Google announced today some changes how to read and support sitemaps XML. And just a few hours later, we have already released an update to our plugins. Our users can stay on top easily by upgrading to the latest version.
Stay on top of best practice
The landscape of SEO is always changing and evolving. Google and other search engines frequently update their guidelines, algorithms, and expectations. We can proudly say that we help our users stay up to date with these changes. Our team is constantly monitoring documentation, news sources and social media, and we respond quickly when significant changes occur.
However, not all Google changes are big. Today’s update was actually very small. But success in SEO often comes from a number of small fixes, changes, and improvements. Every small advantage counts when competing with other sites.
So what has changed?
Changes to XML Sitemap standards
Today’s changes have focused on XML Sitemaps – a great feature of our plug-ins. Google has stopped supporting certain forms of image and video metadata that we have (sometimes) included in our Sitemaps. For example, they no longer read captions, titles, and image license information. We have safely removed these obsolete features.
Simplifying Sitemaps also has some positive side effects – these files become smaller, faster, and easier to create. In scale, this is great for energy consumption and great for the environment. At Yoast, we are all for creating a sustainable world (wide web) for everyone.
Isn’t this information valuable?
It may come as a surprise that Google says it does not want to know important information about your images and videos. We know that in the world of SEO, metadata, captions, and other information can help them better understand, process, and rank your content.
Fortunately, you don’t have to worry. XML Sitemaps were first introduced in 2005, and the web has changed a lot since then. Google can extract key information directly from images and videos – and can use it for everything else structured data from your content. This is much more effective than combining additional information into sitemaps.
What has changed?
In today’s update, we remove everything
<image:caption> properties from
<image:image> structures. From now on
<image:loc> the property will be the only property left in the image metadata. This is true for everyone our WordPress plugins.
Ours technical documentation on XML Sitemaps has been updated to reflect any changes.
Yoast Video SEO
We will also update ours Yoast Video SEO plug-in to remove the following properties from video metadata:
allow_embedattribute (and value) of
Stay up to date
Today’s update is one of many small fixes, changes and enhancements that we are constantly implementing in our plugins. Getting the latest version means your site will always be as fast, efficient, and optimized as possible; so it’s important to make sure you’re up to date. It’s time to update!
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