The Grow by Mediavine WordPress plugin had many bugs that meddled with other plugins, resulting in Yoast not yielding certain data structured components. Some websites encountered a lack of rankings because of this issue.
Websites that had rankings in the top of the page Google carousels lost their rankings.
Others lost the rich results pictures that normally accompany their search results.
When a WordPress plugin causes an issue with another plugin, that is known as a conflict. That is the thing that occurred in this situation.
A conflict between the Grow social sharing plugin and the other plugins caused issues with structured data, resulting in Google dropping pictures from rich results.
According to an email sent by Mediavine:
“If you are running our WordPress Grow plugin (formerly Social Pug) and updated to either version 2.12.1 or 2.12.2 in the past couple of days, please update your Grow plugin to 2.12.3 ASAP.
Version 2.12.1 caused CSS display issues in some instances when optimization plugins like WP Rocket and Autoptimize were also running on the site.
For Grow users that are also using the WP Recipe Maker plugin, Grow versions 2.12.1 and 2.12.2 have the potential to impact rich snippets because of the way that data is output through Yoast in the head of pages.
Our 2.12.3 release corrects this issue, and it is important to update to the most recent version to resolve this potential conflict on your site as soon as possible.”
Each product maker should ideally test their product before releasing it to the public.
For instance, a few years back there was a Yoast SEO bug released in an awful update. The Yoast bug made users sites produce a website page for each picture on the website, creating thousands and thousands of additional site pages.
Had Yoast SEO tried the plugin on a test site and tested the site by crawling it, it would have been quickly obvious that an enormous blunder had happened.
Similarly, Grow by Mediavine has a duty to test each version they released to their clients. That implies crawling a test site, testing it in Google Search Console for blunders, testing for plugin conflicts, etc.
Clearly one can’t consider everything to test. But when a customer’s rankings are in question, an enthusiastic testing phase should be required.
Websites that were top ranked in Google’s Carousels lost their rankings due to this issue.
At the time of writing this article there was no public statement about this issue. There was just an email that was sent out.
Mediavine tweeted an explanation:
This has been a significant issue for many people. It’s arguably not something to stay silent about.
So it’s a decent sign that Mediavine finally made a public statement.
If you have the Grow by Mediavine plugin installed, update to version 2.12.3 right away.