“Since I already paid another annual Yoast premium, I’ll wait until it expires and then revisit SEO plugin removal.”
First ask yourself, “What is SEO?” If you mean page rank, what evidence is there page rank improves with your tweaked SEO plugin settings (rich snippets)?
The only metrics that count are more sales and increases in organic traffic. Those are the only concrete evidence your SEO work is paying off. Are those improving? We doubt the SEO plugin has anything to do with it.
Switching from Yoast SEO to another plugin without disrupting page rank? No one can promise that. And if they do, they’re selling a wish. But switching is less of a risk than past Yoast weirdness.
The Yoast 2018 bug proves Yoast SEO is artificial and fragile for page ranking. Removing the Yoast “benefits” reduced page rank to it’s real position. There’s no proof but cheating tricks are ineffective or neutralized by Google.
There are reasons not to use Yoast SEO plugin. But does any SEO plugin provide provable benefit? Have you ever seen credible benchmarks ranking improvement? How do you measure SEO reduction changes by competition or fluctuating market needs? Impossible. It’s about consumer behavior.
Ensure your content intent is what users want to find when they search. That’s the bottom line.
SEO is now controlled by a machine-learning algorithm called RankBrain. RankBrain is smarter. It identifies patterns and penalizes unscrupulous actors attempting to game Google.
RankBrain is an algorithm-learning artificial-intelligence system used by Google since October 2015. It helps Google to process and provide more relevant search results for users. RankBrain is the third most important factor after links and content. RankBrain interprets the relationships between words. You can’t influence RankBrain with any SEO plugin.
RankBrain allowed Google to speed up the algorithmic testing. They now choose the best content for any particular keyword search. This means old methods of gaming rankings with false signals are less and less effective. The highest quality content ranks higher in Google from a human perspective.
Content frequency, recency and relevance aren’t rewarded with a great ranking anymore. Search engine users – and search engines – are now trying to find amazing content with great value.
Gaming SEO with plugins has negative value for the future.
Yoast SEO plugin takes 240 milliseconds to load. SEO makes no page rank difference. Those negatives are counterculture and even absurd to The Herd. Situational hopelessness and despair.
By pursuing lame unresolvable SEO, you’re almost guaranteed to fail and lose. You’ve chosen to slay invisible dragons. Jousting with quixotic windmills. You can never be perfect or good enough using an SEO plugin. You condemn yourself for falling short with a fake measuring stick. It’s the perfect trap of idealistic unrealism – and obsessive-compulsive behavior. A waste of life. No acceptance. Always falling short of the ideal.
Real applause comes from visitors seeking answers – or entertainment to fight boredom. Google search and Yoast SEO plugin don’t make site content worthy of attention. You do.
Your frenzied SEO work is disposable. It’s bathroom tissue. Zero future value because technology is in complete chaos. Change obsoletes SEO attempts. The Internet and it’s rules are volatile and in vulnerable commotion.
SEO tweaking is strain with little perceptible reward. It makes us weary. It’s exhausting waste. Unless your livelihood depends on it. If you sell SEO services, then it’s relevant to you.
SEO is pounding your head against a brick wall. It has zero longterm future-value and requires constant maintenance and updates. SEO rules are whimsical and concocted.
SEO fiddling is a self-imposed hamster wheel. The antidote? Self-control and discipline. No seductive greed and fear.
Fact: Building a website while concentrating on SEO is a ticking time bomb.
Why? If you take your eyes off SEO for 15 minutes, your knowledge is obsolete. New things come out nonstop. One decision made by one power-hungry company alters the Internet landscape. The “SEO rules” are changing, unpublished, and ignored by the rule makers.
Are SEO tactics cognitive dissonance?
Cognitive dissonance is about barking up the wrong tree. The more you try to convince someone they don’t need something – the more they want it. Deep inside they know they’re wasting their life chasing an illusion. Fiddling. But they can’t admit Pareto’s Principle exists. 80 percent of what they suppose is true (or productive) is actually false. That waste makes no change. That’s The Herd mentality again.
Cognitive dissonance applies to almost all human decision making. We accept new ideas reinforcing our old thinking. It’s a futile exercise in trivia chasing (tactics not objectives). It’s hypervigilance on irrelevant dust. “Futility-seekers” think SEO gives artificial meaning or purpose.
Are Yoast’s feigned empathy and saintly mask for darker motives? That’s cognitive dissonance. That’s inconsistent behavioral decisions and attitudes. We all have it to a degree – the Jungian Shadow self. It’s an unproductive belief in fiction or myth.
Our job is bringing order out of chaos. That includes eliminating or reducing self-serving deception (plugin myths). This requires your courage. Remove Yoasrt SEO plugin.
Yoast isn’t an evil conspiracy. They’re normal business people focused on survival – unaware of real their motivation.
“How much time and agony people spend fiddling – and fiddling – and worrying about SEO … it’s insane.”
Yoast SEO rich snippets are a waste of time and resources.
Is inventing rich snippets and researching keywords futile and wasteful? Stop obsessing over controlling meta tags with SEO plugins.
Write interesting, informative and engaging content for the readers, and forget about the search engines.
The single best thing to improve search engine rank is improving the content quality, and to get influencers to link to you naturally. That happens when you publish truly helpful, irresistible content. Google’s primary ranking factors are born from the user’s intent. You must focus more on your users, your content and your long-term objectives.
Meta tags do not affect ranking. They affect click-through at best. They are an ad for your site. But you don’t get to choose whether your ad gets used. Google does.
