In the last 24 hours, both Jetpack and YoastSEO have had a significant update. Jetpack is now at version 4.0 and YoastSEO is now at version 3.2 There are two pretty big changes that came with the Jetpack and YoastSEO update of which you need to be aware.
The changes made the Jetpack are great. We are very excited about these. But the change that has us the most excited is the following:
Theme Tools: search engines will now have an easier time knowing what page they are on, and how that page relates to the other pages in your site hierarchy with improved schema.org microdata for breadcrumbs.
This is huge. WordPress is pretty SEO-friendly right out of the box. Installing Jetpack makes it more so. When a search engine crawls your site, they want to know how everything in your site relates to everything else in your site. If it makes sense to the search engine, your site is rewarded. In yesterday’s WordPress Basics newletter, we briefly touched on this. So, anything WordPress does to improve this is great news to content creator who have made WordPress their CMS of choice.
We are less enthusiastic about the changes made to YoastSEO. They have removed Google+ support:
Google+ is dwindling, so we were already discussing its fate in our plugin. The Google+ metadata on posts was conflicting more and more with Facebook. Facebook was picking up Google+ images over Facebook OpenGraph images. These factors combined made us decide to remove the Google+ functionality from the plugin.
There is a lot of debate about the merits of Google+, both as a social media platform and whether or not it helps SEO. For Skookum Monkey, Google+ is a very valuable social media platform. It is our number one source of traffic after organic search. When we search for Skookum Monkey-related terms using incognito mode, a lot of the results are links to our posts on Google+.
What this change means, well, we won’t know until we automatically share this post and see how it looks on Google+. It is our hope that, with all the improvements to both WordPress and Jetpack metadata, that our posts will still automatically pull either the featured image or top image, and still automatically pull in the excerpt. If not, that means we will have to spend time manually sharing posts to not only make sure an image is being pulled but also the excerpt. Google+ is a very visual platform with posts with images being the most read and shared.
So, we will have to get back to you on this one. And if the changes to YoastSEO results in creating more work for creators, then we may remove it from our list of must-have plugins.
Here is more information on YoastSEO 3.2.
And that is what you need to know about the Jetpack and YoastSEO update.
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