WordPress’s most popular SEO plugin, Yoast, announced it was acquired. Founded in 2010, the plugin along with founder Joost de Valk have become staples in the WordPress community. The plugin was purchased by Newfold Digital.
According to the announcement written by current Yoast CEO Marieke van de Rakt, “Joining Newfold Digital provides us with the freedom to build and iterate on ideas to further our mission. We plan to release many new features and products to help people with the findability of their websites.”
Yoast currently has over 140 employees and boasts a whopping 12 million active downloads.
Acquisitions in WordPress
As with any industry, acquisitions in WordPress are to be expected, however, due to the tight-knit nature of the community, each one comes under intense scrutiny. In fact, Post Status has created an Acquisition Tracker to make the changing landscape easier to follow.
As a pillar in the community for over a decade, Yoast has garnered a huge following. Not only for the product itself, but for the culture of the employees. The team has done an exceptional job of branding itself to the point of being instantly recognizable.
Because of this, it’s safe to say the community will be closely watching over the next few months.
Moving Yoast Forward
One of the most notable things about the acquisition is the fact that Newfould Digital also owns Bluehost.
“Over the years, we have attended countless WordCamps with the Bluehost team and we worked together on many WordPress Core releases.Yoast and Bluehost will enhance our offerings and contribution to the WordPress community together,” van de Rakt said.
As with any big buyout a big concern is personnel and loss of culture and van de Rakt ensured that everything will remain the same at Yoast.
“All the important things stay the same. Team Yoast will remain the same, all of our employees stay with us. Our headquarters will stay in Wijchen, the Netherlands. Our brand will remain our brand. Our mission will remain our mission. Yoast SEO will remain Yoast SEO. Our CEO will remain our CEO and all of the board members will stay in their roles,” she said in the announcement.
This is big news and we are excited to see what comes next!