SEO plugins definitely had a job to do back in the days when WordPress had a lot of SEO-related issues. Of course, keep your SEO plugin if you like it and think it's useful. You can also keep it if you like certain features. But if you just stick with this out of fear of being penalized without one, I'm happy to assure you that won't happen.
SEO plugins can be useful; all I'm saying is that you don't need them to rank higher in search engines. The SEO settings of the publication are controlled with a few tabs, one of which uses a color scale to show exactly how close you are to having your publication ready for the search engine. Soon, some of the most basic plugins you need will become clear, such as Yoast SEO and Google XML Sitemaps. In addition, you can find some third-party SEO tools for powerful statistics, keyword rankings, and backlink information.
You can also take advantage of extensions such as local SEO, news SEO, video SEO and WooCommerce SEO. It's important to understand that WordPress SEO plugins don't necessarily mean that your content will rank higher on search engines. Most SEO plugins are rubbish, but choose a lightweight one for titles and meta descriptions, if nothing else. An SEO plugin offers you powerful tools and features, such as audit checklists, site maps, and content information to optimize your website.
Brian, that's a very solid list and I couldn't be happier with this summary, especially when it comes to the list of SEO tools. On the one hand, this doesn't do you much good from an SEO perspective, and secondly, relying on a plugin to do it isn't the best way. Right out of the box, WordPress already includes all the tools and features you need to create SEO-friendly content. For those of you who keep the score at home, you'll notice that AIO SEO and Yoast have slightly larger feature sets.
The SEO Framework plugin works for those who want a fast and lightweight SEO plugin for WordPress without ads or additional sales. Rank Math combines the power of several plugins you might be using on your WordPress website for SEO and brings it all together in an easy-to-manage plugin that's also lightweight. And of course, they're still relevant, perhaps even more so considering that WordPress has introduced sitemaps and slow loading in its latest releases and could even include more SEO features in the future. Almost all of my sites have ranked on the first page of Google's search results without any SEO plugins.