Content freshness plays a vital role in a website’s ranking. According to Google’s Freshness update, if your content is more relevant and more recent, the chances to rank top on SERP result is higher.
Thus, many digital marketers are climbing to change the date of published articles to let the crawler know, Hey Content is Fresh!!
But do you think changing the article’s date is a good SEO technique, or is there a risk?
Don’t worry, let’s clear it one-by-one.
Search for a keyword- what’s new in WordPress 5.7. The result is something like this:
Look at the date part; you can notice the article at the top has a more recent date than the article below. This date can be an article’s updated date or published date.
Search for the keyword SEO tips; what you see, the 3rd positioned article is more recent than the 1st one. That means we can not always say fresh content or recent published will only rank on top.
However, to get 1st position, article publishing date can be one reason, but other ranking factors, such as keyword, meta title, URL, etc., help in ranking.
Therefore, just modifying an article’s date and saying crawler, my content is fresh! It is entirely worthless.
Before answering your next question floating in your mind, I would like to ask something: Do you know which search engine is mainly used or which has the maximum share?
If you know, that is appreciable because, as a marketer, you should know which platform can give you maximum benefits. And, for those who don’t know, let me help you!
According to Statista, Google maintains an 86.6% market share, Bing for 6.7%, Yahoo for 2.7% as of February 2021
Image Source: Statista
Now, let’s have the next question.
Is It Good To Change Article Dates?
By Google’s Martin Splitt tweet, it is better not to create new content if you have already covered very similar content. Rather than creating new, update the old one by adding the latest content and removing the worthless content.
But what about the publish date of the article? Do we need to change it like the content?
The answer is not straightforward; you have to consider a few things when you opt to change the article’s date. Contents are sometimes time-sensitive like if you change the publication date of an old news article, it is simply worthless.
That means date manipulation can be a tricky part. However, it is one way to grab the attention of crawlers and have better results in the SERP.
The key point to remember:
- The ranking directly or indirectly depends on the freshest information you are offering over the web,
- The most recent results grab maximum attention from the users.
- Up-to-date is much more appealing for both users and search engines.
- Search engines, too, give the current content much more preferable if it is relevant and valuable.
- Date updates might give you an increment in the CTR.
Follow Google’s Content Freshness Guideline To Rank Top, Scroll Down For More Such SEO Tips!!
Does Updating Article Dates Put Any Negative Impact On SEO?
Whether you are changing the page’s date itself or changing the date in the sitemap, you need to know what impact each practice will make on your SEO. As per the John Mueller verdict, regular changes in a particular webpage do not harm SEO.
Besides Google’s sitemap guideline, the page’s <lastmod> value needs to be accurate. If you have put the wrong value over there, then Google will not read that particular page. Moreover, to get the best result, you should show the last updated dates and the article’s original published date.
In a recent observation, it has found if you are keeping the dates of your articles up-to-date, that means the recent one or keep on changing in the regular intervals despite changing any content part, the results may be in your favor. The practice might help you to have a good ranking on the SERP.
Besides, you can acquire the WordPress plugin’s advantages- Limit Modified Date to keep your post-up-to-date without modifying dates.
Key points to remember:
- If your content topic is not evergreen and allows search engines to crawl publishing dates, your page might unnecessarily lose out in rankings. So, to avoid such mistakes, show the publishing date to the user, not the crawler.
- Further, if the publishing date ends up on your original page, make sure you hide it from the search engines.
- For better results, allow users to have the idea of both the original publication date and latest update date.
- For sitemap, make sure to flag the changes to primary content; it will prevent it from penalizing.
What Are The Right Strategies To Keep Your Content Fresh?
Changes in an article’s date might give you different search results, especially in the term of Google’s theory. For that, you need to consider a few of the factors to keep your content fresh and relevant.
Factors that affect the Content Freshness:
- How frequently you make the change in the content.
- How much content you are changing on a particular page.
- Growth of creating new links.
- The rate of document change.
- Changes to core content.
- New page creation
- Links from fresh sites pass fresh value.
- Traffic and engagement metrics.
5 Strategies to Give Fresh Vibes to the Older Content
Before I start, let me clear you one thing, these tactics will only work if you keep your content relevant and valuable. If you do, no one can stop you from having 1st position with massive traffic.
A survey has found that No. 1 Position in Google acquires 33% of Search Traffic.
1. Keep The URL Same But Modify The Date
John Mueller says: there is no need to rewrite the article that has been updated regularly. Your little change in the content part is enough. It will not affect your SEO even if you are updating the articles regularly.
2. Cover Current News or Make Updates To a Page
You can even earn a profit if you add current news to a page by covering the live news. It is a helpful step in strengthening the SEO if you add the current news about the particular post.
3. Use Redirects If Your Are Rewriting The Older Post From Scratch
If you gave outdated pages, but still they are performing well, in that case, you can create a new page from scratch covering the entire topic with recent updates.
When your page is ready, publish it and make sure you redirect the old page, this way, you are not getting off the juice you have with the older one.
4. Delete Outdated Posts
You should delete all those posts that are outdated and not performing anywhere over the web. Keeping those outdated web pages might not give worth in search engine ranking.
5. Merge Posts That Are Much Alike
While updating the older content, if you have a bunch of similar content, in that situation, you can merge all those similar posts into the single one.
But notice among those similar topics, you are updating the content with better results and performing well, then merging with the less performing content.
Don’t Put Your SEO at Risk, Obey The Right Strategy For Modifying Article’s Date!!
Everyone in online marketing must want to know the answer to the above question because a single mistake can ruin SEO efforts. These are some of the basic yet important things about SEO that you might avoid until now, or you might not be aware of such SEO practice.
Changing the article date is all your call, but you need to know every article is not worth updating. You should update those contents if you have covered evergreen topics or those already performing well over the web.
Ensure you are not missing the tiniest thing while implementing the SEO strategy for your webpages. Moreover, to publish your content, keep it fresh, relevant, valuable, and, more importantly, evergreen.
I hope you find this valuable information for your SEO practice. If you have some additional information about what impact you can see on SEO while updating the published articles’ date, please comment it down.
Q1: Does changing websites affect SEO?
A1: Several factors affect SEO significantly when you are redesigning your content part; they can be like:
- Publishing date
- Core content
- Website security
- Page Speed
- Mobile Friendliness
- Domain Age, URL, and Authority
- Optimized Content
- Technical SEO
- User Experience
It would help if you handled all those factors correctly; otherwise, you might negatively impact the website’s SEO performance. And the best part is that if you do it properly, you are strengthening your website’s performance.
Q2: How do I write SEO-rich content?
A1: If you are hunting for the solution that can help you in writing SEO rich content, then here is the solution you can give a try:
- Use headlines and subheads.
- Add links to previous content.
- Optimize the length of your article.
- Choose your keywords wisely.
- Optimize your images.
- Make the content shareable.
- Write high-quality content.
- Content optimization tools.
Q3: How do I update old blog posts for SEO?
A3: There are many steps you can follow to update old posts to strengthen your SEO performance. The below point for editing older posts is easy; however, you need to be conscious that you are following it correctly.
- Look for the keywords the post is already ranking for.
- Pick the right keyword to target when updating your post.
- See if there are secondary keywords you should target.
- Look at the page-one results for your target keyword.
- Search for any secondary keywords you’re planning to target.
- Update your blog post.
Besides all the above tips, I would advise you not to waste time updating old content worthless or outdated. Only go for those blogs that are performing well, or you lack some points.