Here is my latest video on whether Yoast SEO or RankMath is a better WordPress plugin.
Video transcript below.
In this video, I’ll tell you my take on which is a better plugin for your WordPress blog. David or Goliath. Yoast SEO or Rank Math. Let’s take a look.
Yoast SEO is one of the most popular WordPress plugins of all time. It’s been there for years.
In my 15 years of entrepreneurship, I’ve tried almost every other SEO WordPress plugin you can imagine. Back in those days, there was All in One SEO, which was the popular plugin. It’s still there on the plugin store, but the ownership changed at some point…and that’s when it started doing things that it shouldn’t. So I ditched it.
Yoast was a better alternative then. Yoast De Valk – the owner of the plugin was an SEO expert among bloggers at the time and it only made sense to go with him. That’s what many of us bloggers did at that time. It was (still is) an amazing plugin. I’ve used it for so many of my projects. It just did the job really well.
It’s gone through several iterations during all these years. Lots of things changed, features got added, pro version made available. It was up to date. Kudos to the team.
Until March 2018. That’s when a bug showed up. According to which, a lot of websites lost their Google traffic, because of a problem with Yoast’s settings.
Here’s what happened. When you update Yoast to a new version, it created separate pages on your website for every image you uploaded. Actually, it overlooked a setting in the Media settings, where you could redirect these pages to the original image. So now, for whoever updated the Yoast plugin, created thousands of thin pages on their blogs with just the image in them. Google doesn’t really like these thin pages and expects site owners to either remove them or hide them from the bots. That didn’t happen, and many lost traffic.
This bug, was really an oversight in my opinion. Something that can happen to any coder.
But the way Yoast team treated this problem was met with a lot of criticism. Many bloggers complained that they didn’t take it in the severity that it deserved.
Yoast gave an apology and fixed the issue but for many, the damage was already done.
Now, why am I bringing this up?
Well, I’m not saying that Yoast SEO is a bad plugin. It is an excellent SEO plugin. There’s a reason why it’s been there on the top downloaded plugins list for so long, right?
But, remember I mentioned the David and Goliath story in the beginning. That’s what’s happening now.
Yoast SEO has turned out to be this giant, dinosaur-like plugin that’s way too big, way too popular that a tinier, faster, and smaller team like Rank Math is able to overthrow it, quite effectively.
And this is history repeating itself. Every time, there comes someone who will overthrow the one on the throne and take over. This time, I personally think that it is Rank Math.
Let me tell you why. I’m not going into the intricate details. There’s a huge list of features which are ONLY available on RankMath and not Yoast. It’s in the video description. Go check it out.
But let me tell you why Rank Math is better than Yoast.
First off – the vision.
I’ve talked to Bhanu, the creator of RankMath and was very impressed with his vision with the plugin. I think the team has really laid out everything from an SEOs perspective. Many things I wished were there on Yoast, I could see on RankMath.
For example, the onboarding experience. I really didn’t like how the onboarding is done on Yoast. I mean it might be great for a beginner who does not know anything about SEO but I wish there were more controls available there. Many times, I looked for something, and it wouldn’t be there. Like where to set the meta noindex tags? Where do I noindex paginations and categories? It’s not easy to find on Yoast SEO.
That might be a simple thing but as someone who prefers to fine tune my SEO settings, it matters a lot.
Beyond this, there are a whole lot of features on RankMath, that makes it a better option than Yoast. To start off, many of the features that are on Yoast’s Pro or paid plan are available for Free on Rank math. That’s total value for money.
I have to mention some of the things that are only available on RankMath SEO.
- Full set of schema options. This is big as schema markup is getting a lot of attention from Google and other search engines.
- Google search console integration. With this you can see a lot of your SEO traction right within WordPress.
- SEO options like being able to optimize for up to five keywords per post right within the post window.
- Social Media preview (Something that I personally like)
- 401 Monitor and redirection manager.
- LSI keyword suggestions.
I personally love that the team has put a lot of thought into making this a lightweight plugin. These days, performance is a big issue for WordPress.You cannot run your blog with like 50 plugins doing little things. I can think of at least 10 plugins that I can get away with if I use Rank Math SEO. Not only that, it has fewer lines of code, is well maintained, is clean and looks more scalable and compatible with other plugins. That alone, makes Rank Math leap ahead of Yoast SEO by a lot of points.
Overall I think RankMath is the Goliath in the story. It’s small, it’s fast, it’s new and has all the features to take down a clunky, old, huge product like Yoast SEO.
But to be fair with Yoast, I hope the team behind Rank Math will pull it off, scale the product and keep it clean and trustworthy. I could see the passion and drive with the team. Let’s hope they stick to it and prove it.
One question I had for Rank Math team was, how are they going to monetize their product? They don’t have a pro version. So how are they going to sustain the product without payments?
Also, how are they going to ensure data security? Especially when many are integrating Google search console by letting RankMath access using their Gmail ids.
My take is that RankMath is promising, well built and a better plugin than Yoast SEO, today. I hope it remains this way and the team gives us more options to keep it that way.
Hope you liked the video. If you did, you know what to do. Three things. Bell icon, subscribe button, comments.
This is Mani Karthik, signing off.