It’s an assumption Google uses your handcrafted rich snippet. It may or may not. Google implies your snippet is superseded by Google’s Artificial Intelligence (AI) machine-learning snippet based on user intent. RankBrain is it’s name.
They claim RankBrain is the Number Three signal in their secret algorithm. If it’s a secret, why are they revealing it’s number three?
Shocking news: Google spins fake news (myths) about SEO with implication of what’s important and what’s not. Why would they mislead like that? Think about the repercussions if everyone knew the real Google search ranking algorithm. Could we trust any listing? Manipulated results. Loss of credibility.
But one thing can’t be faked: relevant site content. Google always said content is most important. Are they lying about this one? RankBrain extracts snippets from your site content. So improve your content – not your snippet.
Is your crafted *rich* snippet better than Google’s? Do you know the search intent of users better than Google? Doubtful. It’s presumptuous to think your a psychic copywriter and understand search intent. Search intent is DYNAMIC – built on the fly. Your snippet is STATIC – you serve the same hash to all users. That doesn’t seem smart.
Search engines can’t “see” a site. They can only “read” a site. Looks do not talk to a search engine. What “talks” to a search engine are the words, the content, the material in your site that explains, shares, informs, educates, and babbles. Make sure you have quality word content for a search engine to examine and compare with all the parts and pieces to give you a good “score”.
Did you hear the magic keyword in this Google video: Rich snippets “may” improve SEO. Not they will.
Since Google always includes a summary underneath the title, if you don’t include a meta description tag in your page – and many bloggers and blogs don’t – Google will choose a “random” snippet of the article text for you. Sometimes this is the first sentence; otherwise it’s the sentence or paragraph that includes the first instance of the keyword the user entered in the search engine.
When performing keyword research, focus on finding relevant topics and themes to structure your content around. Instead of going through the process in order to choose one or two words or phrases to write about, use your findings to learn more about your audience and their needs and interests.
Google can also manually disable your Rich Snippet should it find you used spammy markup methods or are keyword-stuffing.
And one last note on your snippets not showing up: Google conducts thousands of search quality tests a year, and your pages could be included in a variety of experiments that remove a Rich Snippet intermittently or entirely. – Source
A search engine enters your site and, for the most part, ignores the styles and CSS. It just plows through the site gathering content and information. Most WordPress Themes are designed with the content as close to the top of the unstyled page as possible, keeping sidebars and footers towards the bottom. Few search engines scan more than the first third of the page before moving on. Make sure your Theme puts the content near the top.
Gee. I think instead of writing compelling and interesting content, I’ll just buy some easy “SEO”. Let’s see everyone is using Yoast SEO plugin. Popular must mean it’s good. Right? I’ll just install that. There now I have good SEO.
SEO is a feigning gimmick. Let’s have people work on something “harmless.”
Site owners consider SEO plugins as a substitute for creating useful content of good quality. “must-have” and “essential” plugins. No plugin is truly essential.
There are lots of SEO advantages to having a WordPress site. WordPress doesn’t have an innate SEO advantage or disadvantage. If it’s properly configured, it will have good SEO. But the same things can be done with any CMS or HTML site.
WordPress, straight out of the box, comes ready to embrace search engines. Its features and functions guide a search engine through the posts, pages, and categories to help the search engine crawl your site and gather the information it needs to include your site within its database.
WordPress comes with several built in search optimization tools, including the ability to use .htaccess to create apparently static URLs called permalinks, blogrolling, and pinging.
Google claims WordPress takes care of 80 to 90 percent of the SEO ‘mechanics’ of your website. It takes care of the more difficult aspects of Search Engine Optimization.
So does this mean that the rest can be done with a plugin like WordPress SEO by Yoast? Nope. The rest really comes down to you.
Firstly, just because you have the Yoast plugin installed on your site by no means guarantees you of getting rankings in Google.
Produce original, relative and quality content that your niche market is looking for and rankings will come naturally. Target a specific niche market – source
You can maintain excellent SEO without Yoast. It all comes down to how many customization and advanced options you really want, and how much manual work you’re prepared to do yourself.
WordPress is famous for being well designed for SEO right out of the box. All of its features and functions have been built to guide search engines through every post, page and category of your site, so it’s not absolutely essential to install third-party SEO plugins for your sites to rank well.
SEO is about gaming the Google system for top-ranking spots. They look at ways to do the least amount of work for the greatest initial return, when in fact, it’s quite the opposite. In reality, you must do the most amount of work for the least initial return. It’s painful. and tediously time consuming. 15 to 20 minutes waste per post basis.
Google doesn’t trust you. You have to earn Google’s trust to have a top ranking page.
1. Indexed age is the date that Google discovered the domain.
2. Google wants to see a healthy link profile that signifies authority.
3. Content is the major anchors that tether you to Google’s relevancy algorithms. Content not only has to be lengthy, but it has to be well-written, keyword centric and highly engaging where readers are spending a good amount of time digesting and consuming that content.
If Google only recently found out about your site within the last 2 years, but you haven’t developed a healthy link profile, you still won’t have Google’s trust.
Don’t worry so much about pushing out a certain amount of content every singled day; worry about pushing out good content every single week. That’s what Google cares about – quality.
Don’t use link-generating software, article spinners, or anything else like that if you’re serious about achieving any respectable rank on Google’s SERPs. Put in the work and put in the time, elevating quality over quantity. That includes not using SEO plugins.
No one can guarantee a #1 ranking on Google.
