The post date of every blog is shown in the Google search result page. There are mainly two reasons why you must keep your old blog posts and their dates updated:
- Google prefers fresh content
- People prefer fresh content
That means even if Google shows one result with a very old date and another one with a new date, people are more likely to ignore the old post and click on the post that has been posted recently.
Google Freshness Algorithm states that people like content that is both relevant and recent but remember that not all website content needs to be updated and date changed, there is content that stays evergreen and we have discussed about it earlier in this lesson.
What Happens When You Don’t Update Your Blog Content?
Sometimes a well written and researched article needs some update to stay relevant for the search engines.
When you don’t update your old content, it starts slipping down on search engine results pages, its ranking start to decline and the traffic it was brining before begins to drop.
This happens mainly because of two reasons:
- Some other website has published a better version of your post which is more informative and new, so now Google prefers that.
- People are clicking on the new results because the date of your article is quite old.
This problem can be prevented by updating your posts and adding new important information, going in depth, removing or updating the text that has gone irrelevant with time, and then re-publishing the post.
How To Update Old Content & Dates In WordPress?
It is better to start with popular posts that you have posted years ago and then cover your worst performing articles. Managed WordPress users can easily do that from their admin panel or contact support team to get helped.
For editing any old post, you simply need to follow these steps:
- Open the post for editing
- Check if there is anything that has gone outdated
- Update that content
- Read your post
- Click ‘Save as Draft’ button
- Its asks for your conformation
- Confirm to un-publish the post and save it as draft
- Move to the right sidebar, under ‘Post’ section (left to the block section)
- Next to ‘Publish’ option you will see the publishing date
- Click that date and then select ‘Immediately’ option
- Now click the ‘Publish’ button
This will republish the post without changing its permalink. The permalink of the post is visible on the right sidebar of the post editing page, you can confirm it from there.
When you re-publish the post, it comes back to the latest feed of your website, become more visible to search spiders, and automatically goes to your blog subscribers, as well as social channels (if connected). Thus, it brings new traffic and becomes more visible on the search.
If you own a blog with evergreen content then you may also update post dates in bulk but only if your content is evergreen, otherwise don’t do that.