Yoast SEO 14.4: An improved publishing flow

Sometimes, you have releases that start out small and end up with a substantial improvement. Yoast SEO 14.4 is one such release. Initially plannend as a bug fix release, this turned into something that markedly improves the publishing workflow in WordPress. Plus, you can now mark your external links as nofollow or sponsored. You see, Yoast SEO 14.4 is a chockfull release!

A new flow for your SEO-optimized content

Yoast SEO helps you optimize your content to make it awesome for readers as well as search engines. Over the years, Yoast SEO quickly turned into one of the most used writing tools in the world. We’re very proud of that, but we felt there were a couple steps missing from the publishing flow. Plus, we noticed people struggling to find our sidebar in the block editor. Our CTO, Omar Reiss, came up with the concept for improving this and built most of it himself — we even dubbed this The Omar Release internally. Thanks to him, we now have a flow that gives you more SEO insights throughout the publishing process.

One of the most important parts of Yoast SEO is the feedback you get from the SEO analysis and readability analysis. These tools make sure that your content is up to scratch. Now, we make sure that these scores are visible in a number of additional steps. In short, here are the three steps:

  • See how your content scores straight from the Document sidebar in the block editor.
  • Ready to publish? Get reassurance about the quality of your post and make adjustments if you’re not happy yet.
  • Done? Publish the post and immediately share it on Twitter and Facebook via our new sharing buttons.

Here’s how that looks:

By adding SEO scores to these steps, we give you a better handle on your content quality. This is very helpful — sometimes you just need a little positive feedback to hit that publish button!

CTO Omar Reiss on the publishing flow

Did you know we have a sidebar in the WordPress block editor? No? Well, you’re not alone. Omar Reiss, had this to say on that topic: “We’ve noticed for a while that users new to the block editor have trouble finding our sidebar. In the Classic Editor, we’ve always been visible in the publishing screen, but for the block editor, we made an entire sidebar for Yoast SEO. To reach this, you needed to click the big Y logo on the top of the screen. In Yoast SEO 14.4, we’re making it much easier to find by integrating it in the Document sidebar. Now, you immediately see the familiar bullets once you open a post.”

We’re not just making Yoast SEO easier to find, but we’re also guiding people more. Omar: “SEO is crucial in the content publication process. We believe in holistic SEO and SEO plays a part in every step of the process. I’m happy that we can help people remember to work on that. Every post benefits from looking at it with an eye for SEO and the publication flow helps you do that. In addition, that final check makes sure that you can publish you content without hesitation!”

Omar didn’t just came up with the idea of these improvements, but he also built them himself. Omar explains: “I’ve been getting back into programming and for this project I had the chance to work with a couple of interesting Gutenberg APIs. These helped me to get everything going pretty quickly. I have to say, from an extensibility perspective, Gutenberg is maturing quickly! Soon, I’ll publish a blog post about my experiences with these Gutenberg APIs.”

Mark outgoing links with nofollow/sponsored

The second addition is an easy way to block search engines from following outgoing links by setting them as nofollow or even sponsored. It has always been a good idea to mark external links as nofollow — especially if these lead to pages you don’t really endorse. In addition, you can use these attributes to show that these links are commercial and you don’t want search engines to follow them.

Recently, Google announced a new way to mark commercial links as such: sponsored. It is not mandatory to mark links you paid for with this new attribute, but it helps Google get a better sense of what happens with links on the web.

In the WordPress block editor, you can now easily mark links as nofollow. In addition, you can also mark these as sponsored in Yoast SEO 14.4. When you mark a link as sponsored, it automatically also applies a nofollow to that link. This is according to Google’s guidelines.

See it in action below:

More background in our help documentation on which link setting you should use.

Sharing on social media

You can see third new feature as part of the publishing flow mentioned above, but I’d still like to highlight it separately. In Yoast SEO 14.4, we made it much easier to share your freshly published post on social media like Twitter and Facebook. After you’ve hit Publish, you will be greeted with a new Share your post setting. Simply click the Facebook or Twitter icon to publish your new masterpiece to the corresponding platform.

