What a year it has been! Big things have happened within Yoast the company as well as in our Yoast SEO plugin. In this post, I look back at a wonderfully exciting 2021! In addition, I have asked Thijs de Valk – our brand new CEO – all kinds of questions to shine his light on 2021 as well. Care to join us?
The biggest thing of 2021: Yoast joins Newfold
The biggest thing happening in 2021 was the fact that Yoast joined Newfold Digital. In August of this year, the shareholders of Yoast sold their stock to Newfold Digital. And, while we’re no longer the owners of the best company in the world, we’re still really happy and excited to work here.
I asked Thijs how the company is doing, half a year after the acquisition. ‘We’re in the middle of our integration in Newfold,’ Thijs explains. ‘We’ve moved all of our tooling from Google Drive to Microsoft Office. That was a big thing internally. Apart from that, we’re pretty much doing all the things we did before the acquisition. Except that we now have more time to focus on our product.’
The board of Yoast with Sharon Rowlands – CEO of Newfold Digital
Changes within Yoast – the company
It was a weird year. At the beginning of 2021, we were positive that this would be the year in which we would beat COVID. However, the situation in the Netherlands now is not that good. We’re in lockdown light again. We’re working from home. Yoast was always a company in which a lot of people worked from our local offices. We now have become a hybrid company. Some people work from home, others work at the office, most people prefer a combination of both.
‘We’ve hired a lot of new colleagues this year,’ says Thijs. ‘Some awesome new developers, we expanded our support team and we hired some new marketeers. I am especially proud of our Business Intelligence team. I think we finally have a state-of-the-art Business Intelligence team. And we need that, with 12 million users. ‘
Thijs also talks about expansion outside of the Netherlands. Yoast is becoming an international company: ‘We noticed, due to COVID, that working remotely is very possible. Our company culture has become more international as well. Internally, we try to do everything bilingual. We used to be very Dutch.’
Our video about hybrid working at Yoast
Changes within Yoast – the plugin
We’ve done some wonderful releases this year! At Yoast, we’re most excited about our new SEO workouts. Have you seen them? Our workouts are designed to solve specific SEO tasks that really help you to improve the SEO-friendliness of your website. They are quick, easy, and fun to do.
Thijs is also a big fan of our new workouts. ‘I especially love the cornerstone content workout. That workout helps you to choose your most important articles. And, after that, to make sure that Google also knows that those are your favorites. A lot of people tend to forget the importance of internal linking. This workout really helps you to update the internal linking structure of your site. And that’s so important for SEO.’
Check out Thijs’ favorite workout below:
This is one of the three SEO workouts we currently have in Yoast SEO
The new CEO
More big news and big changes in 2021. Marieke (that’s me by the way) decided to step down as CEO. I wanted to focus more on marketing and less on the corporate things that tend to become your day-to-day job when you’re leading the company. Luckily, Thijs de Valk was up and ready to take over the role of CEO.
‘I am really happy with the new role,’ Thijs says when I congratulate him (again) on his new job. ‘It’s an honor to lead such a great company. And these are exciting times. Integrating into Newfold is both scary and exhilarating. We have so many new things lined up for next year. I can’t wait for 2022 to start.’
Thijs de Valk became the new CEO of Yoast!
Conferences, WordCamps, webinars and workshops
2021 was a year with a lot of online conferences and WordCamps. We’ve visited so many events and met a lot of nice people from all over the world. In 2021 we also did a lot of webinars and online workshops at Yoast. Those were a big success. Remember our awesome Yoast summer school in which we did a number of really cool online workshops? And we’re not slowing down, we’re planning on doing more webinars and online workshops in 2022!
Online conferences were the thing of 2021
We held a few different workshops during Yoast SEO Summer School
What about next year?
2022 is just around the corner. Thijs is ready for it: ‘I can’t wait for 2022. We have some really awesome things lined up… three exciting things in January! And that’s only the beginning!’
2021 was a great year for Yoast. And we’re ready to go and make 2022 just as awesome. If only this COVID-thing would disappear. We hope you all have a great 2022 too! And please: stay healthy and stay safe.
Read more: SEO in 2022: Your chance to shine! »