Support » Plugin: Yoast SEO » Works (mostly) but annoying

  • tl;dr
    I like the base functionality. I dislike spammy upsells and reckless feature development.

    The plugin works, and has for years. But it keeps adding and changing stuff, often without proper testing, resulting in completely unneccesary problems. It also has always been full of ads and attempts to put itself above your editing experience as a user.

    So finally i’ve written a review of this annoying plugin – that I still use until I have found an alternative.

    Why review it now? – Because they flashed a (non-wp-standard as usual) notice from the admin-bar, disappearing after a second, saying “There’s an issue with your SEO” – I clicked it. What’s the issue, so important the plugin interrupts me with notices, breaking my editing flow? It’s “We’d be thrilled if you could give us a 5* rating on”. Sigh. That’s an important issue with MY SEO? Maybe with Yoast marketing efforts, but not with my SEO.

    If the Yoast team focused on bringing us a free plugin with basic functionality and a clear upgrade path for the user who need more, I would be happy. It may be hard for some marketers and SEO salesmen to grasp, but quality pays off. I’d gladly pay for extra functionality from a developer I can trust to put the user’s interests first.

    For each ad and annoying upsell, for each experimental feature that breaks admin, the likelyhood for me “upgrading” to a premium version decreases. And WordPress SEO by Yoast loses three stars for spamminess and bloat.

    • This topic was modified 3 years, 3 months ago by matteth.
    • This topic was modified 3 years, 3 months ago by matteth.
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  • Plugin Author Taco Verdonschot


    Hi @matteth,

    Thanks for your honest review. We truly appreciate that.

    And if I may, I’d like to use this opportunity to reply to your feedback. If I may not, please skip the text below 😉

    First of all, I’m glad to hear that Yoast SEO works for you. What I read from your feedback is that the basics are there as you expect and need them.

    In your feedback, you talk about it being ‘full of ads’. I mostly agree with you. It is. The reason those banners are there, is because Yoast is not a 1-person non-profit organization, but a 40+ people company. Simply put, we need to make money. We need to inform people that we have premium products and services. They paid for the development time on the free plugin.
    If you don’t want to see the banners in the admin, there’s a simple solution. Pay for the premium plugin. That’ll solve your annoyance with the banners, and help us by generating income.

    You also mentioned that we keep adding and changing stuff. That too is correct. The internet constantly changes, so our plugin will have to change with it. And yes, we keep adding stuff. Everything we add has the same end goal; help you do your SEO better.

    “often without proper testing”, you said. Again, I must partially agree with you. We do not test against every possible configuration our plugin can run in. Why? Because it’s impossible. What we do is using automated testing tools, test every release manually, and -for most releases- publish a beta version well before we release a new version. That gives everyone the change to test our upcoming release. And I’m proud to say that we’ve never shipped a version with unresolved feedback from the beta.

    The last point I want to touch is that we break WordPress’ flow. We try our very best not to. But for some of the things we want to add, there is no good WordPress flow. And sometimes we have to break away from it. For example, why did we introduce our own notification center? Because we used the default one and people disliked that.

    Finally, I totally agree with you that quality pays off. That’s why I’m happy to receive your feedback. And if you find bug, please report them on GitHub:


    Thank you for your reply. There are a lot of plugins in the WordPress ecosystem doing successful sustainable freemium models, with a lot of less annoyances. You’re simply taking it too far – which seemingly is a lucrative strategy for you if the plugin keeps 40 people payed. Taking things too far can often be the road to economic success, at users’ expense. (E-mail spam is probably paying a lots of peoples’ bills – it doesn’t mean it’s good.)

    I gave you an example: The notification “There’s an issue with your SEO” leads to “We’d be thrilled if you could give us a 5* rating on”. In what way is this an issue with my seo? Stepping over the line, are you?

    If you value my opinion, you ask for a review, not for a 5 star review.

    I have bought the premium version of most good plugins I use, but – as WordPress plugins are usually not ad supported – I upgrade for functionality.

    I understand you can’t test every scenario. But there’s a lot you can do to ensure compatibility, such as having users opt in to new functions, making debugging easier. Once again, it works for others.

    What I would like is a free community supported plugin with basic, clean functionality, good UI, and upsells based on utility, not to get rid of annoyance. I’ll gladly pay.

Viewing 2 replies - 1 through 2 (of 2 total)
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