Yoast SEO plugin media attachment "bug"- Any recovery stories?

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  • SEO
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Hey everyone, was looking for some advice.

I have a client Wordpress site which lost 75% of their organic search traffic immediately after we updated the Yoast SEO plugin, as a result of the "media attachment bug" that was included in Yoast 7.0-7.2


I went into Google Webmaster Console, downloaded all URL's, identified over 800 bogus media attachment redirect URL's that were created as a result of the bug.

I then manually submitted all of them to GWC URL removal tool, double checked everything to make sure no legit URL's were included.

Those URL removals were completed last week, but since then organic traffic has been even worse.

I resubmitted sitemaps, and rankings haven't seen a huge decrease, but I was kind of expecting things to improve and not get worse following the removal of 800+ bogus URL's.

Any suggestions? Client is becoming worried, "wait a few weeks and lets see what happens" is my last resort as an answer. Need to figure this out since it's a big client, so any advice is much appreciated!
#attachment #bug #media #plugin #recovery #seo #stories #yoast
  • Profile picture of the author Jesse Brownstein
    Have you found any new information on the issue?

    When I became aware of the Yoast SEO bug, my number of indexed pages sky rocketed from about 600 to just under 1000 within 4-5 weeks.

    After reading about the issue, I immediately installed the Yoast's index purge plugin: https://wordpress.org/plugins/yoast-...h-index-purge/

    About four months later, the number of indexed pages has now dropped down to the 300s but there's still some bad media attachment pages indexed. Search console shows over 600 (combined desktop + mobile) crawl errors with 410 response codes.

    Also, the attachment pages sitemap still shows on '/sitemap.xml' and the indexed pages listed in there look hideous when you visit them in the browser. They display jumbled characters. Not sure what's going on there.

    Yoast's recommendation is to remove the purge plugin by the 6-month mark so I'm still hoping all issues are fully resolved by then.

    My site was severely impacted by recent Google algorithm updates so it's hard to attribute any traffic/search analytic fluctuations to anything other than these more recent updates.
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