Support » Plugin: Yoast SEO » Do NOT try to optimize SEO with uTube videos

  • Resolved lesb55


    A warning to folks thinking of improving home page ranking with this plugin – DON’T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT!

    At least not with YouTube videos.

    Yoast does warn that this plugin doesn’t currently work well with YouTube videos (somewhere in the documentation).
    Not realizing; I uploaded a YouTube video to my home page using this plugin – and waited to see how it would affect our ranking.

    Took a while; but finally – shock & disbelief!
    We had been #4-8, on the first page of Google for the keyword “bidet” for the last 4 years.
    With my “YouTube video addition” we got dumped back to #7 on the 3rd page of Google!

    Worst part is: I removed the video, but despite updating xml sitemaps, a reconsideration request to to the Big G, and much other general jerking about – our site has remained with this same poor ranking – 1 month later.

    Our Meta Title and description is all messed up in the Google cache as in:
    with a bidet!: Bidet Sales Australia | Make your life better today
    Jan 23, 2009 – Online Store specializing in hand held bidet sprayers, bidet toilet seats & complete ‘toilet integrated’ bidet kits. Easy installation – guaranteed…

    Current Meta title and description actually reads:
    Bidet Sales Australia | Make your life better today – with a bidet!
    Online Store specializing in hand held bidet sprayers, bidet toilet seats & complete ‘toilet integrated’ bidet kits. Easy installation – guaranteed quality.

    That: “Jan 23, 2009 –” date at the front of Google’s cached description, is what WP Video SEO put there with the YouTube video, and obviously why we are still ranking so badly ONE MONTH AFTER removing the video.
    Why the messed up meta title – I don’t know. But this was only AFTER putting the YouTube video on the home page – with Yoast’s WP Video SEO plugin enabled.

    Be warned: Google is currently god of the Internet!
    They DON’T CARE if your business goes bust, because of a simple SEO mistake that you (or they) might make.

Viewing 11 replies - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)
  • Your funny. I think if google really acted like that they would be bankrupt by now. Considering that in order to write a search engine you would not only need to know pure mathematics (cough) advanced calculus (ahem) as well as AI algorithms which can be as complex as cryptography I’d say that google’s team is pretty damn smart.

    I think that you were ranking good then one day something went wrong and your site was flagged. You need to check more than just your headings.

    • Check for HTML validation. Regardless of what they say I have tested and found it gives some pages a small (minute) boost
    • CSS validation. (I have no time to test this as my code never validates due to backward compatability)
    • If you are using wordpress enable author rank and publisher rank. That way ratings of pages are linked to authors instead of just pages.
    • Enable Video markup
    • Make sure you embed your youtube videos with object tags instead of an iFrame (very important).
    • Add video sitemap to your site
    • Add sitemaps to your robots.txt file (
    • Google changes its algorithm regularly. I know you probably follow but here’s a good place to keep up with updates:

    As a last note google is not what you think it is. It is not like wikipedia. They can put whatever site they want on their first page. If they didn’t do a good job of it then they would run out of business. There is no such a thing as a “good rating”. Every day thousands of pages are added to the net and themes are changed / updated etc. It’s only a matter of time before something on google’s front page disappears. The only solution is to become famous enough that you have your own private rating that doesn’t change. The rule is whichever page is best ranks best. The only way to do that is keep changing your pages. Which is not worth it in my view.

    Thanks for your advice mAsT3RpEE!

    I did have the video in an iFrame
    I didn’t have any video markup (didn’t know it was needed)
    I don’t yet have author rank enabled (on my to-do list)
    Everything else you suggest – I always do try to do.

    What puzzles me is that after removing the video and replacing it with an image, my meta title & description is still displayed wrongly for that page in a Google search results – nearly 1 month later!

    I bought Yoast’s ‘Video SEO for WordPress’ plugin with the intention of using videos more on our website.
    Certainly got my fingers burnt with this first effort.

    Other websites are now ranking way ahead of mine (in Google) that have no useful information about, or have NOTHING to do with bidets (just use the word in their title).
    I still rank #3 or #4 on the first page of search results in Bing and Yahoo – for the keyword ‘bidet’ (with the correct meta title & description I might add).

