What really is it about timestamps on blog posts? Such a common function that so many blogs have, but do we really need it? I think not.. This debate has been brought up many times by many bloggers, however i wanted to share why I think you should remove it. There is actually quite a few reasons and some maybe very surprising..
Above image shows an example of time stamps in search results, some being over 5 years old but still to this day very much on topic, so the question is would you avoid it based on date. Many surveys reveal that most readers look for recent content even if it is timeless.. Not to mention this date is included in meta description for that post which could lower its position in search overall, look at the wordpress listing there with no time stamp, to me it subliminally looks more relevant however it is an old timeless topic as well..
Time Stamp In a Nutshell
First off before i get ranting let me first share what a time stamp is, it is the date that is posted on a web blog post every time it is posted. For example if you wrote a post 2 years ago it would be written the date you wrote two years ago under the post title. This is a general component of a wordpress or blogger blog.
- First off if the articles or posts you are writing on your blog are timeless then a time stamp is basically useless, all it does then is tell the reader or even search engines that your page is outdated..
- Secondly a time stamp reduces traffic on your website and also in the search engines.. Think of it this way when a search result comes up for your website how often is the date included in the results, nearly every time. And then think how often do you not visit that post or article based on it being old or outdated.. Probably like most of us we subliminally avoid old posts, however if that post is timeless then should we visit it, the answer to me is simply yes, yes and yes..
- Thirdly it took me a while to realize my content was timeless, i write on many blogs, i love it and have been doing it for quite some time. I hardly ever write for date specific topics and if i do it is randomly seldom. I mean when we all think about, on these small amounts of posts can’t i just add the date if i really want?
- This opinion of mine is under debate by many seos of late, however i find the answer is obvious, when we use timestamps Google and many other major search engines rank it lower the older it gets.. To me that is fine in a date oriented site, however for a site that 90% is timeless quality content who wants to be de ranked due to ranking robot. Me for one, I do not. I like my posts that i wrote 1 year ago about something of interest to still show because they are still on topic.
- Lastly and an interesting one is that when i removed the time stamp i found my page views increased by nearly 20%.. That means that readers based there reading on the date, to me that is okay if it is outdated unspecific content, however because most of my content is on time less that can be damaging to a overall sites performance.
So with all that being said, I have officially gone timestamps free on all of my blogs. It was not a decision i made overnight, many testing was involved to see readers reactions and how it would effect my site overall. I wish i had made the decision earlier.