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Dates on Blog Posts: Should You Keep Them?

by Durodola Ridwan | Sunday, September 15, 2013 | | 134 Comments

Different argument and opinions have been raised that displaying post date in SERP's negatively affect clickthrough rates and thus in turn many experts believe that removing the post date can in fact increase clickthrough rate.

Most bloggers test it out. Unfortunately bounce rate reduces, pageviews increases and backlinks blast in. But don't be sold. Just because a technique works for blog A doesn't mean it is appropriate for blog B.
Ultimately, you have to make the decision that’s best for your blog. Study the type of community you control. Do you actually write content that are timeless and how often do you update your blog? These are questions you should ask yourself.

There are three different important sections where date stamp appears within the internet, which we will be analyzing below:

Date on Homepage

This is where i get affected. There was a time am so busy to update my blog. Posting new stuff became really tough that i only publish one post per week (sometimes 1 per 2 weeks). But there is one thing i observe in my site stats, a dramatic drop down in traffic. That don't really freak me out though, but what baffled me most is the sudden increase in bounce rate and the rate of subscription entry that decreases.

What happened?

I don't really know until i went further to explore user's exit page (page where user's visit last before exiting,) and i discover that it's my homepage.

Why, you asked?

What actually entice first time visitors to bookmark or subscribe to your blog is how informative and valuable the post that brought them to your site is, which will force them to your homepage or archive page to see if there are still some great stuff for them to read.
If your homepage is dated and your posting frequency is poor, that's a red signal, because people love to read fresh content every time and they stick to blog's that provide it frequently.

Date on Post Pages

The concept of dating post pages truly varies depending on your blogging niche. Imagine, you happen to write for the New York Times, then the date is quite useful as readers will like to know when the post was written.

It can be argued that without a date, some if not all newspaper articles would be irrelevant.
If the result of a sport match was reported without the date, it will be totally irrelevant and will get lots of people confused.

If you’re giving investment advice on which stock to buy right now, links to coupons, latest digital product, software updates or anything else that’s truly time-sensitive, you owe it to your audience to have a date on your post.

But, what value is there in having a date on an article on how to avoid distraction, how to be determined in order to be productive, how to remove stains with ______, weight loss technique, how to apply makeup, how to build a better relationship, timeless they are, i think?
If the piece of information or the content in the post is regardless of time and is applicable at all times, then it is OK to remove the date and time from your blog.

Date on Search Engines

You probable have tons of articles in your archive which was publish some years back and you believe that search engine user's will take your content that's is dated some years back as their first choice? Sorry that's just a day dream.

Even though the article is timeless and applicable at all time, searchers can only decide that after reading your post content. Let's consider the two following examples:

How To Build a Better Blog - (dated 10/05/2010)

How To Build a Better Blog - (dated 14/09/2013)

Without any doubt, the later is the winner, right?
In this scenario, a user might bypass your content of higher quality and click on a newer article, simply because it is fresh and applicable now.
Except the former is written by an anonymous writer and the later is written by a higher authority writer, that's the only situation where it can win.

Now, let's see what the industry experts have to say about dating blog post.

Brain Dean - Backlinko
I don't think that it's a good idea to date blog posts. You may notice at Backlinko that I don't date any of my posts. Unless you're trying to trick Google into thinking your content is fresh by deleting and then re-publishing content, there's no real reason to have dates on your post.
The reason I don't use dates is because I don't want people to think that my content is out of date and not read it just because it's a year or so old.

Zac Johnson - ZacJohnson
I like to see the date on posts as it allows you see/know when the content was published. A lot of times when I am searching through Google for something,
I will include "2013" or a month/year to try and get the most recent and freshest results. I know there are pros/cons to publishing dates on content, but I personally like to see them there.

Rahul Kuntala - LearnBlogTips
It depends on niche to niche.
I don't recommend displaying dates on posts when someone has SEM/SEO, Blogging or IM related blogs.


When a visitor lands on your blog for the first time through Google and finds that you published the page 1 year back, the chances of reading it will be very less.

Kiesha Easley - WeBlogBetter
If you're publishing content frequently, it's a good idea to date your posts - as this shows that you're frequently updating. However, if you won't be updating your posts as frequently, it's better to do one of two things: either take the date away completely or at least remove the year. That way when some stumbles upon your site, they won't immediately feel like they've run into outdated content.
I prefer to date my content on WeBlogBetter.com, but on my other less trafficked site, I removed the dates completely.

Bill Sebald - GreenLaneSEO
Absolutely. Google’s going to create a found date, a cache date, etc., (of which our outdated content finder tool will search for), but despite QDF, Google gets it wrong. They show a lot of out dated content for a search. Sometimes the content is simply expired or proven wrong.

