Yoast SEO 8.3: Community improvements

September 25, 2018
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After introducing a slew of new features, an improved meta box, and fully supporting Gutenberg in the previous three releases, it’s time to take a little breather with Yoast SEO 8.3. That’s not to say that this release is nothing but fluff — one look at the changelog will make you think twice. This release is all about fixes and enhancements, a lot of them suggested by our loyal users. Let’s get going!

Community help

A big part of Yoast SEO 8.3 is about improvements as suggested by our users on GitHub. As you know, our plugin is open source, and we encourage everyone to add their fixes or enhancements to GitHub so we can do something with them. So, if you have a good idea for a feature, please add it! Encounter a bug? Please add it! While we find and fix a lot of stuff ourselves, we can’t fix something we don’t know about it, right?

In Yoast SEO 8.3, no less than five user contributions made the cut. These range from fixing the link to a particular article (thank you Nikhil Barar!), to the introduction of a new API function to get all the Yoast SEO-related capabilities (thanks Jory Hogeveen!). Today, we also like to thank Aminul Islam for fixing a bug related to the unwanted localization of the article:published_time and article:modified_time meta properties. Mathieu Aubin helped us remove the executable bits on SVN assets, which makes checking for malware/viruses and/or other types of unwanted files a lot easier and faster. Last but not least, Marco Lipparini found some inconsistent code. He changed the second argument of the wpseo_sitemap_exclude_empty_terms filter call to the correct type. This is used when determining which taxonomies should have a sitemap.

Thanks, everyone!

Changes to structured data content blocks

In Yoast SEO 8.2, we introduced an awesome new feature: structured data content blocks for WordPress’ new Gutenberg editor. These blocks make it incredibly easy to add structured data to your FAQs and how-to articles. Since these blocks are built from the ground up, they still need some fine-tuning. In Yoast SEO 8.3, we’re improving the way the plugin handles the structured data and fix some bugs in the process.

The most significant changes happen inside the FAQ structured data content block. We’ve reformatted the rendered code a bit to follow Google’s guidelines better. Here are the changes:

  • Changed the @context property from http://schema.org to https://schema.org structured data output.
  • Renamed the associatedMedia property to image.
  • Moved the @type and name properties to the root of the FAQ block’s output.
  • Nested the Question objects in the newly introduced mainEntity property in the FAQ block’s structured data output.
  • Removed the superfluous position property from the How-To block’s output.

Other fixes and enhancements

The long list of changes continues. We fixed several other bugs including one where snippet variables would not be replaced in the og:description of taxonomies after being added to the Facebook Description input field. You can see the rest of the bug fixes in the changelog of Yoast SEO 8.3.

Enhancements include a new option to add a colon as a title separator and you can find a new help text in the readability analysis. We’ve also added a setting and a filter (wpseo_duration_text) to the How-to structured data content block. Users can now edit the text that describes the time needed to perform the task you’re explaining.

Ready to update?

Yoast SEO 8.3 is not about new features, but it is chock-full of bug fixes and enhancements that improve how the plugin functions. We’d like to thank everyone how has contributed to this release. If you feel the need to help improve Yoast SEO, please check out our GitHub. Thanks for using Yoast SEO and happy updating!

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