• http://www.seo-theory.com/ Michael Martinez

    Good, well-balanced review of the two opposing sides on this point.

    “In the case of date stamping content, without a date you may trick the search engines into thinking your content is fresh, even after it has been published for a long period of time. Search engines generally place a preference on new content, so your old content may rank higher without a date.”

    This is a concern many people have shared with me. Of course, we can only use anecdotal evidence to evaluate the way the SERPs work. I have many older date-stamped articles that continue to outrank newer articles (with and without dates) in a variety of SERPs. I see this happening on other sites.

    And I have older date-stamped articles that are nowhere to be found even though the search engines only display less relevant more-recent results.

    I think people have to consider that date-stamping is not a strong signal by itself (and therefore, conversely, neither is leaving out the datestamp).

    Dates do not signify that content is dated. Lack of dates does not signify that content is evergreen.

    Search engines are just not that simple.

  • http://www.polepositionmarketing.com/ Stoney deGeyter

    Good points Arnie. Personally, I think the people searching for the content will intuitively know whether or not the date (or rather timeliness of the content) is important. Even dated everygreen content can still be considered a great resource for someone. I just don’t believe it will be rejected based on the date alone. But the date, at the very least, gives them something that helps the reader better judge the value of the content they are reading.

    As a site visitor, if I’m looking for something timely, I’ll ignore anything without a date, assuming it’s out of date. I don’t want to waste my time on reading something that just isn’t valuable to me. If I’m looking for something that I know will be timeless, the date still helps me value the content.

  • donthe

    My website automatically replaces the full date and just use the month and year after a post is a 6 months old. This way Google doesn’t list the date as a rich snippet in the SERPS. If Google lists my post in the SERPS with a date from 2006 that’s going to hurt CTR, no way in the world will that increase CTR for any sort of content that I can think of.

  • Arnie Kuenn

    I agree Michael – search engines are not that simple. Was not trying to give any absolutes – thus the word “general” ;)

  • Arnie Kuenn

    As a user, I totally agree with your two view points. I know some have seen great results from not dating anything. I just don’t subscribe to that method… for now.

  • Susann Stjernborg

    I am not so sure the creation date is what for example Google use when you search with date frames. It seems to me that a lot of the stuff I get is from the date when that particular page was reindexed.

    Since I do regular searches for a lot of things, with the time frame for the last 24 hours, I see every day how old pages reappear, again and again and again, over time.