Yoast SEO has been the king of SEO Plugins since 2010. With more than 5 million installs globally it is also one of the most installed plugins for wordpress along with Contact form 7, Akismet Anti-Spam and the Classic Editor. But is Yoast SEO just the most popular because it got a head-start or is it really way better than its competitors?
In this comparison we will look at the free version of both plugins and compare their features and how easy they are to find and use. I’ve divided this review into categories and I will crown a winner for each section.
TL:DR: Rank Math wins by 5-1 and can be downloaded here: https://rankmath.com/wordpress/plugin/seo-suite/
The sitemap URLs for Yoast and Rank Math are identical. Both located at https://krisholten.com/sitemap_index.xml.
The sitemap settings for RankMath are easy to find. Rankmath has an entire menu called “Sitemap Settings”. Inhere you can exclude posts from the sitemap, exclude or include images (including featured images), make sure Search Engines are pinged on a new post and exclude taxonomies from your sitemap.
The sitemap settings for Yoast SEO are non-existing. You can turn it on or off but if you want to exclude a specific post from your sitemap then you’re in bad luck. That’s not possible. So how do you find your sitemap in Yoast? It’s a super simple step of 4 hidden steps. Click the plugin -> General -> Features -> Click the question mark next to XML sitemaps and here you go. There is no way to make sure Search Engines are pinged with new posts.
This round is won by Rank Math. 1-0.
Both plugins offers different types of Schema Markup. Here’s a quick comparison:
|Schema||Yoast SEO||Rank Math|
|Rich Snippets||No||Yes multiple|
|Local SEO Markup||Premium Only||Yes|
So whats most important? Getting the rich snippet in Google with 5 stars to increase your CTR or mark-up your pages with FAQ to achieve more space in Google? I’ll let you decide but personally I would use Schema Pro for Rich Snippets, Knowledge Graph and Local SEO which leaves me with only How-To & FAQ Schema left that Yoast SEO can help me with. For me personally this round is won by Yoast SEO. 1-1.
Robots.txt & .htaccess editor
Your robots.txt and .htaccess files are two very powerful tools for an SEO expert. This allows you to bulk disallow directories, pages, post and optimize your page speed with cached pages in the .htaccess file. This is only an option in Rank Math so this round goes to Rank Math. 2-1.
Another very important feature for an SEO Specialist is the redirection tool. Allowing you to apply a 410 response code or 301 redirect when you delete a page to make sure it gets removed by Google or you keep the linkjuice flowing. The redirection tool is integrated in Rank Math but for Yoast SEO you need the premium version. This round is easy – good job Rank Math! 3-1.
404 Error Monitor
404 errors are important to keep an eye on. Perhaps you lost/deleted a page unintentionally or you purchased an expired domain with incoming links to old non-existing pages. Those are nice to keep an eye on, but is there an easy way without looking it up in ahrefs or Google Webmaster Tools? in Rank Math there’s a section for this. In Yoast SEO you will need a third party plugin like Redirection. This round goes to Rank Math. 4-1.
The Knock-out.. Performance Comparison
Ever since the Page Speed Algorithm Update in July 2018 Page Speed has been a crucial factor when it comes to ranking websites. Both Yoast SEO and Rank Math are focusing on this when they’re building their plugin. But Rank Math is way faster and has less line of codes. So here we go – the 5-1 knockout for Rank Math.
|Feature||Yoast SEO||Rank Math|
|Local SEO Optimizer||Premium Only||Yes|
|Rich Snippet Integration (Star Snippet)||No||Yes|
|Search Console Integration||Yes||Yes|
|SEO on AMP Pages||With add-on plugin||Yes|
|Integrated Role Manager||No||Yes|
|Bulk no-follow external editor||No||Yes|
|Bulk target _blank external editor||No||Yes|
|Automatic image alt tag generator||No||Yes|
|Integrated FAQ Schema on post/pages||Yes||No|
|Integratis How-to Schema on post/pages||Yes||No|
|LSI Keyword Recomendations||Premium Only||Yes|
|Lines of Code||30.5k||43.3k|