Yoast is a great free plugin despite the slightly twee and over friendly avatar used in their branding. It allows a user to have a clear navigation of the intricacies of SEO optimisation without being too confusing or over complex. Even if you get used to the concepts and then uninstall it, you’ll probably still find your site having better SEO purely because of the journey you take to get familiar with the software (assuming your WordPress theme supports decent SEO by itself. It does take a bit of effort though and when you put effort into stuff, it would be nice to be sure that it was working properly.
So What’s The Problem?
It does work and gives each of your posts neat clear meta descriptions different from those of your overall site. The problem I find is that there appears to be huge delays seeing posts and anything appearing in Google. In my experience, it’s usually anything from 2-4 days. Maybe ‘huge delays’ is an over exaggeration but it’s enough when dealing with online content. This is not a new problem and there are plenty of concerned users out there since earlier days of Yoast but this problem obviously still exists. It’s a strange one because once your post has existed and matured for a few days, the results are exactly as you would like them….but this used to happen much much faster without Yoast. In fact, I could frequently post something before installing Yoast and search for it in a logical way (rough words plus a unique identifier; in my case, tdcat).
Why Does It Matter?
For me, it doesn’t really. It’s just a little niggle. Nothing I post has any time critical content. It’s a ‘nice to have’ and that feeling that something isn’t working properly is always a bit annoying. Our YouTube channel would usually be the place for any more ‘news’ related content. Let’s be honest, when you publish on YouTube, you can search for it in a minute or two! For others though, this must be important and must be a concern. For smaller news related sites, waiting for a few days could make content stale and kind of pointless. People could always find it on the site directly but that’s not how the internet works. Surely there must be a way to improve this?
Initially I found a mistake on my side. I had left an old sitemap.xml file in the root of the website from some previous tests. I thought this might have messed things up but that was just wishful thinking. After deleting it the problem remained. I then edited the code within the plugin to change my sitemap update frequency from weekly to daily. This doesn’t seem to have changed anything either. Could it be related to be conflicts with how the WordPress theme handles SEO and the changes that Yoast forces upon it? Maybe a conflict with another plugin (though I try to keep them to a minimum).
So I thought I would post this up with a definite time stamp of 16th October 2015 at 2150hrs UK time and see when it becomes available as a search. Then I’ll go back into the post and edit it with the results. I’m also going to contact the theme developer and see if he has any ideas or experience with this. It can’t hurt to try. If I don’t get anywhere, I’m happy to live with it but others may wish to try the other main WordPress SEO plugin, All In One SEO Pack. The interface is not as nice in my opinion but it’s the results that count.
Has anyone seen this recently or found a way around it? If so, please comment below.
Update on 19th October:
The post showed up on 19th October at about 0600hrs GMT. Actually about 2.5-3 days after it was posted. Now indexed, it is extremely accurate and valuable but this delay must be caused by something. I went back to the developer with the problem but have not received a reply. Interestingly, the public forum post related to this appeared on Google within hours. My main page with snippets of recent posts was indexed within about 12 hours and showed this post but linking to my home page and the actual post came much, much later. It’s odd and I’d welcome any ideas or feedback. For now, I’m happy with the end results so the 3 day delay is fine.