I have been meaning to write a post about why you should not use the focus keyword, and traffic light system the Yoast SEO plugin offers for a long time. I have also advised clients and students to ignore it since the advent of Panda.
The reason being, if you try and please all the green lights the plugin tries to force you into. It will be very difficult if not impossible, to write a post that on one hand is user-friendly, and on the other that will not be fall under the Panda radar. (This is the algorithm that targets poor quality content and as Matt Cutts once put over optimisation).
In fact that functionality is a spammers and keyword stuffers paradise, the problem with it, is that very few spammers rank well and even fewer are able to sustain rankings for any length of time conducive to a real business.
The great news is; and the reason why I am writing this post as you can see in the main screenshot above, they have introduced the ability to disable the focus keyword and Christmas tree traffic lighting system.
In order to do that simply go to the path below, obviously, you will need to change the domain to your own, remove the “anglux.uk” part, insert yourdomain.com.
Here’s what they have to say:
What’s new in 3.4 – Disable SEO & Content analysis
If green bullets aren’t your thing, you can now disable the SEO analysis, both site wide and per user. The same is true for the readability analysis.
This is how it looks with the functionality enabled. It is also possible to disable the readability score, that was a fairly recent introduction and it actually seems useful. But again depending on your writing style you may need to ignore it at times. If you have less than highly skilled SEO writers, my advice would be to disable it all together as well.
Enabled SEO & Content analysis section in Yoast
Below is how it looks with the functionality disabled. So you can just focus on writing for humans instead of writing for Google.
Disabled SEO & Content analysis section in Yoast
That’s it as simple as that, you can improve your SEO writing. While leaving the Yoast SEO plugin in place for all the good technical things it does do.