Published your brand-new post? Make sure to let your audience know about it by directly sharing it on social media

Yoast SEO 14.4: More SEO insights

That’s Yoast SEO 14.4 for you! This release comes with a better workflow for publishing SEO-proof articles, including a new way to share your content on social media. In addition, we made it a lot easier for you to discourage search engines from following external links.

Coming up next!

53 Responses to Yoast SEO 14.4: An improved publishing flow

  1. Michelle Hansen
    Michelle Hansen  • 4 years ago

    I updated a couple of days ago and my Yoast settings are all but gone! Go green/red lights, etc. And certainly no sidebar features. Help?

    • Camille Cunningham
      Camille Cunningham  • 4 years ago

      Hi there Michelle. Sorry to hear about these issues. I think it’s best to contact our support team about this: https://yoast.com/help/support/

      Good luck!

  2. Carolyn Dickerson
    Carolyn Dickerson  • 4 years ago

    I am not seeing the mark outgoing links with nofollow/sponsore on the link function. I have Version 14.4.1.

    • Edwin Toonen

      Hi Carolyn. Are you using the block editor or the classic editor? This feature only works in the block editor, so that might be why you don’t see it. Do try the block editor, it’s really cool!

  3. Lezli
    Lezli  • 4 years ago

    I like the new features, but is there a way to add “NoFollow” Links to all existing external links? I used a plugin to do this before, but now that I can get this function in Yoast, I’d love to just delete that other plugin.

    It would be nice to have an “Apply to all external links” option instead of having to change each link one by one. I’ve got A TON of outbound links.

    • Edwin Toonen

      Hi Lezli. As of now, there’s no way to add a nofollow to all existing external links on your site by pressing a button. What you can do, though, is apply a nofollow per page by using the nofollow feature on the Advanced tab of Yoast SEO: https://yoast.com/help/should-search-engines-follow-links-on-this-page/

  4. JM
    JM  • 4 years ago

    Really like the new updates. Any chance you’ll be adding LinkedIn to the Socal Media integration?

    • Camille Cunningham
      Camille Cunningham  • 4 years ago

      Thanks! And LinkedIn might be added in the future, but I’m afraid I can’t give you a definitive answer to this question right now. Sorry about that!

  5. Patricia D.
    Patricia D.  • 4 years ago

    Thanks for the additions! Quick question here. Who has to request the sponsored link label? The advertiser that pays for the link or the provider? How to proceed if the advertiser asks for his advertisement not to be labeled as sponsored? Should you decline the ad all together or just provide him the nofollow option?

    • Willemien Hallebeek
      Willemien Hallebeek  • 4 years ago

      Hi Patricia! Usually, the site owner determines what kind of link it will be. It’s in Google’s guidelines to use the sponsored tag for paid links and we ‘d advise adding the nofollow attribute too, as not all search engines support the sponsored attribute yet. Therefore, Yoast SEO automatically adds nofollow to a sponsored link too.
      To be honest, it sounds a bit shady if someone doesn’t want the link to be marked as sponsored while it is. Not something we’d advise, in any case. If it’s a link from your website, I’d only agree with a nofollow or sponsored link to the advertiser. Here’s more about nofollow and sponsored links: https://yoast.com/outbound-link-sponsored-nofollow-ugc-attributes/

  6. Dr.Amrita Basu
    Dr.Amrita Basu  • 4 years ago

    I rather like the new updates, especially the ability to edit the links without headache with necessary tags.Looks like some great features.

    • Camille Cunningham
      Camille Cunningham  • 4 years ago

      Hi Amrita, thanks so much! We love to hear that, as this workflow is meant for exactly that: to make publishing new content easier :)

  7. Sara
    Sara  • 4 years ago

    Shame the “Mark outgoing links with nofollow/sponsored” doesn’t work in the classic editor

  8. reliancebh
    reliancebh  • 4 years ago

    This is a great feature plugin. I always use Yoast on all my website.