If you are ever ripped off in a website scam, it will most likely be buying SEO products or services offering better ranking for your website. Your intuition has probably told you that something smells bad about SEO plugins and services. That little voice is telling you the truth. SEO tweaking is unproductive and often mythical in nature. Don’t fall for these scams. There is no legitimate SEO plugin. Results are never measurable or proven. It’s impossible to show improvement. There is no before-and-after guaranteed ranking on Google. These claims are fake or at best unrealistic promises.
A bad SEO plugin can risk damage to your site and reputation. Where are the Yoast success stories with quantifiable data? What’s the return on investment? What’s the opportunity cost?
It’s the “cost” incurred by not enjoying the benefit that would have been had by taking the second best available choice. Use scarce resources efficiently.
WordPress SEO by Yoast is one of the most downloaded WordPress plugin of all times. Yoast’s WordPress SEO is a comprehensive solution for all your on-site SEO needs. It allows you to add SEO title, meta description, and meta keywords to each post and page of your site.
Do you need to do these things to get good SEO? And what is good SEO and how good is good enough? How much time should you invest in SEO in the first place?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. SEO recommendations are intended to help your site rank higher and more accurately in search engines, like Google.
The meta description is a ~160 character snippet, a tag in HTML, that summarizes a page’s content. Search engines show the meta description in search results mostly when the searched for phrase is contained in the description.
It is claimed that optimizing the meta description is an important aspect of SEO. We don’t believe that.
Do Meta Tags still control my search snippet listing in Google? Sometimes, yes, at least in the case of the Meta Description, but not always, and this is dependent on many factors. Google will pick its own preferred search snippet for SERPs for display purposes, based on elements that can still be influenced by whoever made the page (and site) – and what Google knows about the page.
Google has radically changed how it creates page snippets, both to improve user experience, and obfuscate how it works as a search engine.
After 2017, Google no longer required information in various tags to rank or display pages, relying increasingly more on newer signals to both rank and display pages in SERPs.
Leave out meta descriptions on pages because your time is better focused on more important issues on the site.
IN 2017, Google is ignoring the meta description when the keyword is not also present on the page – which kinds of suggests Google ignores the meta description WHEN RETURNING A BASIC SEARCH RESULT TO A USER.
Google gives importance to VISIBLE page content over the relative unimportance it gives to INVISIBLE meta descriptions.
Is the meta description an overall ‘page quality signal’? If it is, the impact on actual rankings is negligible.
In most organic results, putting a keyword in the description won’t take a low-quality page to number 1 or raise you 50 spots in a competitive niche – so why optimize for a search engine when you can optimize for a human? That’s much more valuable.
Just because it’s possible to influence if your meta description appears – doesn’t mean you should do it if it duplicates text in the title element. That advice is direct from Google.
SEO plugin scammers take advantage of the obliviousness and secrecy of Google algorithms. It’s voodoo. The Internet is teeming with SEO misinformation.
As a search engine crawls your site, it gathers information from the title, headings, content, and Meta Tags such as description or keywords. It compares the words within each of these sections and “ranks” the site dependent upon how well the information matches.
But this method of ranking pages is becoming less influential in page rank. What is more important is does your content solve people problems or intent? This is called relevance. In marketing speak, it is called positioning. It is a short cut to people’s motive to visit your site. Why are they there in the first place? Do you satisfy their needs? What problem are they trying to solve?
Are meta tags still necessary? No. Search engines, browsers, and people are more sophisticated now. They don’t need hand holding to figure things out.
Google no longer uses the meta keyword in search result ranking. They confirm this in their Webmaster Central Blog. Search engines don’t use the meta tag information any more because many site owners abused it. Google still uses the meta description tag in some situations as part of the snippet of your site displayed in search results. That does not affect ranking or SEO. It is just a miniture add that helps people know what is on your site before clicking the organic link. But Google would prefer using their own automated snippets.
Google calls meta descriptions a “snippet.” It takes into account both the content of a page as well as references to it that appear on the web. The goal of the snippet and title is to best represent and describe each result and explain how it relates to the user’s query.
The snippet for a page in search results may determine whether or not someone might click through from a search results page.
“Rich snippets” are site owner written snippets or based on markup on the page. If it’s not relevant, it won’t be used.
Google displays snippets generated from content on a page even if the words from a query appear in a meta description. Google may decide upon a snippet based upon its perception of a query.
How do you decide what to click on? How do you judge page titles, snippets, and URLs you see listed in a search. How does Google decide what to show you?
The description meta tag provides a concise, human-readable summary of each page’s content. It’s the ad for your page. Leave it alone. You can prevent Google from creating a snippet but why would you want to do that? They are trying to help you and reduce your work load.
Relative, valued, quality content is the biggest contributor to search engine page ranking. Period.
Page titles are more important than meta descriptions created and tweaked by site owners using SEO plugins. Creating a page or post title is built into WordPress. You can’t make a page without supplying that information. How to write good titles is a human skill that can’t be replaced with automation. Automation will only produce and inferior title or meta description because they do not understand human motive.
Don’t do keyword modifications. It will only get you blacklisted for keyword stuffing. In other words, attempted cheating of the Google system.
You cannot write drivel then stuff keywords into the text and add a SEO plug and consider you will get a page-one ranking. That is absurd expectation. Most people don’t even realize how much tweaking is necessary with an SEO plugin for every page and post of your website. The return on investment is minimal and counterproductive. You have to do a lot of thinking and writing to make meta-tags that help even a little.
You should be writing and researching content. Not worrying about getting green buttons. If your content is no good, how can it be relevant? Without great content, forget about your chances to rank. Google wants content made for humans.
