two-fold: a new, much easier to use tabbed interface for the meta box and an updated HowTo structured data content block for WordPress. Find out all about Yoast SEO 11.6!

UX improvements to the meta box

This summer, we’re steadily improving the user interface and user experience of the Yoast SEO meta box. As this is the spot where you probably spend quite some time, we have an obligation to make it easy to use and discover.

After moving the focus keyphrase field to the top of the meta box in Yoast SEO 11.3 and introducing the new mobile snippet preview in Yoast SEO 11.4, you’ll now find a new menu at the top of the box, including a new set of tabs. As of today, this is how the meta box looks in the Classic Editor:

In Yoast SEO 11.6, you’ll notice that we’ve changed the old vertical alignment of menu items to a horizontal one. This makes it easier on the eyes and improves the findability of the features.

In addition, you’ll notice that the old content optimization tab in the meta box is now two tabs: one called SEO and the other Readability. Both have smiley icons that light up showing you the status of that particular post. The naming of the tabs should be self-explanatory, but inside the SEO tab you’ll find the snippet preview and SEO-related checks. The Readability tab has everything related to improving the language of your post.

Look forward to more graphical changes soon!

Revamped HowTo structured data implementation

The free Yoast SEO structured data content blocks for the WordPress block editor make it incredibly easy for you to add specific content with automatically attached Schema structured data. Want to build an FAQ and get those cool new featured snippets from Google? Use our FAQ content block. Want to enhance your how-to guides with valid structured data and build a page without breaking a sweat? Use our HowTo Schema structured data content blocks.

In Yoast SEO 11.6, you’ll see that the new HowTo blocks are nicely following Google’s latest changes. In addition, all the structured data code generated will now also end up in the graph of your website. This tells search engines that your how-to page is connected to the rest of your site. For more information on this, please see the Yoast SEO 11.0 release post or read our Schema documentation.

An empty HowTo content block in the block editor. Just fill in the fields to get going

Schema fixes

The updated HowTo content blocks are the star of this release, but we’ve also fixed several Schema related bugs. For instance, we fixed a bug where the Schema @id for Person turned out to be incorrect on posts when author archives where disabled, or the one where the Schema would contain WebPage instead of CollectionPage for a latest posts homepage and the static posts page type. Another one concerned a bug where the Organization and Article Schema nodes outputted incorrectly when a website didn’t set the name and/or logo of the organization.

Security fix

Yoast SEO 11.6 also fixes a security issue regarding term pages in WordPress. Unfiltered code was allowed in some fields. This, however, does not pose a problem for single user sites. In specific cases, on multisite installs, this might become an issue because of the way user roles function.

Update to Yoast SEO 11.6

Yoast SEO 11.6 brings more structured data enhancements, including a much improved HowTo structured data content block. We’re continuing our work on the Schema standard and hope to have more to show soon. Don’t forget to check out the blocks.

Coming up next!

34 Responses to Yoast SEO 11.6: HowTo Schema update and UI changes

  1. Hamdi
    Hamdi  • 5 years ago

    After updated YOAST 11.6 the Meta Box didn’t appear in WordPress. How can I find that Meta Box?

  2. Roderick Hristov
    Roderick Hristov  • 5 years ago

    Does the News Article Schema support the ‘datelib’ tag which is a must for me?

  3. Taylor
    Taylor  • 5 years ago

    As soon as I updated to 11.6 I got an error message across the top of my site: Notice: Trying to get property of non-object in /home/wholegre/public_html/wp-content/plugins/wordpress-seo/frontend/schema/class-schema-utils.php on line 25

    I deactivated it and reactivated it but it’s still there. Any idea how to fix this? Thank you!

  4. dheerajraletta
    dheerajraletta  • 5 years ago

    the new interface is so nice and good

  5. Sergio Ceccherini
    Sergio Ceccherini  • 5 years ago

    I presume the block editor is the Gutenberg? If Gutenberg is being forced upon us, then as much as I’m enthusiastic about Yoast and WordPress, I’ll have to move elsewhere. Believe me I don’t want to, but I tried the block editor. Apart from the the fact it’s infernally complicated (we’re not all web masters), it messed up my whole site. Fortunately I was able to install a disable Gutenberg plugin which set things back to normal. I’m not the only one with this problem. Take a look at the overwhelming negative reviews here. https://wordpress.org/support/plugin/gutenberg/reviews/
    I live in hope that a solution will be found. Kindest regards, Sergio.

