Yoast Tracking, the why, the what and the how

You’ve encountered the link to this page in a plugin of ours that’s asking for your permission to anonymously track your install. We’d like to explain why we do this tracking, how we do it and what we track.

The Why of Tracking

WordPress.org gives plugin authors some stats, and “some” is actually just about nothing at the moment. Check the stats page for the WordPress SEO plugin. Downloads per day and “active versions”. For a company like ours, who like to measure everything and make informed decisions on what we need to do instead of guess around, that doesn’t cut it. Can we remove support for version X? Should we test with plugin Y? Loads of questions like that pop up around our office every day.

Which leads us right to what we track:

What we Track

When you allow the anonymous tracking, we track:

  • Which WordPress version you run so we know how well our users are upgrading and which old versions we need to keep supporting.
  • What other plugins you run and what theme you use, so we can try and come up with stuff we need to test.
  • Your language, so we know in which languages people are using our plugins.
  • We track some settings, like if your site is multisite or not, also to determine our testing setups.
  • Plugin specific settings, to see whether enough people are using specific features to warrant maintaining them.
  • Lastly, how many posts, comments and users you have, to see if we’re still testing with large enough installs.

What we don’t Track

Just to make sure you understand, we don’t track:

  • Any content on your site.
  • Personal information for you or your users.
  • Identifiable information about your site.

How we Track your Site

Our first priority for our tracking code is that we don’t want to slow down your site. For this reason the tracking will only submit the data from your blog to our servers once a week. It does this through an SSL encrypted connection so the info can’t be snooped. We’re using WordPress’ internal cronjob functions, so it doesn’t get in your way when you’re working in the backend.

We hope this has informed you enough to know warrant clicking the “Allow tracking” button. You’re helping us tremendously when you do!