We cannot deny the importance of Yoast SEO plugins on WordPress. It makes us tension free when comes to the terms on-page SEO. But there have some issues which should consider for doing SEO of the post or page which does not work correctly in Yoast SEO. In this post of Yoast SEO Review, I will tell why Yoast SEO is all in all for WordPress SEO. At the same time, why Yoast is not everything and in some cases nothing.
Certainly, Yoast SEO is perfect and well-organized for doing SEO on WordPress, and I am using it on my maximum blog. But is Yoast everything for SEO or nothing for content optimization? Basically, we will try to find out the answer. My aim is not to deny Yoast; I only want to share my experience. Surely, it will help you to use and customize the tool entirely.
The first thing to remember, it’s only a tool for measuring the content. But sometimes, we think Yoast means rank and green signal of Yoast means the best on-page SEO. But the reality says others.
Yoast is very important for checking the content quality according to on-page SEO. But it’s not right all the time. Here I will discuss the things which are really good for SEO and some things which are not good. I can’t tell it like this. I should say, we should skip some matter for user satisfaction.
Generally, we don’t understand the Yoast and what they want. For this reason, we make the fault. Yoast can give you only some real-time checking of the content. That does not mean you need to follow the Yoast fully (100%). Some terms just to give your warning. It’s not you have to follow it point by point; otherwise, your content is sick or not ready for on-page SEO.
With this in mind, we will learn when Yoast is good that means the benefits of Yoast SEO. At the same time, we will learn when Yoast is not mandatory, and even you can skip it or can’t implement it.
Yoast SEO Review (Good Sides & Bad Sides):
It is not my aim to make Yoast SEO guilty. They are really doing very fine for On-page SEO factors on WordPress. But it becomes bad when anyone or any webmaster thinks it is all in all for SEO. For this reason, I will discuss in this post the below essential matters about Yoast SEO to make the concept clear.
- Advantages/Benefits of Yoast SEO
- Disadvantages of Yoast SEO (Case Study)
- When you need Yoast SEO and when not?
- What extra facilities Yoast Premium Provides
- Some Myths about Yoast SEO
- How to use Yoast SEO in the right ways
Advantages/Benefits of Yoast SEO plugin:
There has no way to deny the benefits of Yoast SEO on WordPress. It has many advantages. Let’s see some great features of Yoast SEO.
- Yoast Checks if the content is SEO ready
- On-page SEO guideline (Yoast help to adjust SEO Title, Slug or Meta Description perfectly as well as Keyword Analyzing and Internal link Balance)
- Real-time analyzing and live preview when writing/publishing
- It Checks Content readability
- Provides Auto-generated XML sitemaps
- Verifying on the webmaster tools
- Can mark Cornerstone content
- Configuring Robots, Meta, Nofollow, Noindex, and Canonical URL
- Import and Export other SEO plugins settings
- Detecting Website Indexing problems
- Customizing Social Share Description/snippets
I will discuss the advantages of Yoast SEO in details in the next section of the post. You will get then the idea of the good practice of the Yoast SEO.
Disadvantages of Yoast SEO Plugin:
We can use a tool, but we cannot use it blindly. We should remind that a tool is only a robot, it works with some premade instructions, and it has been created to help the man. But it can’t give you the full satisfaction of human necessity. For this reason, you can take the help of a tool. But it is only to make the human work more accurate, not anything.
So what are the disadvantages of Yoast SEO? Let’s take some real time case study.
1. Yoast can’t understand singular and plural form of focus Keyword:
It is a big issue of Yoast SEO. It cannot understand the singular and plural form of any words, especially in focus keyword. Suppose, your focus keyword is “Best WordPress themes,” but when you write “ProWriter is the best WordPress theme for the writer.” Yoast will not count as the focus keyword. As you have no way to use ‘S’ with the word ‘theme.’ That means it will not count it as the focus keyword just for the singular form.
Important to realize, it is not an issue for the search engines. Google will count it as focus keyword. Because it can understand the singular and plural form of the words and it takes it as similar words. But Yoast will show you the red signal.
Another key point, you can use maximum 5 keywords on the premium plan. Here you can use more than one focus keyword. Though it’s not perfect for LSI too (I will discuss it on the next point), but most of the users/clients are not using the premium plan.
