Yoast SEO 12.0: UX improvements and new Portuguese checks

Contrary to what the version number might suggest, Yoast SEO 12.0 isn’t a huge release. It’s simply the next release in our current release schedule, but after hitting 11.9 a couple of weeks ago we had no choice but to go for 12.0 ;). That’s how it goes! But don’t worry, there’s enough interesting stuff in this release, including two new checks for the Portuguese language.

Continuing UX improvements

Over the past couple of release, we’ve been steadily improving the way we handle validation. In the past, it wasn’t always clear if the stuff you input in fields was formatted the way it should. There wasn’t too much feedback from the plugin. We’re now actively improving this and looking at each field to see what should go in there. So if something should be a URL, we now verify that what you enter is really formatted as a URL. No longer can you add gibberish in the fields!

In the same vain, we are now updating the document title in the settings whenever we find something wrong with a form. The W3C suggests this technique as a way of improving the accessibility of a page. One of the first things a screen reader encounters on a page is the <title>, so now it can read that to find errors on a page. It can now read these out loud to notify the user. Great, right?

We’ve also improved the wording in several places to make it more clear what something means. For instance, Emily Leffler Schulman suggested to improve the feedback the plugin shows when you haven’t set a focus keyphrase for a post. It used to show a grey Yoast icon with the not very helpful line: SEO: Not available. We’ve changed that to Focus Keyphrase not set. Much more helpful. Don’t forget people: set your focus keyphrase.

The last UX change we’d like to highlight is limiting the width of the meta box. This change, suggested by Louise Ann Apostol, makes sure that the meta box doesn’t overstretch on very large screens.

Portuguese language SEO improvements

As you know, most of our content checks work for every language out there. But some parts of our readability checks are tailored for different languages as not every language is interchangable. We currently support a whole slew of languages in some form or another. We have listed the languages and the features each language supports.

In Yoast SEO 12.0, thanks to Dilmar Ames, we’ve enhanced our support for the Portuguese language. We now support two new checks for Portuguese:

  • Consecutive sentences check: this is the assessment that checks whether multiple sentences in a row begin with the same word;
  • Sentence length check: this assessment checks the length of your sentences to warn you if you use too many long sentences.

We are hard at work adding new languages and improving the ones we already support. Don’t see your language yet? Hang tight, we might get there soon.

Update now to Yoast SEO 12.0

While Yoast SEO 12.0 is not the huge release you might expect if you see that version number, it’s a nice release with quite a few improvements. Please update to the latest version when you are ready.

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37 Responses to Yoast SEO 12.0: UX improvements and new Portuguese checks

  1. Filipe
    Filipe  • 1 month ago

    Unfortunately, the new consecutive sentences check for Portuguese caused an error which doesn’t make the improvement message disappear even after the text is changed. Because of that, Yoast SEO keeps saying that my article’s readability is bad.

  2. Growthstar.co
    Growthstar.co  • 1 month ago

    thanks for sharing latest update and resolving the previous found bugs.

  3. Tim Havinga
    Tim Havinga  • 1 month ago

    After 11.9 comes 12.0, even though it is a minor release? Looks like you guys need a lesson in Semantic Versioning:
    https://github.com/semver/semver/blob/master/semver.md

    It does not matter what your company idea of versioning is, Semantic Versioning is the accepted world-wide standard. It keeps the versioning clear. If I did not read your changelog, I would assume this version had breaking changes.

    • Edwin Toonen

      Hi Tim. I wrote it with a bit of sarcasm as we know how versioning works ;) In this case, however, we thought it best to do it this way. I’ll pass along your feedback to the dev team, though. Thanks for commenting.

  4. Hans G
    Hans G  • 1 month ago

    I really like Yoast Seo, very powerful. But there is one problem that in my opinion is not good in SEO.

    How to make the yoast seo plugin always be above the html header tag. I mean, when I use CSS optimization, JS from other plugins like litespeed, nitropack and others, the results of critical css and inline scripts are always above so that the code from yo seo is getting farther from the header tag

    I do not understand coding, can anyone help with this problem?

  5. Noz
    Noz  • 1 month ago

    Honestly I thought Yoast 12 would bring more major improvements/new additions.. But it doesn’t seem to be that way.

  6. Stemarsblog
    Stemarsblog  • 1 month ago

    Thank you, Yoast! Updated now!

    • Hanneke
      Hanneke  • 1 month ago

      That’s great to hear!

  7. goldenegypttours
    goldenegypttours  • 1 month ago

     It looks good. Thank you for the update.

    • Hanneke
      Hanneke  • 1 month ago

      Thank you!

  8. Arun
    Arun  • 1 month ago

    I really like this blog and Yoast tool very much.
    It helps me to rank my blog and also boost my SEO knowledge as well.
    Thanks!

  9. Versioning_is_hard
    Versioning_is_hard  • 1 month ago

    > but after hitting 11.9 a couple of weeks ago we had no choice but to go for 12.0. That’s how it goes!

    After 9 comes 10.

    PostgreSQL with minor release after 10.9 went to… 10.10 – https://www.postgresql.org/docs/10/release-10-10.html

    Nodejs with minor release after 11.9 went to… 11.10 – https://nodejs.org/en/blog/release/v11.10.0/

    Linux kernel with minor release after 4.9 went to… 4.10 – https://kernelnewbies.org/Linux_4.10

    Are you kidding me?

