Transitioning to a new role at Yoast

Transitioning to a new role at Yoast

At the end of this month, I will transition to a different role at Yoast. No, I will not leave Yoast. But, I am going to pursue some other dreams outside of Yoast. It’s time to spread my wings! Let me explain a bit on why I am making this transition and what it will look like!


For somewhat longer than a decade, Yoast has been my entire (work) life. And I still love the company. I still love our product. I still feel closely connected with Yoast SEO. However, I have always had ambitions outside of Yoast. I just was not able to pursue those, because I owned Yoast and was responsible for so many users and employees.

However, I would love to learn new skills or improve other products. I would love to learn from other people and to help other companies. My ambitions outside of Yoast were my main personal reason for selling Yoast. I really was getting bored. After our sale to Newfold, Yoast is running rather smoothly without me interfering on a daily basis. And that means it’s now time to spread my wings.

What about Yoast?

I was the final decision maker and primary driver for the product strategy of Yoast SEO for a long time. I’m super proud of going from 0 to currently 12.5 million users. Over the last few years, we’ve built a team of people that have a very good feel for what that product should be. The day to day SEO decisions I leave in the capable hands of Jono Alderson, who’ll now be Yoast’s head of SEO. With Marieke leading strategy, Thijs leading the company, and so many other great colleagues still there, I’m certain they’ll do fine.

For Yoast, this is going to be a good thing. Me leaving the day to day operation opens up a lot of opportunities for other people. There are so many talented people that work at Yoast, that’ll now have so many more chances to grow. And, I’ll still be there to share my knowledge and help make sure the product evolves in a good direction. I’ll also still be advising Newfold on WordPress & SEO and I’ll definitely be cheering for both Yoast and all of wider Newfold in the years to come.

What am I going to do next?

As said, I will stay on board for one day every two weeks at Yoast. I will advise on product and SEO strategy. I am really looking forward to spreading my ideas without having to execute all of them. 

Next to that, I’ll finally have room for other things. I’m still contemplating what things get me most excited. Marieke and I invested in a number of companies and I look forward to getting a bit more involved with them. But I am also sort of curious to see what comes up now, and what I come up with when I don’t have to do day-to-day stuff at Yoast. It is so liberating not knowing exactly what I will be doing next year!

A headshot of Joost de Valk, author.

Joost de Valk

Joost is an internet entrepreneur from Wijchen, the Netherlands. He is the founder of Yoast. Joost is married to Marieke, who is also Yoast's former CEO. Marieke and Joost have 4 kids together and run Emilia Capital together, an investment firm.


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7 thoughts on “Transitioning to a new role at Yoast”

  1. I am so excited for you to stretch your wings and do something new. Even if it’s just being a house dad, change is good, and I love seeing smart people embrace it. Next time I see you, we need to grab coffee and catch up.

  2. Good luck. Thanks for the massive impact you’ve made. I have been using Yoast SEO for what is probably around a decade and it has made a world of difference.

  3. You did a great thing my with Yoast! Do you remember me paying a few hundred dinari (or something) to get my WordPress theme? I assume that was your last consulting gig!

  4. Congratulations, Joost! It’s amazing that you grew the company as far as you did and then were able to get it to run so smoothly without you – every entrepreneur’s dream. I look forward to seeing what you do next.

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