While rankmath being released for a long time, for black Friday 2019, you might have seen the big ad that was automatically injected in your WordPress installations.
This behaviour caused an outrage in the community, leading to thousands of uninstallations and negative reviews.
Later on, Dutch CEO of Yoast Marieke van de Rakt, apologized on Twitter mentioning that the banner wasn't a good idea, and was removed in a hotfix.
Yoast SEO has been a great tool for a very easy setting-up an organic configuration for Google and generating Metadata. Though, with time, competitors have been growing and proposing services that are only available in the pro version of Yoast.
We decided to take a look at Rankmath, which is a free plugin and offers many different options for generating your social content.
What is Rankmath
Rankmath was released by the founders of MyThemeShop on Nov 19, 2018, and has already more than 100,000 downloads.
Rankmath is a free SEO ranking plugin, which gives you the possibility of analyzing the content of your pages thoroughly and gives you point to point advice on how to make your website more SEO-Friendly. Focused on Google results, it will give you the most common suggestions to enhance how your website is perceived by Google Crawlers.
It is very user-friendly, giving you clear insight into which kind of changes have to be made. It also allows you to have an integration with Google Search Console, to see how your keywords are ranking in Organic Results.
Yoast proposes 2 versions, one Free with limited features and another one claiming to be premium. When purchasing a license, you will purchase a license for 1 year, with the desired number of websites. Note that the plugin will not allow you to use one license on multiple websites.
Rankmath does not have a pricing plan or a premium version
|Yoast SEO Free||Rankmath|
|Keyword optimization||✅ 1 keyword per post||✅ 5 Keywords per post|
|Google Search Console Integration||✅||✅|
|External/Internal Link Counter||✅||✅|
|404 Monitor & Redirection Manager||❌||✅|
Take a look at more features of Rankmath.
We've decided to take a quick tour of the possible functionalities in Rankmath
Rankmath comes with an auto-installer & an importer. Once you installed the plugin it will run you through a basic set of configuration, and will automatically detect the plugins that might be disturbing the proper work of the plugin and will also give you the possibility to import data from competitor plugins so you don't have to re-do every single setting again. From what we saw, most of the popular plugins are supported by the importer (Yoast SEO, All-in-One-SEO Pack, etc)
There are multiple extensions you can install if you work with different WordPress plugins
404 Monitor is used for generating a log whenever someone reaches a page that does not exist (404 page), with the details of which URL was accessed and at what time. Note that this does not apply to queries (?links). It is possible to fully modify the behavior of what happens when someone reaches this kind of page such as redirecting to the main page via a Permanent Move (301) redirection for example.
ACF (Advanced Custom Fields)
If you have created custom Fields somewhere in your website, the content of it will not be analyzed by default because it is not the same query (the_content vs get_field), this extension will then permit Rankmath to analyze ACF fields.
Using AMP is not always easy with WordPress especially when the URL is generated by Google. With this extension, you will be able to edit SEO on AMP pages.
BBPress & Buddy Press
These are famous forum plugins. Using them, you will be able to edit META for each post, categories and even profiles.
Counts the number of external links you have on your pages. It's very nice to keep a nice overview of your internal linking.
Local SEO & Knowledge Graph
If your website is based on a physical business, you can add information on where is your business located. Opening hours and such.
You will be able to use the Rich Snippets functionality on each subpage & blog posts.
Manage who has access to what. If your team is growing even bigger, you will need to manage who modifies what at some point. This is very useful if the blog is working with content-creators.
With this extension, you will be able to connect Google Search Console and import data to have everything in one place.
This will help you write your posts, there is a set of rules to respect when writing unique content in order for it to be indexed properly. This extension groups all common steps and shows you which ones are completed and which ones are not.
It will generate a nice grouped sitemap, every taxonomy and categories will be indexed and grouped separately for you to have more control over what you send to Google Search Console.
And well, it works with woocommerce for indexing your products more easily.
Import & Export
If, like us, you create a lot of websites, don't bother anymore reconfiguring each website manually. It is possible to export one configuration in a txt file, and configure the import in another website.
Robots.txt & .htaccess
From the main interface, you can read and analyze and even modify the .htaccess and robots.txt files. With this. you don't even need to bother your host provider to edit these files for you.
Overall, we think that the free version of Rankmath is much better than the Premium of Yoast SEO. We gave it a try and we liked it so far, let's see how it goes in the long term.