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21.6 / 28 November 2023
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Yoast SEO created its first WordPress SEO plugin in 2007 - originally named WordPress SEO: it was developed as a WordPress plugin by SEO consultant Joost de Valk. In 2012, the plug-in was renamed Yoast SEO. In 2015, Yoast hosted the inaugural YoastCon conference at the Lindenberg Nijmegen Culture House in Nijmegen, Netherlands. In 2015 a flaw was discovered in version 188.8.131.52 and earlier versions. The flaw could have left users of Yoast SEO open to hackers and was discovered by a security consultant.
Yoast SEO can trace its origins to 2005 when Joost de Valk launched a website named "joostdevalk.nl". After moving to and eventually selling the domain "css3.info", de Valk created the Yoast platform in 2009, launched the first version of WordPress SEO in 2010 and founded the company Yoast BV in 2010.
Initially, Yoast focused on SEO consultancy and developed both the Yoast SEO plugin and a Google Analytics plugin, both for WordPress. In 2012, a premium version of the plug-in was launched. In April 2016, Yoast BV sold the Google Analytics for WordPress plugin.
In June 2020, Yoast acquired the Duplicate Post plugin, which had over 3 million users. Also, the original developer of Duplicate Post, Enrico Battocchi, joined Yoast as a senior developer and remains one of the leading developers on the plugin.
Yoast was acquired by Newfold Digital (the company that owns the hosting provider Bluehost) in August 2021.
The software has amassed over five million downloads. Michael David, the author of WordPress Search Engine Optimization (2015) book, referred to it as "the granddaddy of all SEO plugins". Brian Santo, editor of EE Times, uses Yoast for estimating the ranking of articles on Google by using analysis results (e.g. keyphrase, keyword density, links, readability), but criticizes the negative effects SEO has had on journalism and suggests Google use more human or artificial intelligence to improve search.
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