Why Removing Dates From Blog Posts Is ‘Bad Business’

Removing Dates From Blog PostsFor some time now you’ll no doubt have noticed ‘the radical movement’ of some bloggers removing dates from blog posts!

What’s that all about?

It is suggested that removing dates from blog posts can have many positive effects and advantages, here are some of the things people are claiming about it –

1. It prevents dates being shown by the side of your listings in SERPs (yes it does), which can help to encourage more traffic from search engines, and apparently improve your rankings (which is BS)…

2. It discourages users from judging your posts because they’re older; therefore the content must be out of date! (Debatable)

3. It promotes your blog as an ‘evergreen site’, though in reality very little content that exists on the web is truly evergreen.

4. It allows some people to send out emails to their list containing old content, often with the subscriber unaware that the content is old.  You might be wondering so what? Its damn well annoying and frustrating that’s so what… and as far as I’m concerned it’s deceiving.  OK so the content might be ‘evergreen’ and be worth a read, but really, who is going to leave a comment on a 2 year old blog post?  Not me… I’d love to hear your thoughts on this one.

OK so this post isn’t to talk about the plus points of removing dates from blog posts; I want to share with you some reasons why I believe removing the dates is bad business.  Again I’d love to hear what you think at the end of this post.

OK, right now (if you don’t show dates on your blog posts) think about your audience and their use of your content, forget the search engines for one minute and really think about the loyal audience you already have.

Here’s why you I think should leave the dates as it is on your blog.

1. It will help your users to identify when a post was written and published, is it recent, is it old?  Some folks will argue that displaying dates can make some people assume that because a post is old therefore the information is also old.  I don’t believe that one bit…

Personally for me if I don’t see a date on a blog post that I come across in my search, it can and does put me off reading it as I want to know when a particular post was created.  I would be more encouraged to read it if I knew when it was written regardless how old it was.

2. Others wanting to link back to your articles from their own blog posts won’t be put off by the fact that they can’t determine when your post was created.

Again going back to point 1, is it new or is it old?  I know some bloggers will only link back to ‘current articles’ as additional resource to their own posts.  But if they can’t determine whether a post is current or not they can sometimes be reluctant to link back to it, which means you run the risk of losing out on valuable inbound links.

3. Displaying dates let users know how frequently your blog is updated and whether you are still updating your blog now or not.  Not showing dates in my opinion can cause some doubts and confusion whether a blog is still being maintained and updated or not.

4. You’re not deceiving your readers, what do you have to hide from your audience?  Blogging should be 100% transparent!

OK so you’ve heard my reasons why I believe removing dates from blog posts is not good blogging practice; let me know your own thoughts and reactions in the comment section below.  Have you recently removed the dates from your blog posts? Or are you planning to?  If so what are your reasons?

Image credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/adselwood/