Edwin is a strategic content specialist. Before joining Yoast, he spent years honing his skill at The Netherlands’ leading web design magazine.
Sometimes, you have releases that start out small and end up with a substantial improvement. Yoast SEO 14.4 is one such release. Initially plannend as a bug fix release, this turned into something that markedly improves the publishing workflow in WordPress. Plus, you can now mark your external links as nofollow or sponsored. You see, Yoast SEO 14.4 is a chockfull release!
A new flow for your SEO-optimized content
Yoast SEO helps you optimize your content to make it awesome for readers as well as search engines. Over the years, Yoast SEO quickly turned into one of the most used writing tools in the world. We’re very proud of that, but we felt there were a couple steps missing from the publishing flow. Plus, we noticed people struggling to find our sidebar in the block editor. Our CTO, Omar Reiss, came up with the concept for improving this and built most of it himself — we even dubbed this The Omar Release internally. Thanks to him, we now have a flow that gives you more SEO insights throughout the publishing process.
One of the most important parts of Yoast SEO is the feedback you get from the SEO analysis and readability analysis. These tools make sure that your content is up to scratch. Now, we make sure that these scores are visible in a number of additional steps. In short, here are the three steps:
Here’s how that looks:
By adding SEO scores to these steps, we give you a better handle on your content quality. This is very helpful — sometimes you just need a little positive feedback to hit that publish button!
CTO Omar Reiss on the publishing flow
Did you know we have a sidebar in the WordPress block editor? No? Well, you’re not alone. Omar Reiss, had this to say on that topic: “We’ve noticed for a while that users new to the block editor have trouble finding our sidebar. In the Classic Editor, we’ve always been visible in the publishing screen, but for the block editor, we made an entire sidebar for Yoast SEO. To reach this, you needed to click the big Y logo on the top of the screen. In Yoast SEO 14.4, we’re making it much easier to find by integrating it in the Document sidebar. Now, you immediately see the familiar bullets once you open a post.”
We’re not just making Yoast SEO easier to find, but we’re also guiding people more. Omar: “SEO is crucial in the content publication process. We believe in holistic SEO and SEO plays a part in every step of the process. I’m happy that we can help people remember to work on that. Every post benefits from looking at it with an eye for SEO and the publication flow helps you do that. In addition, that final check makes sure that you can publish you content without hesitation!”
Omar didn’t just came up with the idea of these improvements, but he also built them himself. Omar explains: “I’ve been getting back into programming and for this project I had the chance to work with a couple of interesting Gutenberg APIs. These helped me to get everything going pretty quickly. I have to say, from an extensibility perspective, Gutenberg is maturing quickly! Soon, I’ll publish a blog post about my experiences with these Gutenberg APIs.”
Mark outgoing links with nofollow/sponsored
The second addition is an easy way to block search engines from following outgoing links by setting them as
nofollow or even
sponsored. It has always been a good idea to mark external links as
nofollow — especially if these lead to pages you don’t really endorse. In addition, you can use these signal that these links might have been commercial and you don’t want search engines to follow these.
Recently, Google announced a new way to mark commercial links as such:
sponsored. It is not mandatory to mark links you paid for with this new attribute, but it helps Google get a better sense of what happens with links on the web.
In the WordPress block editor, you can now easily mark links as
nofollow. In addition, you can also mark these as
sponsored in Yoast SEO 14.4. When you mark a link as
sponsored, it automatically also applies a
nofollow to that link. This is according to Google’s guidelines.
See it in action below:
More background in our help documentation on which link setting you should use. Tomorrow, we publish a new post on our SEO blog that goes into this in more detail.
Sharing on social media
You can see third new feature as part of the publishing flow mentioned above, but I’d still like to highlight it separately. In Yoast SEO 14.4, we made it much easier to share your freshly published post on social media like Twitter and Facebook. After you’ve hit Publish, you will be greeted with a new Share your post setting. Simply click the Facebook or Twitter icon to publish your new masterpiece to the corresponding platform.
Yoast SEO 14.4: More SEO insights
That’s Yoast SEO 14.4 for you! This release comes with a better workflow for publishing SEO-proof articles, including a new way to share your content on social media. In addition, we made it a lot easier for you to discourage search engines from following external links.