Yoast SEO 6.3: Giving you more context

Something’s brewing at Yoast HQ. There’s no sign of spring yet, but we feel the need for a spring clean-up. Over the past few weeks, we’ve been looking critically at the Yoast SEO WordPress plugin and its many features and thinking: what’s this doing here? And should we get rid of that thing? Some of the results of that process are collected here, in Yoast SEO 6.3. But this is only the beginning.

We’ve removed the meta keywords box

Meta keywords haven’t had any use for ages. In 2009, Google officially confirmed that they didn’t use them. We, however, kept the box since some of you clamored at the slightest hint that we were even thinking about deleting it. But now, after all these years, it is the time to say goodbye to the old meta keywords box. It was fun while it lasted, but it should have been gone years ago. Read why we don’t use meta keywords and why you shouldn’t either.

The “noindex subpages” feature is also gone

Since Google has gotten much better at working with paginated series, we’ve removed the feature that allows noindexing subpages of archives. According to Joost de Valk, the reasoning behind this is simple: “rel="next" and rel="prev" make sure Google sends people to the first page in a paginated series. There is one catch: sometimes it will send people to a specific page in the series, but that’s when that page is the best match for their query. This, therefore, should be better for the searcher. Noindexing all these pages leads to a lower amount of crawls for them (source), which subsequently leads to lower amounts of crawls for older articles, which is not a good idea on most sites.”

Enhancements: more context, fewer settings

In Yoast SEO 6.3, you’ll not only find loads of new enhancements that’ll improve how the plugin works, but we’ve also provided more context within the plugin so you can find out immediately what a particular toggle or feature does. By deleting a couple of features, we even said goodbye to a tab in the advanced settings. To help you find these settings, we’ve added a step in the configuration wizard for enabling (or disabling) the advanced settings. Also, we’ve improved the Open Graph copy for Facebook and Twitter in the Social settings to explain better what it does.

To help you transfer data from other WordPress SEO plugins we’ve added an importer for the SEO Ultimate plugin and the SEOpressor plugin. We already supported several other SEO plugins, like HeadSpace2, All in One SEO, JetPack SEO, WooThemes SEO Framework, and wpSEO.

In Yoast SEO Premium, we’ve also made several improvements that make it more apparent what a particular feature does. We’ve added a piece of text to the Internal Linking analyzer after completing a full site scan. This gives you more insight into what the effects are of running the analyzer. What’s more, we’ve added an explanation on entries on the features tab and links to explanatory articles on the features tab.

Doing housekeeping

In addition to all these enhancements and the deletion of some superfluous features, we’ve been busy fixing bugs and getting things ready for the next release. You can find every bug fix and feature enhancement in the changelog on WordPress.org. As I said, we’re busy as bees at the moment and cannot wait to show you what we’ve come up with.

Update now!

Yoast SEO 6.3 and its various add-ons all received nice updates today. We’re cleaning up the plugins as part of our quest for keeping our interfaces and features as easy as possible. In the coming weeks, we hope to show you more of what we’ve been up to. For now, update your plugins and stay tuned!

Read more: Why every website needs Yoast SEO »


19 Responses to Yoast SEO 6.3: Giving you more context

  1. Wayan Suadnyana
    Wayan Suadnyana  • 9 months ago

    Hi,

    By removing the no index subpages feature, now I have a lot of issue with Title & Duplicate meta descriptions on Category and tag subpages appear on Google Search Console, everyday number of Title & Duplicate meta descriptions getting an increase.

    How do I add no index subpages feature back again?

    Cheers,

    Wayan

  2. T.H
    T.H  • 9 months ago

    Hi – I’m just about to launch a site in China and I recall that keywords are used heavily by the Baidu ranking algorithm. I understand they are not used by Google but might keywords be worth being an optional option?

  3. Bunty
    Bunty  • 9 months ago

    Hi Edmin,

    Since 6.3 don’t have the subpages noindex feature then is there anyway I can add noindex to these pages.

    Thanks,
    Bunty

    • Edwin Toonen

      Hi Bunty! This feature was removed because Google has become much better at working with paginated series. Do you have a specific reason for wanting to noindex subpages?

  4. Wayne
    Wayne  • 9 months ago

    “meta keywords aren’t used by Google”, But they are still used in Yandex. Thank you for hammering all the Russian-speaking community. Thank you so much.

  5. nexvan
    nexvan  • 9 months ago

    With the new update, the keywords section has been disabled in the content.
    What do i do

    • Willemien Hallebeek
      Willemien Hallebeek  • 9 months ago

      Hi Nexvan, meta keywords aren’t used by Google, so you’d better stop investing your time in them: https://kb.yoast.com/kb/meta-keywords-yoast-seo/

      • nexvan
        nexvan  • 9 months ago

        Hi Willemien Holblique
        Thank

  6. kapta
    kapta  • 9 months ago

    Great information! Thanks for sharing !

  7. Aayush
    Aayush  • 9 months ago

    That’s the reason I wasn’t able to find it :)
    Let hope for good.

  8. noorsplugin
    noorsplugin  • 9 months ago

    Good decision since meta keywords don’t really provide any value anymore.

  9. Tom Nikkola
    Tom Nikkola  • 9 months ago

    Hello. I’ve tried to update to 6.3 and it’s leaving me in maintenance mode. I also clicked on the link for more information about 6.3 in my site’s admin, and it errored as well. Any ideas on how to resolve? I deleted the .maintenance file in my root folder so my site could get up and running again, but I can’t update the plugin.

    • Ben Vaassen
      Ben Vaassen  • 9 months ago

      Hi Tom, sorry about that. Do you have Yoast SEO Premium? In that case, you are entitled to personal support, see https://kb.yoast.com/kb/support/#premium. You can send us an email and we’ll help you out :-)

  10. Gerald Leckie
    Gerald Leckie  • 9 months ago

    Thank you for improving the Open Graph feature. I’ve witnessed several Social Media professionals have issues with it because they were more creative writers and didnt understand the SEO jargon.

    • Willemien Hallebeek
      Willemien Hallebeek  • 9 months ago

      You’re welcome, Gerald!

  11. suretydeals
    suretydeals  • 9 months ago

    good going with latest update with premium plugin..keywords and subpages these two updates are really impact on website to increase natural rankings.

  12. Tom
    Tom  • 9 months ago

    Google may not be using meta keywords, but Bing and Yandex still might be using it. Well, what happens to the already existing or used meta keywords in earlier posts or products, Does this update deletes it from database or it remains the database, but Yoast simply ignores it?

    • Willemien Hallebeek
      Willemien Hallebeek  • 9 months ago

      Hi Tom, it’s suspected that Bing uses them only as a SPAM signal… The database still exists, so you can revert to the old version if you’d like to retrieve them.

      • Matt
        Matt  • 9 months ago

        I have sites with thousands of posts targeting geo related local areas where much of the posts are very similar in nature. By removing the ability to noindex the paginated pages, I’m seeing these useless pages pop up in Googles index. From my experience, Google really limits the number of pages it will index at any given time. So with these pages showing up in the index, my more important local, geo targeted pages are not. And by having these pages indexing, it also increases the likelyhood of triggering duplicate page filters, which makes my sites more prone to penalties and restricts indexing and ranking even more so, which is exactly what I’m seeing and the main reason I found this thread and why I’m posting this comment. I like Yoast, but unfortunately I can’t use this plugin anymore until this option to noindex my paginated pages comes back. Not sure why you would want to limit the users options anyway.


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