Ultimately, Google reserves the right to alter or change your title and meta descriptions to match searchers query intent. The supply information scent for easier more relevant scanning. All of your fiddling and tweaking for nothing.
Most SEO plugins are just way too overwrought and heavy-handed.
Both plugins offer nearly the same set of tools and features. All in One SEO does not have breadcrumbs navigation and importing data from Google Search Console features. However, not having these two features wouldn’t have any drastic impact on your site’s SEO.
For professional support, you need to buy Yoast SEO premium. Pricing for a single site license is $69, and it goes up as you add more sites.
“I’ve been using Yoast for a few years and I like it overall, but I’m getting pretty tired of their new “readability” scoring. Unless you use absolutely bizarre sentence structure and dumb your content down for morons, you’ll never get a green “good” score.”
Why would a user choose your site content? Differentiation? Positioning strategy? What is your onliness factor?
Time-consuming SEO workarounds help. Wrong.
Chasing search engine algorithm. Waste of time.
Readability, compelling and informative is better. Don’t follow trends and fads.
You know what the killer SEO tool is? Content.
Sadly, most marketers just throw junk out there and hope their tools help fill in the gaps. All the schema.org rich snippets, sitemaps, and metadata creation tools won’t save a bad site.
WordPress out of the box just makes sure you don’t shoot yourself in the foot. Yoast in particular takes it a step further but to paraphrase Morpheus from the Matrix, these tools are just the door, it’s you that has to walk through it (use it properly).
Trust is king. If there isn’t any trust then all the well-written content in the world isn’t going to make any difference. You have to establish yourself in your niche as an authority, and that will gradually build trust.
So, when Yoast suggest duplicating Keyword string for each of the … page title, article heading, content, and META description, be aware that having a green yes in all of these categories isn’t necessarily a Google requirement to achieve high organics relevancy.
What we dislike about Yoast is:
– Making functions that use to be free exclusive to the pro version.
– Ugly interface.
– Confusing interface.
– Too much advertising.
– Too much meta data.
Although they admit to not using the meta description as a part of their rankings algorithm, Google does still support meta descriptions and include them as snippets in search results.
Google is very clear about meta keywords (or keyword meta tags) – they don’t use them. You have more important things to worry about than this nonsense.
When optimizing a page for Google, focus on the PAGE CONTENT and USER EXPERIENCE, in the following:
Title Element – Important – Unique
Meta Description (optional but advisable in most cases) – Unique
Robots (optional) – Be Careful
NOTE – The Page Title Element is not a meta tag, although it’s frequently referred to one.
The All-In-One SEO Pack will generate meta descriptions automatically and/or you have the option to override any title and set any META description and any META keywords you want.
Title tags, on the other hand, are the most important of all of the meta tags discussed here. These tags have a real impact on search rankings and, perhaps just as importantly, are the only one of the tags we’ll discuss here that are visible to the average user. You’ll find them at the top of your browser. The Title Tag alone can impact your search engine rankings.
This is particularly useful if you want to give the page one primary title for the user but want to clarify or simplify that information for SEO purposes and for the user who’s shuffling multiple tabs on their desktop.
Improve the quality of your titles. That can increase the number of people who are clicking on your titles.
#3. Be Authentic
People respond to authenticity. We have an innate ability to tell when people are being authentic or when they are holding things back.
#2. Use Natural Language
Write them in a short and condensed way.
Use complete sentences, ask questions, and express ideas.
#1. Inspire Curiosity
If people are curious, they will click to find out more. The method is simple: don’t give away the interesting part of the story in the title.
Best to let Meta descriptions to get pulled in naturally. Meta Descriptions is old school SEO.
The bottom line is to create useful, data-driven content that will help your users achieve their goals and answer their questions.
Is inventing rich snippets and researching keywords futile and wasteful?
Q I had one question about Yoast. I know you don’t like Yoast SEO because it definitely slows down websites. My only question would be how to replace it. Or do you think most themes now have everything you need?
A Overcoming Yoast SEO Addiction: First, accept that Google changed how they do page ranking. Snippets are now generated by Google extracting content based on user intent.
It’s my opinion, Yoast SEO plugin is unnecessary. In most cases, it’s even a detriment because it consumes time and energy. There’s an opportunity cost because Yoast SEO requires lots of tweaking. And the results aren’t measurable.
Yoast SEO Plugin often uses 29 to 39 percent of plugin load time. But that is isn’t the big reason to remove it. Just wasting your life is.
No plugin compensates for irrelevant poorly written blog content. No plugin can protect you from competition pushing you down in the SERPs. Can we affix blame to plugin failure for these things? Of course, not.
Q Yoast SEO makes it easy to create a sitemap to submit to Google and also has some other helpful functions like organizing 404 errors and allowing you to automatically create redirects when you delete a post. How do you substitute for these?
A All these functions can be handled using with WordPress features or free, discrete, plug-and-play plugins – without adjustments or settings. A “Swiss-army knife” like Yoast SEO plugin is an all-in-one plugin. These are detrimental in speed slowdowns, setting complexity, and server resource consumption.
Q I’m sure you know a way to do all these things without it.
A Yep. XML Sitemaps and 301 redirects are necessary. 404 errors are handled by the same redirection plugin. Every 6 months or annually, it’s good practice to do a Google site:drhedberg.com search. This reveals all links Google has to your site.
I click through every page listed by Google. That’s fanatic and tedious but if there’s any problems with redirects or 404 errors, they’re revealed. I then fix it with a 301 redirect for the offending URL. You can check broken links with plugins and online tools.
