Toxic-Toast SEO

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Updated: November 2018

Uninstall Yoast

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:
wp_yoast_seo_links
wp_yoast_seo_meta

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:

_yoast_wpseo_linkdex
_yoast_wpseo_title
_yoast_wpseo_metadesc
_yoast_wpseo_focuskw
_yoast_wpseo_focuskw_text_input
_yoast_wpseo_primary_category
_yoast_wpseo_content_score

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.

But here are some ideas:

There is a free plugin called SEO Data Transporter.

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/

https://wordpress.org/plugins/so-clean-up-wp-seo/

After removing Yoast SEO, it’s wise to run a plugin called Uninstall Yoast SEO Completely.

There isn’t a tidy answer to the Yoast SEO plugin withdrawal symptoms.

Yoast SEO plugin’s main purpose is:
PROMOTING Yoast!

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


Q You 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).

A 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.

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.

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