Recently we had interviewed Joost de Valk who is a founder and CEO of
Mr. Joost is a 34 year old web developer, SEO and online marketer who live near Nijmegen, where Yoast also has its main offices. He lives there with his lovely wife Marieke, and their four kids: Tycho, Wende ,Ravi, Borre.
Outside of work he loves to read, do some photography and play games with his kids.
An Interview with Joost De Valk from Yoast
Career Journey
In the early days of his career he worked in several companies, ranging from enterprise hosting to online marketing agencies. This allowed him to work with several large brands around the world.
He founded – the biggest CSS3 resource on the web – in 2006 and sold it in 2009. Early 2010, he built Quix, which was featured in many online publications from Mashable to Lifehacker and ReadWriteWeb.
In 2010 he founded Yoast, which focuses on software, training and services for website optimization. Team Yoast currently consists of 30 people. Yoast SEO, Yoast’s main software product, is currently available for two platforms and active on around 4 million websites.
Here is our one on one interview session with Mr. Joost

Varun: Who is Joost de Valk?
JoostJoost de Valk was born on 16th of February 1982. I have a younger brother and sister and grew up in Nijmegen, the Netherlands. My parents bought my first computer when I was very young, because I broke theirs too often. I learned myself to code. After high school, I studied theology and business development, but never completed any studies. Finally, I went to work as a IT consultant. In 2006 I started working as an SEO and I have been doing that ever since. I have worked for the Guardian, Disney, Ebay and many other large companies. In 2010, I founded Yoast.
Varun: You have four lovely kids and a beautiful wife too. How do you make the right balance between your personal and professional life?
Joost:  That is in fact hard. Marieke and I both work at Yoast, that makes it so much easier. So Yoast is something we do together and the care for our kids is also something we do together. On mondays and wednesdays afternoons, I tend to stay at home with our kids. I really enjoy helping with school outings and I am also my sons field hockey coach. And we have lots of help in all the other areas. We have a lovely lady doing our housekeeping and Mariekes parent also helps out a lot.
Varun: Initially, you started your career as a developer. When did you realize your interest in SEO and what was the biggest challenge/hardship you faced in SEO?
Joost: In 2006 I ended up at a SEO company (onetomarket), a bit by chance actually. My wife was pregnant with our first child and I needed a job closer to home. I instantly liked the business and started doing conference. It turned out that my ability to write code came combined with my ability to speak in public was a great combination for SEO.
Varun: As you know WordPress websites are more vulnerable towards online hacking/attacks. We would like to learn some advance techniques that you use personally.
Joost: At Yoast, we work together with Sucuri. They are really good. We work with them in making sure our plugins are secure and we work with them making sure is secure.

Varun: Technology is advancing with each passing day as far as Online Marketing is concerned. Can we see these below upgrades in Yoast SEO in future?

a) Schema is in trend in the current scenario and Yoast enables us to implement some schema markup like video, breadcrumb, local and Search in Sitelinks. Can we see some upgrade in Yoast SEO in near future to implement more advance schema markup as well?

Joost:  Perhaps, not in the very near future, but we are aiming for some of these implementations for our release in November (3.5).
b) We often use Yoast plugin but we don’t see any option of plagiarism check. Can we see an advance option that can analyze the duplicate content?
Joost:  Maybe someday.
Varun: Google is going to remove one of its old and most used algorithms Page Rank. What’s your opinion on this big update? Is Google making marketing difficult for webmasters?
Joost: Google isn’t removing page rank, they are just not showing page rank visible to audience anymore. Pagerank has been evolving over the last decade, but still exists.
Varun: Can you share any of the current projects you are working on that can make SEOs life easier :)?
Joost:  For the 3.3 release of Yoast SEO, we are working on a content analysis in which we include readability checks. Writing good quality content is something that will become more and more important. That’s why we have to incorporate writing aid in our plugin. Google becomes more and more able to understand what quality content is. I expect that in the future, website will not be able to rank high anymore with poorly written articles.
Varun: What suggestions do you have for being successful on Search Engine Optimization? What key mantras (from your experience) would you like to share with someone who is new?
Joost:  A good SEO should be someone that understand the hardcore technical stuff, he has to be able to read and write code. For WordPress, especially when using our plugin, you do not need to know anything about technical SEO anymore. We have taken care of everything. For other platforms, technical knowhow is key. But, at the same time, one should be able to understand the importance of great content as well. You’ll have to be allround.
Varun: The last one, how you feel motivated even after receiving a failure in life or business?
Joost: Everyday is a new beginning. My four kids wake me up very early every morning. Their enthusiasm and their life spirit is enough to keep me motivated after each and every setback.


This was a short interview with Mr. Joost de Valk. We really thank him for sparing some time from his busy schedule for the interview. We truly believe his experience and valuable tips will be beneficial for all of us.

If you like the interview please share your thoughts with us in our comment section.

Stay tuned with us for more interviews of Internet Marketing Experts.

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