WordPress automatically creates 301 redirects for you for any of its permalink structures, including custom permalink structures.
For example, you have the link http://myblog.com/mypost but you change your permalinks to ‘/%year%/%postname%/’. When you do this, all your previous links still work and redirect to your new permalink. So if you go to http://myblog.com/mypost, you’ll be taken to http://myblog.com/2015/mypost. This also works if you are changing from the default (http://myblog.com/?p=123) to a custom permalink … the old links will still work.
WordPress creates 301 redirects of permalink structures
There is a plugin to redirect all old posts to the new posts. Don’t use that! You don’t need it. WordPress automatically handles the 301 redirects from the old format to the new format. 301 redirects are what Google needs to know about your new format and update itself and retain your ranks.
Q What if you wrote a step by step guide for how to delete Yoast SEO and do everything it can do without it? It could be turned into a blog post and I would bet many people would find it useful. I’d love not to continue paying for my yoast premium account every year if I really don’t need it.
A How to dump Yoast SEO plugin? A bugaboos is: Yoast deliberately designed their plugin so stored MySQL database information is not transferable to lookalike, faster plugins. Most site owners can’t bear the thought of losing the custom snippets they slaved over for years. All the 301 redirects are lost.
Manually migrating 301 redirects from Yoast SEO to a new plugin can take hours or days to complete.
Google doesn’t use custom snippets. They don’t trust them. They select page content to construct a snippet based on user intent. There’s pain over losing perceived value or investment in snippets. Because of the sense of loss, there’s resistance for site owners to remove Yoast SEO plugin.
Honestly, no SEO plugin is required today. SEO plugins are obsolete because of the way WordPress and Google now work. All bases are covered if you just write relevant content with interesting page titles.
Even the necessity of XML site maps is questionable since Google crawls authority sites on a regular basis to discover updates. Changes to SERPs happen very fast now.
With that said, there’s no harm in adding an XML site map plugin. They require no settings. It’s benign for speed.
So what’s the big consequence if you yank the Yoast SEO plugin? You lose the 301 references.
But the newest version of free Yoast SEO doesn’t allow 301 redirects. They’ve moved that over to the paid version. Dirty rats!
There are two plugins claiming they salvage SEO data. I’ve never used them. I don’t try to savage 301s or snippets. I rebuild manually (if needed). I can’t advise you how to use these plugins. I’m sure there are youTube video tutorials.
Is inventing rich snippets and researching keywords futile and wasteful?
OH, I WENT through the same painful trajectory of initially thinking I could game the system, even to the point of paying people promising ‘first page on Google’. They actually harmed my visibility. Nowadays, I focus on good content and only wish I had done so years earlier.
I did in fact delete Yoast in the past but just couldn’t handle the way my posts looked when shared on social medial without my finely ‘crafted’ titles. It’s vanity, but I wanted to try and preserve them. Interestingly, when I reinstalled Yoast, they came back, which speaks to your point about COMPLETELY uninstalling Yoast.
Yoast plugin hygiene
Plugins which ask for user input are the most likely to store data. Custom database tables are created by some plugins to store data.
Yoast SEO creates 2 tables:
It also stores some data in:
wp_usermeta – contains some meta_key values like wpseo_title.
wp_postmeta – contains some meta_key values for various post ids, including:
A deactivate/delete uninstall leaves all this data behind.
Remove unwanted database tables: You can use phpMyAdmin, a database manipulation tool available on most hosting control panels (C-panel).
To answer your question, there are around 350 relevant posts and pages, hence the search for automation. Though if push comes to shove, I will do it manually. Again, opportunity cost!
I am very grateful and will now get to work. I will let you know of my travails once completed. I think you are also right in saying that it’s best to service this perceived need, even if a little illogical. We need a crutch to walk away from Yoast.
If only more people could be exposed to this there would be a much lower level of wasted money and effort in chasing spurious SEO gains.
There are ways to export data like snippets and titles from the Yoast SEO plugin to another SEO plugin. Of course, the value of doing this may be debatable. But if it’s your goal, you aren’t the first to want to salvage the data. So much time and energy went into it. Painful!
There are several plugins to investigate. Since I don’t use any SEO plugin, I’m no expert on the transferal topic. You aren’t the Lone Ranger.
It may be useful to you. I haven’t tested it. Tutorials are online.
I’m searching for methods to salvage Yoast SEO snippets as a data export and then import into another SEO plugin. This is what users “want” because they have so much time investment composing snippets. They don’t “need” to do it. But can’t bear the sense of loss.
Is it true Google now ignores site-owner crafted snippets? This change occurred in 2017. Google composes their own snippets from destination page content based on user intent. Goggle uses weasel words when asked about the old snippets usefulness. They don’t want a battle on their hands. The anxiety and noise would consume too many Google support resources. They may use your snippet – or maybe not. Google’s choice. Not yours.
Site owners need to stop using time-wasting SEO plugins and produce good content. But no one wants to hear that truth.
WordPress users are inculcated that SEO plugins make a difference. Thus, they’re reluctant or even frightened to abandon their old plugin. The timing when SEO “victims” are most likely to abandon these plugins is when the premium plugin renewal expires.
There’s no way to measure the efficacy of SEO plugins. Since it’s unprovable, people say, “Well, there’s no harm in improving Meta tags.” But there’s an opportunity cost. And there’s an ever-increasing hidden server-resource and speed cost.
The more you use the SEO plugin the bigger the database grows on the server. Over time, the plugin increasingly slows down the site. The more you invest in SEO tweaking, the greater the speed burden.
