Yoast SEO 12.2 is a release full of the regular bug fixes and enhancements, but also a new addition to meta robots. Last week, Google announced a new way to give publishers more control over what the search engine can show in the results. This change, however, seems not driven by customer demand, but rather by law. Find out what this is all about and why we chose to automatically opt sites in for this.
Adding a line in meta robots
Google is turning to the meta robots tag to comply with a new European copyright law. Previously, publishers had to explicitly opt out if they wanted to prevent Google from using their content to present it in search results. Thanks to the new European copyright law, we see Google asking sites to opt in if they want it to use their content, images and videos in snippets. France is the first to roll out its version of this copyright law, starting today.
“When the French law comes into force, we will not show preview content in France for a European news publication unless the publisher has taken steps to tell us that’s what they want.” — Google’s Richard Gingras on the French Google blog.
While it currently “only” impacts several hundred publishers in France, it’s not hard to predict that more countries might roll out similar laws and implementations. This may even reach beyond just news sites in Google News. As this development potentially affects many countries, we’ve decided to make a change for all Yoast SEO users.
We will add the following line to the robots meta tag on every page unless that page was already set to
max-snippet:-1, max-image-preview:large, max-video-preview:-1
By adding this piece of code, we make sure that every site using Yoast SEO is automatically opting in for this change. Now, you’ll be ready for the implementation of this law in Europe and your content will continue to appear in Google search results.
Read Joost’s post on what this change means for Google, for us and the web.
Enhancements and fixes: plus, free courses!
There’s more of course, with the majority being bug fixes. We’ve updated the configuration wizard that helps you set up Yoast SEO. We’ve combined some steps and added a reminder to take our free Yoast SEO for WordPress plugin training.
Did you say free? Yes, I did! Everyone can now learn everything there is to learn about the #1 WordPress SEO plugin by the people who built it. There’s lots to discover, but it’s all very easy to learn. Go try it! While you’re in the Yoast SEO Academy, you might as well check out our other brand-new, free course: WordPress for beginners.
Find out all the changes in the changelog for Yoast SEO 12.2.
Update to Yoast SEO 12.2
This release focuses mainly on fixing bugs, but also introduces a new meta robots tag. This tag automatically opts in sites for Google to continue to use their content like text, images and videos in the snippets. It is a change driven by a new European copyright law that goes into effect in France first, with many countries expected to follow in the near future.