    In 8 years of running my own web-based business I have never seen anything like this this happen before (but I have never added a video to my home page before).

    Previously; changes to any web page would get picked up by Google fairly quickly (usually within a week or so).

    Seems to me that Google have recently changed the frequency with which they crawl static web pages. Now if you do something wrong – it seems you risk getting left out in the cold indefinitely!
    I wish more people would start using Bing & Yahoo, so Google would be forced to become more accountable for this sort of thing.

    One more thing. You will have to find a programmer to edit Yoasts plugin. Specifically the open Graph class. It needs to support og:video. Another alternative is to disable open graph entirely in the plugin and use facebook’s native plugin. Yoast’s plugin is the best but it still has some features missing. His code fully supports all this so I’m trying to figure out why he turned off all these features. Maybe theres a premium version of the plugin. Or maybe he’s just lazy. I dunno. But if you do all these + open graph, that should put you way ahead of everyone else.

    One final thing, look at your competitors backlinks: to see if they are getting any good links from free sources. Then simply add your site to any online directories, etc that you find.

    Sometimes competitors can hurt each other by deliberately linking your site to bad sites. Make sure this is not the case by looking at all the backlinks to your site as well.

    You are not the first person. Yoasts plugin is for people who know what they are doing. I started working online this year and I have met 3 owners of sites that have been blacklisted from google. Normally it’s due to setting the plugin incorrectly. I think he should change the interface so user can choose ‘I am an idiot’ or ‘I know what I’m doing’. It has a lot of features to configure properly.

    Currently the plugin has no support for videos from what I’ve seen in the code.

    You can resubmit a page for recwawl by following the steps here:

    Thanks for your further thoughts mAsT3RpEE.

    Your understanding of the technical issues involved here is obviously far advanced compared to mine.

    But I do now understand what the ‘og’ title is that WP SEO generates, and the potential for it to cause exactly this type of problem.

    Looking on the forums; many other people have had many similar experiences to me: messed up titles using WP SEO.

    I’m not sure Yoast’s plugin is the best – SEO Ultimate has some excellent features that Yoast’s doesn’t have, without the risk of ruining your ranking with this Open-Graph S*#t!

    “Currently the plugin has no support for videos from what I’ve seen in the code.”

    I hope you’re referring to the (free) WP SEO plugin – and not the (paid for) Video SEO extension.

    I paid $69 for Yoast’s ‘Video SEO’ extension in order to optimize SEO of videos, but that’s when all this trouble all started.

    I have been loathe to get rid of WP SEO, simply because another gentleman has written a very useful plugin which integrates the Shopp ecommerce plugin with WP SEO (SEO glue).

    I am going to try deleting just the ‘Video SEO’ extension first (even though it cost me $69).
    If that doesn’t fix things – I will most definitely be going over to ‘the dark side’ (swapping to SEO Ultimate).

    Plugin Author Joost de Valk


    @lesb55 you’re obviously in distress, but please use the proper support channels for the proper things. Support for your video SEO plugin is available, just email us, you have our email address from your purchase email. We’ll also figure out those other WordPress SEO issues for you. You’re also completely misunderstanding some things, but we’ll help you figure those out.

    Now it all makes sense! I was wondering why the code was turned off! :). Yes I am referring to the free version. Not Video or advanced or anything else. Is that version of the plugin available to download from wordpress site?

    Maybe if I can get my hands on source I can file a bug report to author. He seems to be back after what seemed like 2 months … holiday?

    I’ll try to get a copy of it and look through it. Sorry for your bad luck. I still think he’s a better programmer than me. There can be a million causes for the mess up and most have nothing to do with the plugin. Can you please post:

    1. Theme you are using
    2. Version of WP SEO
    3. Version of WP
    4. Version of extention
    5. Plugin or software you use to add videos into your posts / pages along with its version

    Finally please tell author so he can fix it.

    Plugin Author Joost de Valk


    @ mAsT3RpEE: please do shut up. 2 months holiday? 2 months of work you mean. I’ve been providing updates all the time, just don’t do support here as much because we actually have paying customers.

    Thanks for visiting the forum Joost.

    I started this thread to have a whinge about Google, but mainly to warn others about what happened to us.

