Drinking the Kool Aid

WebP and Rank Math

According to Exploding Topics WebP and Rank Math are trending upward. While I haven’t heard of Rank Math I have seen more and more WebP mentioned by clients and customers over the last few years.

WebP is a next-gen image format driven by Google. It aims to replace JPEG, GIF, and PNG in one swoop by allowing for lossy and lossless compression, animation, and transparency. The problem is that it doesn’t seem to do it any better than the existing technologies. It can also have issues with your hosting configuration and can be a pain in the butt. Personally I think people should focus on getting their images smaller overall. Once you have the size down then consider eeking out a few percentage points by changing the tech.

Rank Math is a WordPress SEO plugin that appears to be the new up and comer taking on the giant that is Yoast. Various reviews tout it as being smaller, faster, and have more features. Seems like a win win.

The concern I always have with WordPress plugins is what are they doing on my site and how are they making money. With Yoast it is pretty straight forward: they want to upsell you on the Premium plugin. The problem with Yoast is that it has grown into a massive plugin that can use up a lot of resources.

Rank Math has no information about how it makes money or plans to make money on its website. One telling thing is that as soon as you install the plugin it wants you to connect to the Rank Math website via an account. The sell is that this gives you more features but the tell is that this is how they are collecting your data. My guess is that this is then sold to various data aggregators and advertising companies to build various profiles about your website.

I skipped connecting to the Rank Math website. The rest of the setup was fast and clean. They do a nice job of walking you through getting sitemaps setup and other SEO techniques and technologies. I am testing out the Open links in new Window/Tab option. Do you like that?

Once the setup is done they bring you back to the WP Dashboard with even more options available. There is a lot of schema and markup options available which make it a lot easier to configure your site to show up in new search products.

Overall I like Rank Math as a plugin but am concerned about their business model. I realize it is 2020 and its all about monetizing other people’s data. I just don’t have to like it. 😜


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