For this reason, they are getting the red signal, and a writer like me feel bored to realize them. In sometimes, they will never understand that I have no fault and Google never reflect on singular or plural issues. Even they take it as the similar word. It can recognize the different form of a verb and also gerund or particle.
But they can’t think anything for considering a content without Yoast SEO.
2. It can’t detect the LSI keywords
LSI means Latent Semantic Indexing. It refers the similar/synonyms keywords of the focus keyword.
For ranking your keyword, it is necessary to use your keyword several times. Similarly, you have to keep a good ratio of the focus keyword.
According to Yoast the good signal for keywords is 0.5%+. Many experts of SEO is telling the same.
But Google recently updated their algorithm, and they are giving the penalty for keyword stuffing. And you can get the solution of this problem by using LSI keywords.
That means you will use the similar terms in different words when comes the primary keyword. Indeed, Google can understand it. That means you will get the desired rank.
But where is the problem?
Yoast can’t understand it. In general, it is not possible to know it for a robot actually. They cannot realize which is possible for a man. But Yoast will show you the red signal if it does not get the exact keyword. That will say your article is not SEO friendly.
As a writer or blogger, you will face the problem most of the time. But the reality says the different.
If you use LSI keywords, Google will understand it, and even Google will take it as very natural than using the same words.
For this reason, you will get rank. But Yoast has no power to control the LSI keywords. Because it is not possible to use the robust algorithm for a single plugin. That’s why you need to skip this section, and you should follow the latest trends according to Google.
If you can use the more than one keyword as focus keyword, the problem can be solved. But you have no chances to do it on Yoast.
Though I have told you before that their premium plan gives the chance to use 5 keywords at a time. But what will you do if you get more LSI keywords and if you can use it naturally among the content or pillar content?
3. It doesn’t follow the keywords if you write in short paragraph and use the keyword in the second or later:
Suppose you do not follow the writing styles of creating the large paragraph. You like to write in the short paragraph with 2 or 3 sentences. Here it is tough to use the focus keyword in the first paragraph most of the time. You have to use the keywords in the second paragraph or even later.
If you see the writing styles of Neil Patel or other ProWriter, you will realize that they write in short paragraph. Even research shows that readers can catch it very quickly rather than writing a big paragraph.
In this case, you may not use the keyword in the first paragraph. That means Yoast will show you the red signal.
At the same time, Yoast gives a signal for writing a large paragraph. If you cross 150 words in a paragraph, it will give you red signal. That means it is not good.
But you may need to write long paragraph sometimes for describing a factor broadly. It is not wrong always. You are not using it most of the time.
Here. Yoast will give you also the red signal. What does it mean? Basically, it is not the fault of Yoast SEO. It’s our fault. We think Yoast SEO is the all in all for SEO. We can not believe it as a tool. But Google loves the natural content which is good for human not for a tool.
Google wants the content will be human-friendly.
4. It gives misconception about consecutive sentences
Yoast shows “The text contains 3/4 consecutive sentences starting with the same word. Try to mix things up!” What do they want to tell about this and how do they measure it? You will not get any specific answer from Yoast Authority.
Generally, consecutive sentence refers to similar sentence or sentence which has been started with the same words. But how Yoast define it. If they would give the suggestions with the red signal or they would provide any guideline, we can realize what they want to say exactly by this and what is the solution! We can work by following this.
I have checked a lot of content from the web content writing giant. But if you check their article with Yoast, you will see that they will get only 2 or 3 green signals, and overall they are in the red signal. Is that mean the writing style is not perfect? Especially, they write for the human, not for any tools.
If you see a great guideline and most popular post from ProBlogger, you will realize the matter clearly. Check this content of ProBlogger in the Yoast real-time analysis, and you will see what the result are. Though the content is from the first page of Google. You can check any content from the industry leader. Then you will realize which should you follow. (The image in the below is the result of the example content of ProBlogger, and I think it is one of the best tips for starting a blog)
5. Yoast is not always correct for heading/subheading tag
It is true. You have to use the heading tag for on-page SEO. At the same time, it increases the accessibility to the readers. But how does actually Yoast counts the heading tag? Sometime I can’t realize. Though it gives a red signal by suggesting to increase the heading tag. See a guideline from Google webmaster engineer Matt Cutts about the conditions for heading tag.