    It didn’t occur that my messed up meta titles may have anything to do with WP SEO or WPSEO Video, and I didn’t want to waste your time; if this was not possibly caused by either of your plugins.

    I am still not 100% sure about this.

    Yesterday, I added Google+ Publisher & Authorship markup to our home page – as recommended above by mAsT3RpEE.
    I then deactivated WPSEO Video.
    About the same time you pushed out an update for WP SEO, so I updated.

    Within a couple of hours, our meta title and description was displaying correctly in Google serps – after being messed up since 10th June!

    You can see that Google has re-indexed our home page, because my mug-shot (authorship) appears next to it. (I have since removed authorship from this page). This is not a cached result either; because I added meta name=”robots” content=”noarchive” to our header.php

    I have no idea where this wrong title/description was coming from, but it only appeared in Google serps – not Yahoo or Bing.
    If there was something in the database causing problems; the only SEO plugin previously used was ‘Headspace2’.

    I would be extremely grateful if you could take a look at our configuration, and perhaps identify what may have caused this problem.
    I’ve now sent this same message as a support request; to your WPSEO Video, email address.

    @ Joost,

    Never mind, you’re a busy man.

    For others out there who might be plagued by this problem:

    Yoast’s SEO plugins are quite powerful, and after activation you may see changes to meta title/descriptions which were not being picked up by Google serps previously.

    This problem is related to what’s contained in your theme files.

    That annoying date at the start of our meta description was the date our blog was originally started!
    Nothing had been changed in header.php, index.php or single.php to make the date start appearing – only activation of Yoast’s Video SEO plugin.

    Here’s how I fixed it:

      Most importantly; I needed to remove the date completely from all pages.
      I didn’t want to remove the date entirely from posts – just the serps.
      I did want to remove the date from posts: 6 months after first published date.
      I also wanted to remove “Last Updated” time on Google serps – but have this always displayed on the post.

    First step is to hide the time in javascript so Google can no longer read it. This means it will still show on the post, but not serps.

    This is the code I now have in my theme’s index.php and single.php files:

    <p id="author"><strong>Written by:</strong> <?php the_author() ?> <script language="javascript" type="text/javascript">document.write("<?php the_time('F jS, Y') ?>");</script><br><strong>Last updated:</strong> <time datetime="<?php the_modified_time('Y-m-d'); ?>"><?php the_modified_time('F jS, Y'); ?></time></p>
    Of course your theme may be using “get_time” or something else similar instead of “the_time”.

    Second step is to use the ‘Date Exclusion’ plugin, to stop the published date appearing on posts after 6 months.

    Some really useful posts about this:

    If you are still having problems, you can always go for the “Big Hammer” of funtions.php code, mentioned in that first article.

    Why have the “Last Updated” date showing?

    This article explains the issues around removing dates fairly well (of course your individual website needs may differ):

    Google obviously puts a lot of emphasis on dates, but as search engine spiders are not smart enough to differentiate between dates (and pick the right one); removing their ability to read dates is a good idea.

    Who wants every page of your website showing the date you first started your blog?

    Removing the date completely (for your readers) may not be such a great idea.


    As stated at the start of this thread: we were kicked out of Google search results for over 1 month; because Google serps was prepending the date our blog was started: Jan 23, 2009 – to the start of our meta description.
    Even AFTER implementing the above changes; as soon as I activate Yoast plugin: WP SEO Video, Google starts showing that #$%@ date again! (and we are dumped a page or two back in the search results – AGAIN)

    Joost if you are reading this: I submitted a support request for this PAID plugin and got this reply:

    Hi Les,

    I’ll forward this to Joost again then, but it might be some time before he answers due to holidays and workload 🙂

    Kind regards,

    Thijs de Valk
    Consultant at Yoast

    I have since added the following code to my functions.php file:
    add_filter( 'wpseo_video_show_date_in_snippet','__return_false');

    If this code does not work, I will have no option but permanently disable WP SEO Video.
    This plugin is supposed to help your SEO – not stuff your rankings!

    @lesb55 – these forums are for free plugins only, please use the correct venue for support for paid versions.

Viewing 11 replies - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)
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