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Pros And Cons Of Removing Dates From Blog Posts

Removing dates from blog posts is a much-debated topic in our industry. When you’re online, you’ll notice some content pages are published with the date and others it’s nowhere to be found. What’s the right thing to do? Who is right? Find out with this blog.

Impact Of Removing Dates From Blog Posts 

There is a lot of back and forth among digital marketers as to whether you should remove dates from blog posts (hence this blog post). And we’re not necessarily here to say one side of the argument is right or wrong.  

Keep Dates? 

On the one hand, leaving dates on blog posts shows that you are regularly updating and producing content. Date-stamped content could attract re-visits to your site, as users anticipate content. A bit like a weekly TV show… They know it’s coming, and they’re waiting (I hope you feel this way about my blogs at least).  

Some will argue that dates on blogs allude to authenticity. Readers are assured that it was produced by a person at a specific time and date, so it must be real and reliable. In an age where online users are hyper-sceptical about deep fakes, clickbait, fake news and AI, accurate dates are one way to authenticate content

If you think about producing content, most of the time it is relevant to what is going on in a business, or in the world, at that present moment. Users can track progression or understand the context when dates are displayed.  

Dates are also a simple way for site designers to order and organise your content. This makes content easier to locate for users (and Google, but we’ll get to that later).  

Remove Dates? 

Now, the other side of the argument suggests that removing dates can create an unbiased experience. The best kind of content is known as evergreen content, which can be processed and read for all digital eternity and doesn’t go out of style. Seeing a date stamped beyond 30 days is historically believed to be expired.  

Removing dates from blog posts could also prevent the content from being judged based on events involving your business around that time. While some view context as an asset or a tool, others may perceive it as the opposite. There’s constant pressure on businesses to address global events or controversies, which can cause upset or judgment. No dates disconnect content from a specific time, so it can feel more neutral.  

When conducting research or looking at a topic, it is likely users will completely disregard posts older than 3-4 years. Dates can allude to inaccuracy. Even if a blog remains relevant in the current day, it’s argued that you run the of losing out on clicks due to a lack of credibility.  

Google’s Awareness Of Dates  

Google’s crawlers will consider various factors when determining the date of a page. One of the first things they look at is prominent listings on a page to ascertain when the content was published. It also checks the structured markup or schema of the page to check if a date has been noted.  

Google is also aware that content publishers will alter the dates of a post. They also hold themselves accountable for the fact they may not find content immediately so by the time crawlers reach a page, time may have passed (albeit, with the number of crawlers Google omits, it doesn’t tend to be longer than a matter of days).  

For this reason, Google tends to not consider the date stamp on published content. The only date they’re concerned about is when they reached and indexed the content (which is out of the publisher’s control).  

While we promote fresh, new content as a necessity for strong SEO, that doesn’t mean older content becomes irrelevant.  

Pros Of Removing Dates From Blog Posts 

  1. Timelessness– Searchers may be less likely to disregard content based on the date stamp being seen as ‘outdated’, irrespective of whether the content remains valuable.  
  1. Improved Bounce Rate– Say a searcher has not been a date stamp on a search result, they could be deterred once they’ve entered a page, negatively impacting a web page’s bounce rate. 
  1. User Focus On Quality– as opposed to basing their opinion of content’s reliability on the publication date, users focus more on the quality and relevance of the content by reading it.  
  1. Content Lifecycle Management (CLM)– Site updates and repurposing of content are less controlled by concerns of original publication dates and how a blog may be perceived.  
  1. Reduction Of Bias– Readers may have preconceived opinions on content based on the dates of posts. Removing dates encourages users to engage freely with older content.  
  1. Google Doesn’t Care– Dates don’t directly impact your SEO as far as Google is concerned, so removing them won’t necessarily harm your rankings.  
image of a calendar with Pros To Removing Dates From Blog Posts

Cons Of Removing Dates From Blog Posts 

  1. Lack Of Transparency– A lack of date stamps can impact users’ trust in your content and cause frustration when trying to determine how current content is.  
  1. Uncertain Relevancy– Depending on the topic of a blog post, information can become outdated quickly. Readers may feel misled and find it difficult to access current information. 
  1. Impact On Credibility– Masking, removing or hiding information, such as dates, may make users question the credibility of content, as though the publisher is trying to cover up the fact the content is out of date. 
  1. Reduced Shareability– Readers may be less inclined to share or link to your content based on a lack of date stamps, at the risk of sharing out-of-date information. 
  1. User Experience Concerns– When navigating their way around your site, users who wish to access the most recent posts will have difficulty doing so, leading to a poor user experience.  
  1. Everything Is Traceable– Removing dates from your blog posts doesn’t make them impossible to find, only harder.  
image of a calendar with cons to removing dates from blog posts

Timeless Content From GrowTraffic 

Well, there we are… a list of the pros and cons of removing dates from blog posts. We’d love to know your thoughts and which side you’re on!  

At GrowTraffic, you may have already noticed, but we continue to keep the dates on our blog posts. That’s because we are confident in the reliability and evergreen nature of our content. We also like to build on our ‘old’ blogs and reference them to highlight the ever-changing nature of our industry.  

If you require assistance in writing timeless blog posts, please get in touch with our talented team of copywriters. You can call us at 0161 706 0012 or email us at info@growtraffic.co.uk with your enquiry.  

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