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-To Date or Not to Date

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February Calendar 2012

  (February 2012 (Photo:Carol Browne)

I don’t know if you have noticed or not but some of the most successful blogs on the Internet no longer date their posts –Copyblogger for one. Why?

Blogs that have dropped the traditional dating have found that their older posts are now getting read at a greater frequency, the bounce rate has improved (readers stick around to read additional posts), and some of the older articles continue to receive comments. Most of those blogs have removed the dates from their posts and their article URLS.

I am currently experimenting with a ‘no date’ on this blog and my traffic and bounce rate has improved so I will probably keep it. I have other blogs where it definitely would not work.

Whether it is a good idea for your blog or not depends upon your content. If your content usually revolves around subjects and issues that are timely in nature like current events, new tech reviews, political news, and prayer requests than the traditional dating is important to the content and should be maintained.

On the other hand, if you are doing Bible studies, apologetics, answering Bible questions, or talking about writing and language than dating might not be necessary since the info is somewhat timeless in nature. The one great advantage is that older posts receive more attention.

There is also a middle ground strategy that some blogs are utilizing by maintaining a general ‘no date’ system then adding a reference to the date within the content itself if the article is timely in nature.

If you publish on WordPress you will need to use the following plugin in order to publish without the traditional blog dating: Date Exclusion SEO

One thing to be aware of, if you drop the dating from your URL it will break any of the backlinks you have received for your past articles. One way to solve this problem if you use WordPress is to use the following WP plugin: Advanced Permalinks

You can use that plugin to maintain the old URLS while changing to a ‘no date’ URL for future posts.              *Top

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4 Comments so far
  1. Dan Smith February 4, 2012 10:00 am

    Great thoughts. You’ve sold me on the idea of not having a dating system, but it looks like Blogger requires it. I know you’d probably tell me that I’m crazy for using blogger, but aside from that, do you know how to take the timestamp off of blogger posts?

  2. Dr.D February 4, 2012 1:42 pm

    Hi Dan,
    Actually it is really easy to turn off the date and time stamping on Blogger. Rather than tell you how, here’s a post with a good pictorial view of the process.

    By the way, with all of the changes to Blogger in the last couple of years or so it is now a great platform to use and just about the easiest. In fact, I maintain one blog using it myself just to keep current with all the updates and features.

  3. Dan Smith February 5, 2012 8:06 am

    Thank you very much for the information and the link. I’ve done it and I love the new look. Thank you!

  4. Dr.D February 5, 2012 7:50 pm

    Dan, you are sure welcome. That is why I run this blog in the first place to help other Christians out.