Facebook and a handful of other social media are so entrenched that few people think about life before them. But the Web was conceived 15 years before Facebooks’s founding in 2004. Facebook put a pretty face on the Web, and billions of people have flocked to it. And Google Search, YouTube, and a handful of other giants –fueled by tons of advertising revenues—exercise a lot of control over what people can see and do, so much so that there is growing sentiment about breaking up these monopolistic organizations. And delivering fake news or vicious propaganda from the likes of ISIS (ironically ISIS can even get PAID by YouTube while it disseminates its messages of hatred) adds further pressure for this breakup.
… because you have to waste so much time trying to make sense of it. And maybe it is a scam to force users to buy the paid version. We haven’t tried its competitors—All in One SEO Pack, SeoPressor, SEO Ultimate, and Squirrly SEO—but perhaps they are no better. One reviewer compared Yoast and the rest.
What are the downsides of Yoast? Here are some:
1. We frequently get notices that we need to update it, but when we update it WordPress doesn’t show it to be updated. Huh? Seems to us that any SEO package that is in the form of a plugin to WordPress should behave properly when using WordPress. Not a deal-breaker, but not a favorable sign either.
2. Every time we trigger Yoast we get a message urging us to upgrade to the paid version. Does the “bait-and-switch” scam ring a bell?
3. Using keywords seems to be going out of favor lately, but historically was recommended, both in raw HTML sites and in WordPress. Yoast tries to grab a whole phrase and make it into a keyword, then complains that this “keyword” is not used often enough in the body of the post. How COULD it be, as the grammar would become jibberish?
4. Yoast’s simultaneous use of colored bullets and their defining text is redundant. It should choose one or the other.
5. Has the classic guidance “brevity is the soul of wit” recently been repealed? A minimum of 300 words seems excessive.
The Mercury News’ demoting its business coverage to the back pages of the Sports Section was a populist victory even before Trump’s election. Or does this situation simply derive from the biblical truism “no prophet is accepted in his hometown”? In any case, the rest of the world—including major newspapers—seems more entranced with the goings-on in San Jose and surrounding cities. The New York Times and Wall Street Journal have permanent staff in Silicon Valley who seem to turn out significantly more column-inches of reporting and opinion about technological accomplishments in this geography than do the valiant-but-outnumbered technology staffers at the Mercury News.
This demotion came a few months after the April 2016 renaming of the San Jose Mercury News to to reflect its merger with the San Mateo Times. But the spirit of San Jose, which some years ago was dubbed “the USA’s largest truck stop”, lives on in the focus of its printed media. (Apparently a number of other cities in the U.S. claim that theirs is the largest, and a number of locations have subtitled themselves “Silicon XXXX”, like “Silicon Prairie” which can refer to Dallas-Fort Worth or the Chicago area or a multi-state area of the upper Midwest.) We are a bit baffled because the advertisements in the Mercury News don’t seem to be for products and services that the typical sports fan would buy.