    • Camille Cunningham
      Camille Cunningham  • 4 years ago

      Awesome! That’s great to hear! And thanks for your kind words :)

  9. Thomas
    Thomas  • 4 years ago

    Does the “nofollow” and “sponsored” attribute stay even if the Yoast SEO plugin was uninstalled? Not that I’m planning on uninstalling Yoast considering I think it’s the best, but it is an issue I’ve had with plugins that do this in the past.

    Thank you guys for your hard work on the plugin.

    • Edwin Toonen

      Hi Thomas! Yes, everything you add via the new link feature will be saved. These attributes will still be there once you remove the plugin, which, of course, we’d rather not have you do ;) You can test this, of course, so you can see how that works.

      • Thomas
        Thomas  • 4 years ago

        Thank you, Edwin.

  10. Charlotte Gunn
    Charlotte Gunn  • 4 years ago

    Hey I’m looking for some detail on the bug fixes in this release. For the last two days, when I go to share on social, the image and meta data aren’t pulling through. Wondering if that’s a yoast issue?

    • Edwin Toonen

      Hi Charlotte. I’m sorry to hear that. Unfortunately, we haven’t received any new bugs regarding social sharing. Maybe you could try following these steps to figure out what’s going on: https://yoast.com/help/facebook-sharing-updated-details/. Good luck!

  11. eli
    eli  • 4 years ago

    I don’t like it, how to cancel these features?

    • Willemien Hallebeek
      Willemien Hallebeek  • 4 years ago

      Hi Eli, sorry to hear that. Which exact feature do you mean? The nofollow/sponsored link feature?

  12. Damien
    Damien  • 4 years ago

    Is there a way to disable the nofollow/sponsored links feature? I am using the EditorsKit plugin which comes with this feature and is better implemented. After update, this plugin now overwrite the EditorsKit feature.Is there a filter that I can use to disable this feature?

    • Joost de Valk
      Joost de Valk  • 4 years ago

      Hey Damien,

      First of all, dare I ask, why do you consider theirs better? Theirs is based on older Gutenberg code that has since changed, and they haven’t updated. Unfortunately, we both have to overwrite the link feature in Gutenberg as they’ve not made it extensible, which is what causes this sort of problem.

      There’s no way to disable this feature at the moment.

      • Damien
        Damien  • 4 years ago

        I am not sure about the code. I didn’t like the new link interface as it chop off a long URL (I like to see the URL I am linking to, at a glance). Also if I need to add “Open in a new tab” and “nofollow”, it requires a double effort, as the link window closes after each click. In short, it is not that I find the EditorsKit’s implementation is better, but that the latest Gutenberg link interface is poorer in usability.

        • Joost de Valk
          Joost de Valk  • 4 years ago

          Hey Damien,

          those are all valid points of feedback that I’m certain the Gutenberg team would like to receive on their Github repo :)

  13. Baldyrgan
    Baldyrgan  • 4 years ago

    Hello everyone. I loved yoast. It helped me to improve my website seo and also I have learned a lot. Wish all the best.

    • Willemien Hallebeek
      Willemien Hallebeek  • 4 years ago

      Thanks for your kind words, Baldyrgan! Glad to be of help.

  14. Ann
    Ann  • 4 years ago

    This is a great feature. I always use Yoast on all my blogs. But I will love it if the option where you can add all the external links with nofollow with just a click of hand is in place. Adding nofollow one after the other is very tiring and you may sometimes not remember to do that if you are publishing a lot of posts each day.

    • Willemien Hallebeek
      Willemien Hallebeek  • 4 years ago

      Hi Ann, thanks for using Yoast SEO! We do offer the option to nofollow all the links on one page, if necessary. You can find the explanation here: https://yoast.com/wordpress/plugins/seo/yoast-seo-robots-meta-configuration/ (please scroll down to individual posts/pages). That might help you out a bit!
      Nofollowing all outbound links on a website isn’t something we recommend doing, because search engines need links to discover content. There must be links on your site search engines should follow, right?

  15. am.munawar
    am.munawar  • 4 years ago

    This plugin is very popular and is installed by millions of active users. I wrote a short review of this plugin update with the addition of new features, on my personal blog, in Bahasa Indonesi.