6. It may not work on Page Builder/Shortcodes (Maximum Time):
Yoast can’t function perfectly on Page Builder or shortcodes. When you will design landing page or post with page builder or if you use shortcodes, most of the time Yoast gives you wrong signal for readability, heading tag or other uses. It’s shocking.
Now page builder and shortcodes help to design the page interactively. But when you get the red signal, it can make you disappoint. But the reality is- Yoast is not working on your page. If you check in the real-time analysis without page builder or shortcodes, you will see everything is okay.
If you use site origin or Elementor or other page builders, you can get some solution for using Yoast SEO from here.
7. Yoast is not all for SEO:
Yoast has the substantial lacking on the on-site structure. It can’t measure the structure which is essential for SEO. It can’t define the canonical URL.
At the same time, it can’t control the page or site speed. Similarly, it cannot check the security vulnerabilities. It can’t define if the code is Okay or not.
For this reason, you cannot tell it as the only one SEO tool for WordPress. You have to do a lot of things manually or with the help of other plugins.
What’s about Yoast or other Readability scores:
Most of the time, Yoast provides wrong readability scores. But the truth is- it is not wrong actually. You may refresh the page, and it can show you different results from different time. At the same time, you may see that the different computer is also showing the different result.
Where Yoast may not work:
- Sometimes, it does not work for bullet point and table.
- It may not work for any third party page builder/shortcodes, which is not WordPress verified. Better check without shortcodes or page builder with Yoast SEO Real-Time analysis.
- It cannot count the words of a paragraph correctly in some cases.
- It can’t understand the brand name. If a brand name becomes more than one word, it does not take it as brand name and gives low readability score.
So what should you do?
The first thing to remember, your one and only duty is writing to satisfy your readers as well as getting self-satisfaction. It seems natural, and every native writer does it. For this reason, you like the native writing styles.
At the same time, Google loves the natural tone/content. So, you can skip the Yoast check if you can do it. Yoast is only for reminding you some matters for on-page SEO. So, you can check the issues and do it with your writing styles in some cases. Don’t do anything which gives the far difference.
It may not be natural too.
So, it is the only duty to write naturally that will love the readers as well as it will ultimately like Google. When Google likes it, it will get the rank ultimately.
Advantages of Yoast SEO:
I will inspire you to use the Yoast SEO. Because if you can write naturally, then skip the readability or some writing issues. But for checking the keyword, title, meta description and some other matters, Yoast is the boss. So, you should use the Yoast, and I’m surely doing the same.
Let’s see some remarkable advantages of Yoast SEO.
i. Yoast Checks if the content is SEO ready:
Yoast is considered as the best on-page SEO plugins. So, it will be the best practice to use it on your WP sites. It checks if the content has any significant problem. You do not need to bring the green signal all the time. But surely, it can help you to give an overview if anything goes very unnatural. With this in mind, Yoast can be your best friend.
Equally important, it checks if you have used the keyword in the image alt tag. At the same time, if you have used the keyword before.
ii. On-page SEO guideline:
Yoast will help you to check the below things carefully, and it is essential to rank your page on the search engine.
- Yoast help to adjust SEO Title: Yoast will check if the title of the post has the focus keyword. At the same time, if it has crossed the viewable limit, it will provide you the warning. It will surely help you to generate the eye-catching headline and to write it according to on-page SEO ranking factors.
- If Slug or Meta Description is perfect: Slug is the URL of your post. Though you can control it from the default URL, it also helps you to check if it is SEO and focus keyword friendly. At the same time, Yoast helps you to add the custom meta description. Though Google takes the meta description by default. But you can inspire Google to take your custom meta description from here. Important to realize, it is not a ranking factor. But it can generate visitors by adding inspirational overview/call to actions of the post.
- Keyword Analyzing, Internal link Balance: It is another important factor for Yoast. It checks if you have added any internal link. At the same time, it will show how many links you are giving as the outbound link. It is good to keep balance on the internal and external link. Here Yoast can help you to provide an overview.
iii. Real-time analyzing and live preview when writing/publishing:
The beauty of Yoast is- it provides a live preview of the content when you are writing or going to publish. That means you do not need to check it anywhere. It will make the process easier. You have no need go anywhere.