  6. john John
    john John  • 5 years ago

    Please how do I update to the latest 11.6
    Will there be option to update on my dashboard or how

  7. Kazem
    Kazem  • 5 years ago


    after upgrade to version 11.6, post type schema type is WebPage inested Artice. How to Fix this problem?

    • Edwin Toonen

      Hi Kazem. Are you sure? If I run this page through Google’s structured data test it validates nicely as type Article –> is part of Webpage –> is part of Website. Could you give an example to check?

    PANKAJ BUDHWANI  • 5 years ago

    Is there any plugin for schema update also?
    I bought Local SEO from Yoast for my website but still confused how to implement that for multiple locations.
    Please help!

  9. roger.svensson
    roger.svensson  • 5 years ago

    My WP says that it has updated to 11.6 but it looks the same. Cleared all the caches but no difference.

    • Edwin Toonen

      Hi Roger. Did you manage to update yet?

  10. Ashish Mohta
    Ashish Mohta  • 5 years ago

    Any chances of the new Schema feature coming to Classic Editor? I don’t see it there.

    • Edwin Toonen

      Hi Ashish. Unfortunately, the structured data content blocks are only available in the block editor. The classic does not have the infrastructure for us to do this. Sorry!

      • Anna Wong
        Anna Wong  • 5 years ago

        Bought Yoast SEO Pro 11.6 just so it could screw up my classic editor and force me to use Gutenberg. Your previous versions worked fine with classic editor now my sites a mess. Time to write an article to our 3 million readers ” Thanks for no warning”

        • Edwin Toonen

          Hi Anna. Sorry to hear that, but I’m not sure what you mean. We don’t force you to use Gutenberg? If you have a Premium account, please contact our support team and explain what’s going on. They’d love to help you: https://yoast.com/help/support/#premium

  11. fabienb
    fabienb  • 5 years ago

    Could you give the users the option to choose between tabs and accordion?
    I appreciate this UI gives you more focus on the task, but I’d rather click once to open the accordion and see everything at a glance than having to click click click click click to jump back and forth between tabs.

    I adjust while writing so to me the single view was a lot more useful, but since it’s subject to everyone’s taste, just add it as an option. Please.


    • Edwin Toonen

      Hi Fabien. I understand what you mean. Unfortunately, no interface is perfect for everyone and we try to find common ground for the majority of our users.

  12. Maria
    Maria  • 5 years ago

    My blog crashed after this update ?

    • Edwin Toonen

      Hi Maria. I’m sorry to hear that, can you give me more information on what happened?

  13. Daniel
    Daniel  • 5 years ago

    Appreciated changes, especially in regard to schema. It’s also great to see UX getting attention as more features are added.

    Thanks for the update!

    • Edwin Toonen

      Great to hear, Daniel!

  14. Kenny Volk
    Kenny Volk  • 5 years ago

    Greatly appreciated the improved UX … thanks!

    • Edwin Toonen

      Thanks, Kenny! Glad you like it.

  15. Marcus
    Marcus  • 5 years ago

    Sounds like another great update just one quick question. If I have existing Yoast How To blocks on my blog will they update to the new version or do I have to add a new block and transfer the data?

    • Alexander
      Alexander  • 5 years ago

      The How To schema will update automatically.

  16. Shiv Shankar Sharma
    Shiv Shankar Sharma  • 5 years ago

    Really, the new interface looks awesome!

    • Edwin Toonen

      Thanks, Shiv!

  17. Vince
    Vince  • 5 years ago

    My website pages and post was gone all on Google in version 11.5.

  18. Harry
    Harry  • 5 years ago

    The only reason I moved from Rank Math to Yoast in my personal blog is because of the way you guys handle schema. At first I was having issue to understand the hooks, but now I love it. So much flexibility, great job folks.

    • Edwin Toonen

      Thanks for the compliment, Harry!

  19. George
    George  • 5 years ago

    The new interface looks great, I will update as soon as possible.

    One question regarding the new snippet preview: Our site gets almost only traffic from desktop computers. Is there a way to select the desktop preview as default?

    • Anna
      Anna  • 5 years ago

      Dear Yoast team,

      I came across this post while googling for a way to enable desktop preview as default.

      We have a site about coding and receive mainly desktop traffic so we always have to click the desktop button when writing or changing a post.

      We also would appreciate a feature to make desktop preview the default. Would be great to get feedback here from a Yoast representative.

    • Peter
      Peter  • 5 years ago

      I’m looking for the same function because due to the topic my site has 95% desktop traffic. So after every edit I have to switch the snippet preview manually.

      I didn’t find a setting for this. Is there a hook or filter that could be modified?