    • Hanneke
      Hanneke  • 1 month ago

      Hi there,
      This is the type of versioning that we stick to, everyone has their own way!

  10. Asharam Seervi
    Asharam Seervi  • 1 month ago

    Hey, as you said, “we had no choice left after hitting 11.9”, it is 12.0 and still like a minor version to me, as well as everyone. In order to improve the product, a release cycle is a must, without looking at the version number. That is int that, we have no choice left to improve it as well.

    Team/Community can opt for ‘Semantic Versioning’ like 3-dot version numbers, for eg 12.0.1 where number denotes as MAJOR.MINOR.PATCH.
    What says?

    • Edwin Toonen

      Hi Asharam. The wording was sarcastic ;) We know how versioning works.

      • aaron86
        aaron86  • 1 month ago

        Looks like Yoast is never going to be allowed to be sarcastic again! LOL

  11. Olx Ads
    Olx Ads  • 1 month ago

    Yoast is my favourite plugin am using for my 3 websites. Thanks again.

    • Hanneke
      Hanneke  • 1 month ago

      Great to hear that! Thanks!

  12. Somnath Jadhav
    Somnath Jadhav  • 1 month ago

    Thank you for the updates. Though there are not many updates, it looks fine.

  13. Andrew Wilder
    Andrew Wilder  • 1 month ago

    We have an agency that maintains approximately 300 websites, which of course includes helping manage updates. Although I appreciate the active development of Yoast SEO, the grueling march of the never-ending, bi-weekly update cycle is downright exhausting! I would much prefer it if you did monthly updates, and then issued point-point releases on an as-needed basis for urgent bug-fixes.

    This would also help ensure that known bugs can have fixes rolled out faster, too. For example, when there was a schema bug in 11.4, it wasn’t scheduled to be fixed until 11.6, because that’s when it fit into the update schedule… we had to wait a full month for the fix.

    (Also, why didn’t you just call this release v11.10?)

  14. Peter
    Peter  • 1 month ago

    Oh Hell, I think, there are too many updates…

  15. Randy
    Randy  • 1 month ago

    “…but after hitting 11.9 a couple of weeks ago we had no choice but to go for 12.0.”

    Um, really? After hitting what was actually numbered version 11.9.0 you didn’t think it was possible to go to any other number than 12.0?

    You guys are far less imaginative than I thought.

    • Edwin Toonen

      That was a bit of sarcasm ;)

  16. Flavio
    Flavio  • 1 month ago

    Almost one update a week. Won’t it be too much? After the 7.0 bug every time you make me tremble with these continuous updates.

    • Andrew Wilder
      Andrew Wilder  • 1 month ago

      I totally agree! Although I appreciate the active development of Yoast SEO, the grueling march of the never-ending, bi-weekly update cycle is downright exhausting! I would much prefer it if they did monthly scheduled updates, and then issued point-point releases on an as-needed basis for urgent bug-fixes.

  17. Andrew Wilder
    Andrew Wilder  • 1 month ago

    We have an agency that maints approximately 300 websites, which of course includes helping manage updates. Although I appreciate the active development of Yoast SEO, the grueling march of the never-ending, two-week update cycle is downright exhausting! I would much prefer it if you did monthly updates, and then issued point-point releases on an as-needed basis for urgent bug-fixes.

    This would also help ensure that known bugs can actually be fixed _faster_, too. For example, when there was a schema bug in 11.4, it wasn’t scheduled to be fixed until 11.6, because that’s when it fit into the update schedule. . so we had to wait a full month for the fix.

    (Also, why didn’t you just call this release v11.10?)

  18. tsooj
    tsooj  • 1 month ago

    well, after 11.9 comes 11.10, you did not have to switch to 12…

  19. Jon
    Jon  • 1 month ago

    Why not just make the version be 11.10? Not a fan when versioning best-practices aren’t followed. :(

  20. Gary Leigh
    Gary Leigh  • 1 month ago

    Looking forward to this next version.

    I’ve been using Pro for a while and I feel it’s very useful.

    I do have a little trouble with the focus keywords at times. Especially when my blogs tend to be multi part on the same subject as there is often just too much information to put into just one entry.

    Yoast says you should not use the same keywords twice, but how do you avoid it when it’s on the same subject?

    Anyway, keep up the good work and thanks.

  21. Nutpongsakorn Suwannarong
    Nutpongsakorn Suwannarong  • 1 month ago

    I hope to have Thai language updates in the future.

  22. Eden Z
    Eden Z  • 1 month ago

    Used Yoast for years but looming competition from Rank Math will determine our direction. Improvements look promising though.

  23. Kartik Prajapati
    Kartik Prajapati  • 1 month ago

    Yoast seo really helps for on page optimisation. But sometimes i am only able to put 3 keywords in the premium plugin. Please fix that issue.

  24. Vince Servidad
    Vince Servidad  • 1 month ago

    Thank you, Yoast! Updated now! :)

    • Hanneke
      Hanneke  • 1 month ago

      Awesome!

  25. Owais Khan
    Owais Khan  • 1 month ago

    I have seen Focus Keyword Not Set update two days ago on one of my wordpress websites, and I got the vague idea that you people might have updated it.

    Your continued support, updates and knowledge on SEO makes the lives easier of people who are doing SEO using your yoast seo plugin. Keep up the good work guyz, and continue to help people across the globe.