The Impact of Hiding Website and Blog Post Dates
You’ve likely encountered this issue I’m sharing with you today in regards to whether or not hiding website and blog post dates impacts search rankings.
There is a camp of folks strongly believing that hiding the date from search engines is believed to increase search rankings and click-through-rate of search results — giving the perception content is truly evergreen.
For example, Neil Patel’s website and blog hides the date from search engines and readers as shown below via his website and Google search results.
Then there is also a camp of folks strongly believing that hiding the date from search engines doesn’t lead to increased search rankings or click-through-rate.
In addition, this same group is likely to believe that hiding the date from search engines to be nothing more than a ploy to game search engines for higher rankings and visitors to click their search result.
Personally, I believe there may be a kernel, albeit it a small one, of truth to the beliefs of both camps.
There is a chance online searchers are more likely to click on a search result not having a date than one having a date of one or more years old.
After all, Google has programmed online searchers to classify search results in one of two categories since the conception of search: outdated or relevant.
For example, when searching Google for the phrase “premium domain names”, you’re likely to discover the following on page 1 or 2 of Google search results:
Which search result are you likely to click?
Out of the three (3) listed search results in the above image, most searchers are likely going to click on the most up to date post as it’s perceived to be contextually relevant based on date freshness.
A search result without a date is likely to be clicked in an effort to visit the page to discover how relevant the content is juxtaposed to the current date of performed search.
Unfortunately, the KickstartCommere.com search result is likely “perceived” to be the oldest and outdated. I can only hope a searcher finds my title appealing “enough” to receive a click and not to be simply dismissed because of the date.
So, what is the impact of hiding website and blog post dates?
Before answering this question in a knee-jerk fashion, truly take a moment to examine your own search habits. Ask yourself the following questions:
- What criteria do I use to judge whether search results are credible?
- Am I prone to project a “trust factor” on content less than a year old?
- Do I display a “date” bias towards content when searching?
Personally, I’ve clicked search results with a relevant date only to discover that diluted content that didn’t provide me with more than basic knowledge.
Folks tend to search with an anticipation to finding a short, understandable answer that can meet their need. Search is all about creating a frictionless experience.
To that end, removing dates from website and blog posts likely damages your website’s credibility.
Then to add insult to injury, search rankings for blog are likely to suffer, especially if content does not adequately solve or answer a searcher’s problem or question.
But again, there are many high-profile websites and blogs that have long committed to removing dates from content and comment sections, and they’re search rankings or web traffic has not suffered one bit.
If you’re wanting to brave the waters to hide website and blog post dates, then watch the quick tutorial video below as I show how to use a simple WordPress plugin: Hide My Dates.
Let me know if you have questions or comments. Please do share your experience, whether good or bad, in regards to hiding website and blog post dates.
Thanks and that’s all for now!