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Updated: December 2018

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 Google implies your snippet is superseded by Google’s Artificial Intelligence (AI) machine-learning snippet based on user intent.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.

https://searchengineland.com/googles-machine-learning-now-writes-featured-snippets-descriptions-264280

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.
– Bloated.
– 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.

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