    • Willemien Hallebeek
      Willemien Hallebeek  • 4 years ago

      Thank you, that’s great, Munawar!

      • am.munawar
        am.munawar  • 4 years ago

        I enjoyed using this plugin
        Thank you, and you’re welcome

  16. andy
    andy  • 4 years ago

    Hi! I still haven’t updated from 13.5 because of all the bugs reported in the inital 14.0 release. Is it safe to update now if i have other plugins like WPML and Advance custom Fields that haven’t reported compatibility?

    • Willemien Hallebeek
      Willemien Hallebeek  • 4 years ago

      Yes, it is Andy! Good luck.

  17. Qwik Batteries
    Qwik Batteries  • 4 years ago

    Is it necessary to do On Page SEO for Contact Us page and for the Career Page. If so how can i do without content

    • Willemien Hallebeek
      Willemien Hallebeek  • 4 years ago

      Hey Qwik, here’s all about optimizing your Contact page: https://yoast.com/contact-page-examples/. Agreed you don’t need to turn it into a lengthy article, but the most important thing is: show the information your users need. You’ll find lots of examples in the above post.

  18. Habib
    Habib  • 4 years ago

    I really like yoast. we have 100+ websites and in all sites i have used yoast plugin.

    • Willemien Hallebeek
      Willemien Hallebeek  • 4 years ago

      That is lovely, Habib! Thanks so much :-)

  19. Porikshit Saikia
    Porikshit Saikia  • 4 years ago

    I have been using Yoast SEO from a very long time and it is really wonderful. The points that mentioning the SEO & readability for the content is really great. Since, I forget to use much of internal links and backlinks but Yoast SEO never forgets to remind me of it. I am sure that even the upcoming releases will be mind-blowing. Thank you for the amazing plugin.

    • Edwin Toonen

      Awesome, Porikshit. We’re doing our best to help you succeed. Good luck!

  20. resto22
    resto22  • 4 years ago

    Nicely done so pumped for this feature our prayers have been answered
    Keep it up Yoast

    • Edwin Toonen

      Thanks and enjoy!

  21. Melanie Lewis
    Melanie Lewis  • 4 years ago

    Woo Hoo!!! I’m very excited about the improvements! Thank you!

    • Edwin Toonen

      No problem, Melanie, glad you like it!

  22. radesh
    radesh  • 4 years ago

    Wow, Waiting for the new release and explore it more. I had no idea about sidebar but I am going to explore it today now. Thanks for sharing the info about the side bar. Love to toast!!

    • Camille Cunningham
      Camille Cunningham  • 4 years ago

      You’re welcome, Radesh! Hope you enjoy the experience :)

  23. Joy
    Joy  • 4 years ago

    SEO seems to be constantly shifting and changing so it’s nice to have well-written content that explains what Google wants from websites.
    It’s really a helpful blog for beginners like me. User experience is an essential element of a website and considering this factor while doing SEO is another important criterion.

    I just improve my webpage SEO experience with Yoast

    • Camille Cunningham
      Camille Cunningham  • 4 years ago

      Thanks so much, Joy! Keep up the good work and lots of luck with your SEO :)

      • Casey Markee
        Casey Markee  • 4 years ago

        Camille, can you confirm if the NOFOLLOWS stay in place if someone was to deactivate Yoast?

        That’s been a problem with previous plugins. The feature is great but if someone has to deactivate Yoast, losing all those previous NOFOLLOWS would be devastating for a lot of bloggers.

        Thanks in advance.

        • Edwin Toonen

          Hi Casey! Yes, we save your nofollow links and they will still be there should ever want to deactivate Yoast SEO. You can try it for yourself. Run Yoast SEO 14.4 on a test server, add a nofollow link and publish a test post. Notice the nofollow in the source code. Now, deactivate and delete Yoast SEO and check the source code again. The nofollow on the link should be intact. Hope this helps!

          • Dealdeg
            Dealdeg  • 4 years ago

            Your tool help me A lot to write content. Thanks A lot Yoast Team