How much is the performance overhead of Yoast SEO? Well, with a blog of say 100 post – when the snippets are loaded in the database – about 250 milliseconds is the global page delay. We’re talking site drag. Every page and post of the site slows down by a quarter second.
A quarter second may not sound like much delay. But it’s 25 percent of a 2-second performance budget. That gets gobbled up quick if you also have SSL certification (400 to 500 milliseconds) and TTFB (time to first byte) of say, 500 milliseconds. Goodbye speed.
I rarely convince people about SEO plugin “removal.” They’re only interested in substitution with another plugin. So since there is a market “perceived” need, I continue searching for a solution.
This is one paid plugin idea: https://semperplugins.com/documentation/seo-data-importer/
There isn’t a tidy answer to the Yoast SEO plugin withdrawal symptoms.
Yoast SEO plugin’s main purpose is:
That’s why it’s grown so heavy – more and more animated popup ads. Ugh!
The lightest and fastest SEO plugin is LTI SEO plugin. It doesn’t have all the other Yoast excrement bloat.
Are you building a new site? Or is your need for an existing one you want to retrofit that already is using Yoast SEO plugin? You may want to retrofit a leaner SEO plugin. One that just does the basics of title and meta tags for blog posts.
Let’s be clear. We dislike Yoast. It’s content that really matters. Forget SEO plugins. Go cold turkey off SEO addiction.
People swallow the bitter SEO pill – and say Yoast is delicious. They pour hours of effort into a meaningless activity. Cognitive dissonance is inconsistent thoughts or beliefs based on past mental decisions. Attitude changes then become difficult. They can’t accept the idea millions of site owners could be wrong. Discomfort results.
Yet, the real purpose of Yoast SEO plugin is to promote Yoast. It’s a clever self-serving marketing tool. The plugin file size doubled then tripled and now is 3.2 megabytes compressed. Why the extra bloat? You got it. More and more advertising nags and animation.
Can you rely on plugins to perform SEO for you?
There’s so much confusion around this. The quick answer: no, you can’t.
Plugins help take care of some SEO aspects in a quicker way. Yet, they don’t “do” SEO on your behalf.
WordPress is particularly famous for its SEO plugins like:
Yoast SEO (5 million+ installs)
All in One SEO Pack (3 million+ installs)
The SEO Framework (50,000+ installs)
Many think that, once activated, these plugins boost your SEO (almost) immediately.
You just can’t click on an SEO plugin and expect your site to start ranking. It’s not a one-step click or matter of configuring their ‘Settings’. It’s a deeper process. – source
QYou mentioned you paid someone to improve your SEO. I’ve had clients pay $6,000 to $12,000 with no improvement from SEO services. Selling snake oil!
Can you tell me how much you got stung? I won’t reveal the damage with your name or site URL, etc. I’m gathering anecdotal information (aka horror stories).
AI went through the same painful trajectory of initially thinking I could game the system. Even to the point of paying people promising ‘first page on Google’. They actually harmed my visibility.
I decided all I really wanted to save from Yoast were the title tags. I found a plugin that promised to only do that. It seemed very light, mypace Custom Title Tag. Extremely lightweight and good for speed.
There was no way I could see to automate the transfer. So I manually copied and pasted the title tags across. Then verified that they worked the same as before. I found I did 150 pages or posts an hour. So it only took me 2.5 hours and a set of sore fingers to complete. Then I could remove Yoast with no regrets.
Regarding your question about payment for SEO ‘improvement.’ The first SEO company got me in trouble with authorities when it was found they were putting up terms that deliberately blurred the distinction between my site and a more popular one. Extremely embarrassing!
The second just didn’t deliver. They always seemed surprised when I informed them they weren’t, like they actually believed in themselves! I think I was their most difficult client, in that I actually wanted to know a tiny bit. They rely on tech-illiterate clients, which is not the clients’ fault.
As a professional myself, I expect other professionals to act in my interests, not theirs. I do not expect my clients to have to look over my shoulder.
I paid between $400 and $650 a month for SEO services promising me ‘first page on Google’ that actually harmed my website visibility in search. They even tried to dupe users of a more popular site to visit mine! Now that I don’t pay for SEO and only focus on delivering audience-friendly content my site legitimately rivals that site.
How the most popular plugins and ideas waste your time – and hurt your web speed.83 pp, 362k, 8.5 x 11 inches, PDF download.30 Day Guarantee If you are unhappy with our ebook, we’ll give you 100% of your money back!
Myth: SEO plugins will help your site rank higher in search engines.
The usual recommendation is either “All in One SEO Pack” plugin or Yoast SEO. These SEO plugins are a waste of time. Both are heavy and consume server resources. Millions of site owners unknowingly install SEO plugins on their sites not realizing Google changed the SEO rules. SEO plugins don’t help page ranking any more. Zero. None. Read more about why you shouldn’t install an SEO plugin:
We write about plugin speed. This means we also write about plugins wasting web resources or your time. We critique value.
Here are the comparison of three SEO plugin’s load time (speed):
Yoast SEO plugin: 240 milliseconds.
The SEO Framework – (autodescription) plugin: 40.9 milliseconds.
LTI SEO plugin: 13.1 milliseconds.
These plugins cause site drag. The plugins slow down every single page and post of your site. We’ve disabled theme webfonts to save 80 milliseconds for extreme performance optimization. So you’d think we’d recommend the LTI SEO plugin. But that isn’t the case. Instead, we recommend you don’t install any SEO plugin. Especially not Yoast SEO*.
Read more to discover why.
