Recently I’ve worked on a couple of sites that use the Yoast SEO plugin and both were having instances where loading the post editor crashed my browser. On an MD site this is nearly unheard of and even the Blocks Editor isn’t THAT slow!

It wasn’t long before I discovered the slowdown was coming from Yoast and its new “Internal linking” meta box, maybe you’ve seen it too if you still use Yoast:

The promise of this feature is fairly obvious—to help you find articles to link to within your current post, probably using some “smart AI technology”. To achieve this from a development standpoint it probably looks at minimum two things:

  1. Parse the current post content
  2. Compare arbitrary keywords to other content in database

These are both expensive operations on their own, especially for long posts and a database with thousands of posts, and based on how it performs and how useless the results actually have been I can only wonder what in the world were they thinking to implement something like this?

My only conclusion is the Yoast team got tired of hearing the valid criticism that their plugin is full of ads so they had to add something shiny and seemingly valuable to make it look like their plugin does more things. If further slowing down your site was their goal then this is beautifully designed!

I hate to be a hater but when I see features like this with such little added value for such massive performance hits I can only assume dishonest intentions and this further seals the deal in my mind why Yoast SEO is no longer the best solution on the market.

In case you’re wondering, I stopped recommending Yoast SEO years ago in favor of the brilliantly lightweight and the “it just works” plugin called The SEO Framework.

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