All I can say, is. Wow, they've come a long way!
My original experience with this plug-in was bleak. Yoast had too many options and assumptions of what someone might know about SEO. Also language and humor seemed to be enemies of clarity.
I decided to look at this plug-in when a competitor's website kept outranking me in google and saw that they were using Yoast - I was using All In One SEO. So I gave it a shot.
Now I know more about SEO, and the interface has improved - so many fewer options and so much clearer about whether you're activating it and what you can expect it to do. Not only that, but my rankings are slowly improving.
I definitely recommend anyone who had previously scoffed at this plug-in to try it again.
You'll be VERY pleasantly surprised. I was!
---------------- here is my original 1-star review------------------------
I spent about two weeks trying to get this plug-in to work. No matter what I did the sitemaps were barfed-up and rejected by google.
The interface IS confusing. The author tries to be comical or ironic with some of the selections - so when you read a description next to the check-box your're left wondering "sooo... should I check it or not?"
I've used plug-ins by non-English native speakers (Newsletter by Satollo is a great example) that are absolutely brilliant and clearly written and work straight out of the box.
I recommend the plug-in author take a look at all of the selected options, group them in a way that makes sense, and remove all of the jokes from the interface (they are not funny) and work on a solid plug-in that works for most people most of the time with pre-sets that won't ruin your SEO if you don't know what you're doing.
Good luck, and I hope to see newer, better, version. I still need SEO help - but it looks like this plugin is not for me.
Kudos to those who were able to make it work DESPITE the bugs and interface.