Should You Ever Remove The Date From Your Posts And Pages?

Last Update: April 14, 2019

Quite a few months ago I read something online about removing the date from your Wordpress posts. The idea was simple... Since people trust newer, more up to date content, then wouldn't it be better to just remove the date from our posts. This would make our content appear to be more "evergreen" right?

Well, that was the subject of a post that I read several months ago. And after reading it I decided to give it a try.

At the time I had made quite a few changes to my www.makemoneyonline.zone website, so its hard to be specific about this. But after removing the date from my posts, I had a bit of a rise in traffic.

And this is also what some other website's have also reported.

However...

Google's Search Algorithm Evolves

I have recently seen a big drop in the level of my traffic. This could be because I haven't had time to blog quite so much as I did a few months ago. But I also wondered if it had something to do with removing the dates from my posts and pages?

Googles search algorithm changes all the time. And I just wonder if removing the dates from my posts might be seen as hiding something?

After doing a bit of research it would seem that many of the top blogs are opting to display a "last modified" date on their posts these days. This is basically to show Google that your content is still up to date and is still relevant.

So today I decided to bring back my published post dates as well as a "date modified" at the top of the post.

I'll keep you updated on what happens with my site, but I was interested to know what you think.

Should you ever remove the date from your WordPress posts? Could it negatively impact your search engine results?

What are your thoughts on the subject?

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jvranjes Premium
1. How do you add the 'last updated' feature?

2. The real issue is with the dates in SERPs. This is what people see when they search, so the date on the post itself is of a secondary importance. My guess is you could not remove them in SERPs. Or did you?
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Andrew-74 Premium
Yes, I removed the published date from my site and from SERPs with a plugin. I also added the last updated feature with a plugin too. The plugin is called "WP Last Modified".
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jvranjes Premium
Thank you.

Which plugin did you use for SERPs? I tried everything and nothing worked.
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Andrew-74 Premium
I think it was this one. I've attached a screenshot to show you.
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jvranjes Premium
Tried WP Last Modified Info plugin (Sayan Datta author) on two sites (different themes) and it does not show the 'last updated' feature. Wonder if that is the plugin you used.

I did actually modify posts for the test but just the old published date appears.
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jvranjes Premium
OK thanks, I shall try it, need this for posts that are 4 -5 years old, nobody would open them in SERPs. I guess when you apply it, it takes weeks to spread in SERPs.
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RobFore Premium
We moved the dates from our post and comments YEARS ago and it does not effect the SEO or traffic. We also made it a point to go through each post and remove any DATE REFERENCED images or videos.

WHY? Because people DO pay attention to dates and we don't know what THEY think is too old to be of any value. Your copy might be 100% evergreen, but if THEY don't think so... they will leave in a heartbeat.
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Andrew-74 Premium
Good points! Thank you very much for your input. I was hoping to find someone on here who had already done this. Much appreciated!
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TDomena Premium
There's pros and cons. People also want to know that the site is active. I think the dates can reflect that and be a positive thing.

I used to think differently when I wasn't committed to publishing regularly, but as long as you are, having the dates visible shouldn't be a problem.
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Andrew-74 Premium
Yeah, I am very much aware of the post date when I look at other peoples sites. But the question is, does Google care? There are case studies online showing a drop or increase in traffic, just by altering the published date. But we'll see what happens!
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TDomena Premium
I think Google ultimately rewards those who treat the customer (website visitor) well. It may not be a huge spike in their algorithm directly, but if the dates effects your bounce rates or time on page, it could impact your rankings in the long term.

By a consensus here, it looks like most website visitors prefer to see dates because it illustrates relevance and activity level on a website. As a result, they may choose to bounce away from a site when they think the relevance is in question.

I know keeping the dates visible is a form of accountability, and some people don't want that accountability so they remove the dates, but it looks like it's the website visitors preference, and ultimately, we're in service to them, right?
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SondraM Premium
Tiffany, I agree with you.

I have noticed that as a reader, I do not trust websites or articles that do not show dates for articles related to electronics, technology, internet or marketing or other topics that are continually changing and evolving.

If the website was about baking a cake in an regular oven or offering tips for painting a landscape, who cares what the date is?

I think the most important thing is to ensure that we are meeting our visitors needs.
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TDomena Premium
You're right about the topic making the date more or less important. In the end, it's about satisfying the end user, which means Sam Walton was right that entrepreneurs have several bosses, right? LOLOL.
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PMindra Premium
Hi, Andrew.
I think that you make a very good point here.

A 'Last Updated' in my opinion is a very good idea.

Thank you for sharing.

Paul.
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Andrew-74 Premium
My pleasure, thanks for the comment Paul.
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PMindra Premium
Cheers. Nice to see you again.

Paul.
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Labman Premium
I would not remove the dates. People want to know how old a post is. Showing the last updated date is a good idea but I don't think Google cares. It is more for visitors to know that the post is still relevant.
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Andrew-74 Premium
Right, I know that people care about it. But in the tests that I have seen online, it would appear that Google cares about it too. May be something or nothing, but i'm using my site as a bit of a guinea pig, so we'll see!
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