Yoast continues to expand his excellent SEO plugin. See this quick MaAnna Minute video tour of all the enhancements, including:
- new name
- integration with Google Search Console
- tagline warning
- less admin clutter
- expanded social section
- better page analysis tool
One of the changes not shown is to the on-page redirect function. Old ones will still work, but you can’t add new ones, and that’s a good thing. It’s just too hard to keep up with them this way. Far better to use your .htaccess file or a redirect plugin (turn off the logs so it won’t become a resource hog!)
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Yoast made significant changes and additions in the 2.0 release of this plugin and he’s steadily been adding to it since. Most of those changes were enhancements to the social sections of the plugin, and he has expanded them once again.
In the 2.3 release, the name of the plugin was changed to Yoast SEO. And the new feature set is superb.
Integration with Google Search Console
There is now full integration with Google Search Console (formerly called Google Webmaster Tools).
You’ll find a new sub-link for it in the SEO section.
When you click the Get Google Authorization Code
It will produce a pop up screen where you can enter your login for Google Search Console and grab your authorization code.
Let’s jump over to a site where I’ve activated it.
You’ll have a new admin page to see any issues with your site. With the premium version of this plugin you’ll be able to fix them from here too. That should be super duper handy for folks who have lots of 404 pages to deal with.
And here’s a hidden tip.
Go up to the Screen Options tab and click to expand it.
Here you can choose how many crawl errors to show on the page at once.
I’m not sure how often this plugin is pinging Google for this info. Yoast got into a little trouble with Google for pinging too often with his analytics plugin. So, we’ll keep an eye on that, and if this feature puts any extra load on the admin side of your site too.
Missing Tagline Warning
And I’m thrilled Yoast added this feature!
Let’s go to the General WordPress settings.
If your tagline still says Just Another WordPress Site, the Yoast plugin will warn you. SEO is not just about installing this plugin, you have to configure it, and all other SEO features on your site too. This is just one of them.
Less Admin Clutter
Another big change is to the page and post list pages. I believe that by default they have turned off all the columns beyond the SEO score.
I originally had them off by default
So I don’t know if they are just turned off on new installs, or if they disappeared when the plugin was updated.
Social Tab Enhancements
Another big feature enhancement that I just caught recently is in the actual editor module.
It’s in the Social tab
You have a way to control exactly what goes into the Facebook OG tags
The Twitter tags
And G+ tags.
That includes which image you want to display.
I’m not sure when all of this hit the plugin. And it’s very similar to the features in the Social Warfare premium plugin. So, you definitely want to start taking advantage of this, instead of having it pick up the defaults when your post is shared on all of these platforms.
Page Analysis Tool Enhancements
If you use the page analysis feature in this plugin, there are even more goodies for you.
I’m going to jump over to the latest changes screen to show them to you.
You’ll see a new module in your WordPress Dashboard with the scores of posts that you may want to improve.
From site audits, I see a lot of folks install this plugin, never configure any of the settings, and just use this page analysis feature. In my opinion, you’re actually doing more harm than good with that strategy. Yoast has made several improvements to the page analysis tool, but to get a green dot, you’ve still likely overstuffed your post or page with keywords, and that’s just not how SEO works anymore. Plus, you’re missing all of the real benefits of this plugin by not configuring it.
Need More Help?
If you need help with that, visit the Videos page on BlogAid.
Where you’ll find links to a full SEO Video course that covers every setting on this plugin, plus ways to cooperate with it, like on-page SEO too. And, how to get credit with Google for everything you publish online.