There is an issue with the popular Yoast SEO WordPress plugin that could hurt your SEO rankings on your website. You need to manually login to your WordPress site and check for this Yoast SEO bug. We host and maintain around two hundred WordPress sites so we have been very busy fixing this issue on our hosted sites. IDP provides full service managed WordPress hosting which means we are fixing this on all of our client websites. We LOVE Yoast SEO plugin at IDP and still highly recommend it for your WordPress search engine optimization. A lot of people are trolling and attacking Yoast for this mistake, but mistakes do happen get a life. The benefits of Yoast SEO plugin far outweigh a mistake. Not to mention the free version of the plugin is all most people need for their website SEO.
How to Fix the Yoast SEO Bug Media attachment URL issue
This problem is very easy to fix it takes about 5 minutes. Login to your WordPress site and go to the SEO dashboard page. Look for a notification that says Problems (1). It is good practice to do this every time you login to WordPress just to check out your SEO and make sure there are no problems. If no problem is listed here then you are good to go this bug does not affect you.
If you do have a problem listed here check and see if it has this sentence and link by it – Your site’s settings currently allow attachment URLs on your site to exist. Please read this post about a potential issue with attachment URLs and check whether you have the correct setting for your site. The link to Yoast explains all of the details behind it and for advanced SEO users you may want to read it and make sure you want the attachment URL setting changes. But for 99% of Yoast users out there I would recommend going with the Yoast recommended option.
To fix the issue go to Yoast SEO < Search Appearance < Media Tab and change the NO option to YES See below. Click save and you are done.
Now if you check your Yoast SEO dashboard you should see Problems (0)
Here is a YouTube video version of the fix as well
Why is the attachment Setting Bad for SEO?
Straight from the Yoast posting on their website they have a good explanation for it
When you upload an image in WordPress, WordPress does not only store the image, it also creates a separate so-called attachment URL for every image. These attachment URLs are very “thin”: they have little to no content outside of the image. Because of that fact, they’re bad for SEO: they inflate the number of pages on your site while not increasing the amount of quality content. This is something that WordPress does, which our plugin takes care off (if the setting is correctly turned to “Yes”).
Why did this happen?
Again straight from the Yoast SEO Bug post on their website they have a good explanation for it
The bug was simple yet very painful: when you updated from an earlier version of Yoast SEO to Yoast SEO 7.0-7.0.2 (specifically those versions), we would not always correctly convert the setting you had for the old setting into the new one. We accidentally set the setting to ‘no’. Because we overwrote the old settings during the update, we could not revert this bug later on.
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Monte is one of the original founders of the company in 2003. Monte is a creative talent with 20 years experience in web design and information technology. He works with clients on a daily basis to develop, maintain and market their web sites. Monte is also in charge of the web hosting environment and server administration duties for the company.