Published vs Last Updated Date: Which is Better for SEO?

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Published vs Last Updated Date: Which is Better for SEO?

When we upload content to our websites there are two different dates that come into play. The published date – when the article was originally published and the last updated date- refers to the date that the piece of content was last modified.

Both of these dates are quite important when it comes to showing the relevancy of your piece of content, but which is better for your SEO?

This GrowTraffic blog aims to delve into the published vs last updated date and the impact these have on your SEO and content marketing strategy.

How Dates Affect SEO

SEO, ultimately, comes down to the user experience. It is no secret that Google and other search engines prioritise content that is helpful to their readers and adds to their overall positive experience online.

Marketers take different approaches when it comes to dates and hold different beliefs on the ways in which it affects the target audience.

Many decide to remove dates altogether. A popular date remover is Neil Patel, who often removes the dates from all his content – but why?

Although different types of content hold different levels of relevancy, the truth is that all content starts to decompose over time naturally. The benefit of removing dates is that you can’t see how quickly this decomposition is happening. If a post is still relevant, why does it matter when it was posted?

The two biggies when it comes to content dates is the date published and the date it was last updated.

Published vs Last Updated Date

Many content creators decide to keep their published date static. Date stamps allow readers to find the specific content they are looking for. This hosts the benefits of the date always being visible in the search results but the biggest con to this is that over time, the piece becomes less relevant, or more ignored. Fewer users will click on a piece of content that was dated 5 years ago if they are looking for fresh, new, relevant information.

Including a last updated date combats this issue and is significantly important when it comes to evergreen content. A discussion in a piece of content is likely to adapt over time, and being able to keep adding to this, and updating the date of these edits makes the content appear more relevant, in turn, having a positive impact on the user experience and likely resulting in more clicks.

When it comes to which one is better… well, it depends. Maintaining a published date can also host benefits to your SEO, especially if more and more people are producing similar content. Being one of the first to have the discussion sets you apart from your competitors. But on the other hand, we appreciate the role that relevancy plays in the user experience – which is why the last updated date comes in handy.

In a nutshell, as long as the content is helpful, the date doesn’t massively affect this.

Understanding SEO With GrowTraffic

As always, there isn’t a one size fits all 

Producing content is one thing, but understanding the nitty gritty when it comes to dates and optimising content to please Google is a completely different, admittedly complex, field to navigate.

This is where we step in!

We not only produce top notch content but know exactly what needs to be done to please the search engines and keep your target audience wanting more!

If you would like to learn more about SEO or prolong the conversation regarding publication dates, get in touch with a member of our team today!

You can call us on 0161 706 0012 or email

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