Yoast Connects with Gutenberg

Gutenberg, the new editor coming soon to WordPress (already at WordPress.com), doesn’t work with all plugins. WordPress says the plugin makers have to take the initiative to make their plugins work with Gutenberg, not the other way around. Now, one of the most popular plugins — Yoast SEO — has taken the plunge. If Yoast connects with Gutenberg, can the rest be far behind?

What’s Yoast?

Yoast SEO is a WordPress plugin that automatically analyzes your posts and pages and makes suggestions to improve the readability and also to optimize content for the focus keyword you choose for that text.

Yoast does some automatic things, and it also serves as a content coach. If you do a good job of meeting the plugin’s standards, your list of posts will show a nice line of green lights on your WordPress dashboard’s list of posts.

Read more about Yoast:

Yoast 8.0

Yoast took the opportunity to revamp their plugin completely. In order to make the plugin fit neatly in the sidebar, where Gutenberg is keeping plugin configurations, they’ve changed the format. The screenshot above shows the new look of Yoast 8.0, as you will see it below your posts whether you are using Gutenberg or not. The look is cleaner and simpler. You can see immediately whether you’ve achieved the coveted green lights. (Click on the screenshots to see them larger.)

To see the details for Readability, just click the triangle to the right of “Readability” to expand. You’ll see a line of green lights — or suggestions for improvement. You can also expand the Focus Keyword section.

Yoast had quite a few suggestions for optimizing the post better for our focus keyword, which you can see in the orange dots above. Since we have an overall green light, we probably won’t make these changes. However, if this were a particularly important post, we might.

It looks as though “Add additional keyword” is now an option in the free plugin. It isn’t. If you expand that section, you’ll see an ad for their premium plugin. Below that section is the Cornerstone content button.

You can also still use the share icon to specify details for how your post will look on Facebook. You can also use the settings icon to discourage search engines from following links on a post or page.

The Gutenberg version

The Gutenberg sidebar is filling up nicely with options from plugins that have already embraced the new editor. You won’t find Yoast here, though.

Yoast gets its own icon at the top of the editor page. Click on it and you will see the basic Yoast screen. For the moment, you will still have to scroll down below the post if you want to add a different image for Facebook or to specify information for robot visitors.

What should you change?

Do you need to alert your web team and ask them to approach things differently? No. The new version of the plugin is quite similar to the old one. It’s great to be able to use Yoast with the Gutenberg editor, but that doesn’t require any changes. We’re taking this progress as a reason to feel optimistic about using Gutenberg.

2 thoughts on “Yoast Connects with Gutenberg

  1. I have yet to be able to use Guttenberg and Yoast in the same post. The Yoast icons are at the bottom but they don’t work and nothing Yoast appears in my sidebar. For this reason, I am continually forced to eliminate Guttenberg so I can get a simple post done in a timely manner. I am not happy. I have looked and looked for answers and found none. What was the reason for this big Guttenberg change? The only advantage I can see is I no longer have to fight for space in between paragraphs in WordPress. I don’t think this change it was worth that.

    • Yoast has its own special icon at the top of the Gutenberg sidebar editor. But you may find that switching to the Classic Editor is your best option. Install the Classic Editor plugin and make it your default in its settings. You’ll go right back to the Classic experience. I have to admit that I don’t find Gutenberg an improvement, either. Like you, I need to get posts written in time for deadlines. I don’t think the people who built the new Block Editor were thinking about writers.

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