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Does Yoast SEO work?

Posted on 2015-01-29
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Last Modified: 2015-02-02
I am using wordpress for my site and have been using Yoast SEO and going by its recommendation for my articles and site.

Just want to find out experts experience with Yoast SEO - does following its criteria and recommendation really help? I always aim to change my SEO of a page to "Good" by its definition, but that usually mean 'stuffing' keywords into titles, URL,  content, meta description etc... is that truly how it should be done?

Hope someone can share their opinion on using this Yoast SEO method.

thanks!
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Question by:sgmh
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Jason C. Levine earned 300 total points
ID: 40577924
There's two distinct aspects to Yoast's plugin.  It provides WordPress sites with a fairly comprehensive set of tools to alter areas of the site for SEO purposes and it also does a rudimentary check on SEO readiness.

The former is fantastically useful.  The latter, less so.

does following its criteria and recommendation really help

Depends.  If you are putting in a search term and checking the page against it and everything comes up red, then clearly that term is not a good fit for that page.  So if you can tweak the page title, content, slug, and meta description to get the term in there at least once (which moves the check from red to yellow), that's what you should do.

but that usually mean 'stuffing' keywords into titles, URL,  content, meta description etc... is that truly how it should be done?

'stuffing' implies you are repeating the search term unnaturally, usually in the body of the content.  Don't do this. Ideally, the search term should occur naturally throughout the document and if so, that document should rank well on that term or phrase.  If you have to make unnatural efforts to include a term or phrase that affects the readability of the document, then you may get penalized.
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by:COBOLdinosaur
COBOLdinosaur earned 200 total points
ID: 40580294
Tf you just write good content you don't need to stuff keywords.  The SE crawlers decide what is relevant based on the context and semantics.  If you content is not high quality, unique, cleanly presented; then it does not matter how many keywords you try and stuff.  In the extreme you will be penalized for stuffing and at best you will gain a very tiny amount of ranking juice because your keywords match the content.

Google has been shifting away from site supplied keywords as a major factor in determining rank. It will still reference them to optimize indexing, but the number one factor in the weighting is relevance. The metrics they use for that are engagement time and bounce rate.  If you are optimizing to gain traffic then you will not do well unless that traffic is targeted for what is actually on the page so the visitors stay on your site longer and perhaps even look at additional pages.

The pickup the bounce rate and engagement metrics values directly from user behavior on the SERPs, so if you optimize for search and don't optimize for user looking for what you have you will not find your pages on page one of the SERPs.

As for the specific use of Yoast; used properly it does not hurt and might add a tiny bit of help. Used badly it can be a disaster.

Cd&
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