SEO plugin authors take advantage of the lack of awareness and secrecy of Google algorithms. It’s voodoo. The Internet is teeming with SEO misinformation. Ever been ripped off by a web scam? We bet it was for SEO services offering you better Google ranking. Something smells funny about SEO plugins, too. There’s no legitimate SEO results ever measurable, published, or proven. It’s impossible to show improvement. There is no before-and-after benchmarks because there are too many variables. Most SEO claims are at best unrealistic promises. SEO tweaking is unproductive and often mythical in nature.
So what’s a Yoast SEO plugin?
“Yoast plugin is currently running on 6.2 million WordPress websites, including more than 70,000 websites on WP Engine alone. Joost de Valk — the CEO and founder of Yoast — said, “If you have a decent site, installing Yoast isn’t going to boost you from page two [on Google’s search results] to a number one ranking, but it is something that can help you fine tune [your site].”
Source: Christopher Mazurk
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. SEO recommendations intend to rank your site higher in search engines, like Google. Intended is the keyword here. De Valk said, “Fine tune.” What does fine tune mean in return on investment?
Search engines crawl your site. They gather information from the title, headings, content, and Meta description. They compare the words in these sections. Then rank the site dependent upon how well the information matches. That’s it in theory.
Yoast SEO is one of the most downloaded WordPress plugins of all time. It allows you to add SEO title, edit meta description, and meta keywords to each post and page of your site. But are those features needed or necessary in today’s world?
Are SEO plugins a substitute for creating, good quality useful content? SEO plugins are often considered must-have and essential plugins. No plugin is essential.
Yoast SEO is about trying to game the Google system for top-ranking spots. SEO looks at ways to do the least amount of work for the greatest initial return, when in fact, it’s quite the opposite. In reality, you must do the most amount of work for the least initial return. It’s painful. And tedious. Consuming about 15 to 20 minutes wasted per post. If you’re OCD, you can waste the rest of eternity.
Is this mob hysteria? Where are the Yoast success stories with quantifiable data? We couldn’t find any online. Lots of raving testimonials from thousands of fans loving the Emperor’s new clothes. But no data about ranking improvements.
Is a plugin needed to get good SEO? And what is good SEO and how good is good enough? How much time should you invest (waste?) on SEO in the first place?
Measuring SEO Waste
You can’t conceal cruddy content with a free SEO plugin (or even a paid one). SEO is putting lipstick on a pig. It’s superficial and futile. A waste of your life. It makes no difference.
SEO has diminishing returns because you won’t see any improvement even when you invest more time.
SEO perfectionism has unrealistic, unattainable demanding goals. Like achieving #1 rank on Google.
Messing around tweaking your SEO plugin? You could be writing beneficial relevant content. That is the opportunity cost. You aren’t using scarce resources efficiently.
ROI: What is the return on SEO investment? No one can tell you! It’s vaporous.
Google says WordPress does 90 percent of SEO heavy lifting. There are lots of SEO advantages to having a WordPress site. When a search engine enters your site, it plows through gathering content information.
WordPress is famous for being well designed for SEO right out of the box. Features and functions guide search engines through every site post, page and category. So it’s not essential to install third-party SEO plugins for your sites to rank well. WordPress out of the box makes sure you don’t shoot yourself in the foot. You can maintain excellent SEO without Yoast SEO plugin – or any SEO plugin.
Google claims WordPress takes care of 80 to 90 percent of the SEO ‘mechanics’ of your website. It takes care of the more difficult aspects of Search Engine Optimization.
So does this mean that the rest can be done with a plugin like WordPress SEO by Yoast? Nope. The rest really comes down to you.
Firstly, just because you have the Yoast plugin installed on your site by no means guarantees you of getting rankings in Google.
Produce original, relative and quality content that your niche market is looking for and rankings will come naturally. Target a specific niche market
source: Marc Parsons
Surprise! Google doesn’t trust you. You have to earn Google’s trust to have a top ranking page. What counts today:
Indexed age is the date that Google discovered your domain.
Google wants to see a healthy link profile that signifies authority.
Relevant content not only has to be lengthy. It has to be well-written, keyword centric and engaging. Readers then spend a good amount of time digesting and consuming that content.
The ugly truth about Meta tags (snippets).
The meta description is a ~160 character snippet, a tag in HTML, that summarizes a page’s content.
Google calls meta descriptions a “snippet.” It takes into account both the content of a page as well as references to it that appear on the web. The goal of the snippet and title is to best relate to the user’s query. The snippet for a page in search results may determine click through from a search results page.
“Rich snippets” are site owner written snippets – or based on markup on the page. These are usually composed in a SEO plugin. If it’s not relevant, it’s not used. Google displays snippets generated from page content even if the words from a query appear in a meta description. Google decides upon a snippet based upon its perception of a query.
The snippet is a concise, human-readable summary of each page’s content. Leave it alone. You can prevent Google from creating a snippet but why would you want to do that? They are trying to help you and reduce your work load. Best to let Meta descriptions get pulled in naturally. Contrived Meta descriptions are old-school SEO.
Is optimizing meta descriptions in a plugin an important aspect of SEO? Altering meta tags doesn’t significantly affect ranking. They affect click-through at best. But you don’t get to choose whether your carefully crafted snippet gets used any more. Google does.
Many bloggers and websites don’t include meta descriptions. In that case, Google chooses a random snippet of the article text. Sometimes, this is the first sentence. Or the sentence including the first instance of the user keyword entered.