By the same token, they also have a real-time analyzing tool; you can check the content here without logging in into your dashboard.
iv. It checks the content readability:
Yoast provides a satisfactory readability check. It helps you to write in the shorter sentence or in the active form. At the same time, it will remind you to write a paragraph shortly. It is good for keeping you in a formula.
You can not follow it all the times; it will help you to know or compare from the previous experience. Comparing with your previous content is important, because if you got the desired rank before, then you can follow that rules.
v. Provides Auto-generated XML sitemaps:
When you want to index your sites into the different search engine, you will need the XML sitemaps. You will get some top rated plugins to do it.
At the same time, you can do the whole work by Yoast. You have to enable the advanced options after installing the Yoast. Then it will create the automatic sitemaps for you.
Important to realize, you can customize the setting from the dashboard which will help you to add or remove any page or category or other things for indexing.
vi. Verifying on the webmaster tools:
When you want to use webmaster tools for checking the health of your sites, you need to give access from the webmaster tools including Google.
Here you can do it from the Yoast Dashboard. Just add your sites in the webmaster tools and take the authentication code and place it on Yoast. It’s completed.
vii. Can mark Cornerstone content:
All the content has not the same importance in your blog. The cornerstone content is most valuable with great optimization, information, and resource. So, you can mark it as cornerstone content. Google takes it as the special signal.
Actually, it is the most authoritative, and you think your readers should read it. It reflects the brand of you.
viii. Configuring Robots Meta Nofollow, Noindex, and Canonical URL:
Sometimes it will need to use no-follow, no-index or canonical URL for the page in your blog. You should do it for not indexing some page. When you think it has no need to index on Google and it is only for your brand recognition, then you can keep it no-index. You will get the options from the setting gear icon in the left Yoast bar below the post.
At the same time, when you want to give some URL on a post as no-follow that means Google will not follow the URL, you can use no-follow from here.
Another key point, you may need to transfer your domain with content for upgrading/changing the brand. But you may think if Google takes the content as duplicate, then you can use it as canonical URL. Google officially tells about this for avoiding the risk.
ix. Import and Export other SEO plugins settings:
It is a fantastic tool for reducing the work. If you would use another SEO plugins and want to use now Yoast, you can import the full settings from the previous plugins. For example. All in all SEO. It will keep the previous work as same.
At the same time, if you want to export the Yoast setting into another blog or website, you can do it also from Yoast. Though it is available on the premium plan only.
x. Detecting Website Indexing problems:
Sometimes, the search engine may face any problem to index the page of your sites. That means your important page is not indexing by the search engine and it will lose the visitors from the search engine.
Yoast does a great job here. It will inform you if it sees any problem for indexing the URL of your sites.
xi. Customizing Social Share Description/snippets:
As social media sharing is very important, doing it very essential for you. You may not want to write the description all the time when sharing a post. You can set it up and share it without any hassle for the Yoast. You can do it from the social share icon of the Yoast. It will give you the opportunity to make the post social share ready including facebook and twitter.
What provides Yoast SEO on premium subscriptions:
Yoast offers some unique features on the premium version, such as
- A redirect tool to redirecting any post or page easily
- Suggestions for internal linking word
- Previewing the custom social share text, title or description
- Focusing multiple keywords
Some FAQs about using Yoast SEO:
1. Will it necessary to make the green signal in Yoast all the time?
-Not at all! If you think the content is user-friendly and you are satisfied with it, skip the signal. But check if you have used the title, keyword, and meta correctly. At the same time, don’t cross or deny anything excessively.
2. How will I realize if the content is natural?
-If you read the content and if it seems it is worth reading without any big sentence or extreme voice form, then it will be surely an excellent piece. If you don’t know about writing, then take the help of the professional writer to do it for making the content evergreen.
Now, I am in the finishing point of Yoast SEO review. I should explain again; this post is not to make the Yoast SEO guilty. They have created a great tool. But when you are going to depend entirely on a robot, it is your fault.
So, try to be natural and take Yoast as an assistance. Then you will surely get the rank on the search engine. At the same time, you will get more engagement on your blog.
Thanks Yoast for supporting the WordPress community and thanks all for reading it with care. 🙂
I will add/update some points if I get any new things and if anything needs to add for comparing the tools. If you think a point should add or remove, you can inform us with logical references. I will surely update the post. Never hesitate to share if you think I have made the fault. It will certainly help the community. Thanks again.
(Updated Octber 2017)