Yoast SEO plugin is a very popular one, but it has a lot of features that you should not run in your CMS.
I will focus on how the Yoast Plugin should be setup for WordPress, then intro a plugin to disable what it terms the ‘bloat’. You will reduce the load Yoast creates on your site and your brain. I cannot guarantee this will block spammy popups 🙂
Yoast should only be used for:
- Adding meta (titles & descriptions – no keywords) to pages, products and posts
- Either individually or
- using a template
- XML generation (sitemap_index.xml)
- Only for pages, posts and products – No categories or archives in most use cases
- Be very careful Yoast by default will set every facet of your site to index, de bloating Yoast is also about turning off all this in its features and being very sure the XML sitemap it generates is correct.
- This plugin manages XML and general meta so well, this is what it is for. It was in its best days only for this and the newer features mar an absolutely excellent core technical SEO plugin.
- Schema additions
- These are limited and automated by the plugin, I would use the defaults, simple logo, social etc.
- Avoid the premium version of this plugin, Schema needs no plugin and its not to be gamed like this plugin is suggesting
- Learn about schema and add the JSON in content yourself, a focus on AMP here is time better spent
- There are multiple tools for testing all these new markups and schemas, none is needed in CMS, why validate with Yoast when you can via GSC?
The Features I dont Advise
- The length checker, you can use a simple search engine check and common sense here, this part of the tool slows the editor or SEO down a lot
- SEO logic, via focus keywords, this encourages keyword stuffing and is a bad way to train SEO, understanding and being an ethical SEO are core to success online
- Link analysis, this fosters an idea of interlinking, backlinking and other unnatural patterns, there is no magic and no tricks
- Its file editor leaves a security issue and you can create a robots.txt very easily without this feature
Overall once you do this and install the SEO bloat plugin, then you have a lean version of Yoast, the classic, vintage version, with all the last few years freemium up-sells removed. You can focus on your SEO and get results not get distracted by shiny new features.
If you find a site running this with a heap of red and green lights etc dont worry the core SEO is stored just the nonsense reporting gets canned. Also within WordPress itself this is so nice, I cannot personally use Yoast without this plugin. It has hijacked WP in so many ways of late.
Download these Plugins
Both are free and highly advised.
Other handy plugins for removing things and cleaning up bloat.