In 2017, do Meta Tags control search snippet listings in Google? Sometimes, yes, at least in the case of the Meta Description, but not always, and this is dependent on many factors. Google will pick its own preferred search snippet for SERPs for display purposes. It’s influenced by whoever made the page (and site) – and what Google knows about the page.
Google radically changed how it creates page snippets. Both to improve user experience – and mask how it works as a search engine. In 2017, Google no longer requires information in various tags to rank or display pages. They rely more on newer signals of intent to both rank and display pages in SERPs.
So it’s possible to influence your snippet – that doesn’t mean you should if it duplicates title text. That advice is direct from Google. Google gives importance to visible page content. Not the relative unimportance it gives to invisible meta descriptions. Google prefers using their own automated snippets.
Google reserves the right to alter or change your title and meta descriptions to match searchers query intent. They supply information scent for easier more relevant scanning. All your time spent fiddling and tweaking is then for nothing.
Green-Dot Train Wreck A Yoast green dot only means that you stuffed the page with keywords. If you over do it, that may even draw a penalty from Google for trying to game the system. Don’t do keyword modifications. It will only get you blacklisted for keyword stuffing. In other words, attempted cheating the Google system. A SEO plugin can risk damage to your site and reputation.
You cannot stuff keywords into your text, add a SEO plug, and consider you will get a page-one ranking. That is an absurd expectation. How much tweaking is necessary with an SEO plugin for every page and post of your website? The return on investment is minimal and counterproductive. You have to do a lot of thinking and writing to make meta-tags that help even a little. You should be writing and researching content. Not worrying about getting green buttons in Yoast.
If your content is no good, how can it be relevant? Without great content, forget about your chances to rank. Google wants content made for humans. Getting a green dot is not an indicator the post will rank well with Google.
Yoast suggests duplicating Keyword strings for page title, article heading, content, and META description. Having a green “yes” in all these categories doesn’t achieve Google high organic relevancy.
“I’ve been using Yoast for a few years and I like it overall, but I’m getting pretty tired of their new “readability” scoring. Unless you use absolutely bizarre sentence structure and dumb your content down for morons, you’ll never get a green ‘good’ score.”
Keyword Meta Tags are dead.
Google is very clear about meta keywords (or keyword meta tags) – they don’t use them. You have more important things to worry about than this nonsense. Google no longer uses the meta keyword in search result ranking. They confirm this in their Webmaster Central Blog. Search engines don’t use the meta tag information any more because many site owners abused it. Yet it remains a feature in Yoast SEO plugin. Weird.
The Page Title Element is not a meta tag, although it’s referred to as one.
Title tags are the most important meta tags. These tags have a real impact on search rankings and, it’s the only tag that’s visible to the average user. You’ll find them at the top of your browser. The Title Tag alone can impact your search engine rankings.
Improve the quality of your titles. That can increase the number of people who are clicking. Titles should be authentic, use natural language, be short and condensed. Titles should inspire curiosity.
Page titles are more important than meta descriptions tweaked using SEO plugins. Creating page or post titles is part of WordPress. You can’t make a page without supplying that information. How to write good titles is a human skill. Automation only produces inferior titles. They do not understand human motive.
Now for some irony:
Do the top SEO blogs use meta descriptions? The answer is yes and no.
Uses meta descriptions on their homepage and product pages, but not their blog posts.
Search Engine Land
Uses a lengthy meta description on their homepage and sometimes uses them on their posts.
Search Engine Watch
Uses a lengthy meta description on their homepage, but not on their posts.
Doesn’t use a meta description on their homepage or blog posts, but does use it on the occasional internal page.
Search Engine Journal
Uses a brief meta description on its homepage but not on its posts.
When optimizing a page for Google, focus on page contentand user experiencein 2018. Search engines can’t see a site. They can only read a site. Looks do not talk to a search engine. What talks to a search engine are the words, the content. That’s the material that explains, shares, informs, educates, and babbles. Make sure you have quality word content for a search engine to examine and compare to give you a good score. Don’t worry so much about writing a certain amount of content every single day. Worry about publishing good content every single week. That’s what Google cares about – quality.
Google’s primary ranking factors now focus on user’s intent.
What are visitor’s motives to visit your site. Why are they there in the first place? Do you satisfy their needs and goals? What problem are they trying to solve? What questions do they want answered?
What is the best SEO tool? Content.
Put in the work and time, elevating quality over quantity.
Write content for readers:
Forget about the search engines. Chasing search engine algorithms is a waste of time. Relevant, valued, quality content is the biggest contributor to search engine page ranking. Period.
Our recommendation: Don’t use a SEO plugin – like Yoast. Leave out meta descriptions on pages. Your time is better focused on more important site issues like content.
Please Note: Snippet-editor SEO plugins insert the necessary markups to show rich snippets in search results, but they don’t guarantee your post will show rich snippets. Why? Because the final call is made by Google if they want to show it or not. Google prefers creating their own snippets based on page content and user intent. Snippet plugins are usually heavy and use server resource.
Rich Snippets is the term used to describe structured data markup site owners add to their existing HTML. This is supposed to allow search engines to better understand web page content. These just don’t work any more.
A 301 redirect is a permanent redirect from one URL to another. 301 redirects send site visitors and search engines to a different URL than the one they originally typed into their browser or selected from a search engine results page. A 301 redirect maintains website domain authority and search rankings when the site’s URL is changed for any reason.
Redirection is the only SEO plugin needed – and only if you change page names, delete pages, or move them.
*Yoast SEO is a counterproductive waste of time. Yet, Yoast’s annual revenue is 4.3 million dollars per year. Go figure.