I take a marketing approach on this one – if you’re writing evergreen content, where you know it never will expire, and there’s no data whatsoever, I can get behind leaving out the date. But if it’s a blog post or a news item, where information is temporal and it doesn’t have the date, I find myself frustrated. Take SEO for instance – how many things have you looked up that didn’t seem accurate anymore but there wasn’t a date? I don’t appreciate SEO information that has no time stamp, and I’m a believer that most other searchers wouldn’t either.

I actually tested to see if the time stamp was a factor in rankings of duplicate content, and found no evidence that it was. And rightly so – it’s easily gamed.

Paul Crowe - SpiceupYourBlog
Search engines will see date when they scrolled to the post for the first time so i don't think that dating the post will make a difference to search.Perhaps readers would think a post is outdated if the date displayed is quiet old but I can't see that being an issue.

Rhea Drysdale - Outspoken Media
I think it depends on the content and your goals. Dated content will be considered "fresh" for a period of time and less that freshness over time thereby not appearing for queries that deserve freshness (QDF). If your content is in-depth, long form content that won't change, I'd argue that it should be published without a date to garner the most authority and long-term visibility in the SERPs.

Lisa Irby - 2CreateaWebsite
I don't date my posts anymore (although you can still see the date because of my file structure) but it doesn't matter because the engines know how old the post is. But for your readers, I think it's better to leave the date off.

Harsh Agrawal - ShoutMeLoud
Showing date is certainly useful for good reader experience, but with recent cast study conducted by me, I found it had negative impact in terms of search engine ranking.

A good solution for the same is to use JavaScript to show date on blog post, as it will be visible to readers but not to Search engine bots.

Mauro D'Andrew - BlogGrowth
I think that you have better to remove date from blog posts when you don't update your blog very often: you don't want people think that you aren't updating that blog anymore. The truth is that you are updating it with a low frequency, but often first time visitors won't realize this.

You also want to remove the date from evergreen posts too. People usually don't read old content because they think it's outdated.
Instead, there are certain niches in which you have better to show date of your posts: think of tech and news niches for example. People want to be sure that your content are updated in those cases.

Wong Chendong - TheBadBlogger
You should leave the date on blog post because when visitor
come they will know your blog is up to date or else they will not know if your content is up to date or not.

Francisco Perez - iBlogZone
I think it is a good idea to leave the date of the post visible. I particular do not like to see a post that has no date in it because I want to know how "fresh or updated" a particular article is. Some people choose not to, but I don't really see a point. My take on this is that most of the time that I don't see dates, it leads me to believe that the blog has no sufficient fresh content. If I want a more "permanent type" (evergreen) post, I normally create a page for that. Example is when I create a page that is a resource page and I just update it as time goes by or when a particular resource is outdated.

In my opinion, if you write timeless content, it is advisable that you remove date from your blog due to some detriment like:
  • People find it hard to link back to older content.
  • Sometimes it is hard to get people to comment or get involved in posts which are dated back.
  • People hesitate to share older posts, even if they enjoyed the content unlike fresh content.

For most blogs, i believe it is a bad idea to remove the date, but removing it from search engines and blog homepage should be a better idea. Better still, you can still play around with JavaScript by using JavaScript to display post date, or do you have a better method of displaying post date to site visitors?
Do you have dates on your posts? Why or Why Not? Please share your views.

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  1. Hello there, Ridwan. First of all, I really liked your writing style. Especially the way you quoted all the famous bloggers and told your visitors about "their" views. That was really smart.

    As of me, I think that our visitors have the right to know when a particular post was published :)

    I mean, if somebody is posting only once a week or if somebody hasn't posted in quite a while, it's a signal for them to start posting! Not to remove the dates!

    And as far as the search engine goes, "they are built for websites", not the other way around. So if you care about your readers and long as they are happy, you don't need to worry about any search engines! :)

    Any ways, these are my simply views :) I've been browsing your blog and I must say I'm pretty impressed. You just got yourself a new daily visitor, Ridwan!

    1. Hi Raj,
      Thanks for the compliment and base on whether to date blog posts or not, i believe each and every blogger will have their own opinion (probably different.) But i think removing date stamp will fit some blog while it will severely harm some.
      The best practice is to always study our community. If we believe our content are evergreen, why should we keep the date? If visitors can also sense that the content are timeless, they won't care about the date.
      Anyway, thanks for stopping by.

    2. Yes Raj, You said it right. Ridwan style of writing is purely awesome. Love it a lot and post is really informative!!

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    3. Hi Raj,
      Thanks for the compliment and base on whether to date blog posts or not, i believe each and every blogger will have their own opinion (probably different.) But i think removing date stamp will fit some blog while it will severely harm some.
      The best practice is to always study our community. If we believe our content are evergreen, why should we keep the date? If visitors can also sense that the content are timeless, they won't care about the date.
      Anyway, thanks for stopping by.

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Durodola Ridwan is a Professional blogger, SEO Consultant, Certified Web developer/designer and founder of www.realcombiz.com. He love writing about Blogging tips, SEO, and play around with codes. You can connect with him on facebook, twitter @realcombiz, and Google+.

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