experiences | The Yoast SEO for WordPress rip-off

For several years I have been using the paid premium version of the Yoast SEO plug-in, that is the self-proclaimed number 1 when it comes to SEO, search engine optimization. But if problems occur, then Yoast reveals his true face.

I like to support and have no problem to pay for a service or art. That is why my website runs ad-free. It costs you nothing and does not bother you with ads. Wel, it costs me something, that is currently a three-figure amount per year, but that is worth it for me. For SEO I use Yoast Premium, charging me an annual fee of almost 190€. So it’s a classic subscription, but it has worked so far. By the way, the costs of web hosting are lower.

Recently, version 14 of the Premium Yoast SEO Plug-In was released, and it ruined my website. Outside everything looked well, but the source code was malicious as English articles suddenly contained German meta tags, and vice versa. A nice data mix, being clearly caused by Yoast’s SEO caching being introduced in version 14. The previously working version 13, which was financed for many years due to premium status with 190€ per year, I won’t get back.

Yoast, a nice subscription trap

What you get from the Yoast support, however, are excuses and warm words that my multi language plug-in is too old. qTranslate-X is indeed 4 years old, however, what has never changed are the WordPress core functions __() and __e(). Both functions are properly hooked by qTranslate-X and return the exact and correct value for the active language. Article texts and meta tags appear completely correct. If Yoast had worked with those original WordPress functions, there would be no problem at all.

The many version 14 related updates in the past short time tells the fact that Yoast has no working quality management. Means the banana pretty much ripens in on the customer side. Changes that came with version 14 are, as described above, anything but marginal. You only notice that malicious behaviour when the traffic decreases, i.e. when one gets penalties by search engines for articles and meta tags containing wrong values. Yoast Premium v14 does the exact opposite of what this plug-in is designed and installed for.

This development work was paid with 190€ per year. The support didn’t help but tried to push me a) into a new Yoast subscription using half-truth arguments about qTranslate-X being too old and b) recommended Multilingual Press, a plug-in costing another 300€ per year. Meaning: Their interpretation of help would cost me ~500€ per year extra and I would be part of subscription traps again.

Such behaviour is quite revealing… Sales are done easily. The real value of a company or service becomes apparent only, when errors or malfunctions appear. Yoast definitely doesn’t see a Cent more from me anymore. I am not sure if such a strategy is helpful to get through the Corona economic crisis (that hasn’t even started yet…). Things like customer orientation and dedication look different.

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