Confirmed: Publication Date Effects Search Standing
No matter what topic we’re discussing, it is always important to remember how essential proof and evidence are to justifying one’s beliefs. Specifically, I started off with the assumption that a more recent publication date would help my content to rank better in Google. It sounds logical and it makes intuitive sense, but is there proof?
When I posted my most recent article, I had noticed that a certain page of mine had fallen about 24 spots in Google after it was published with an early 2014 date. At the time I wrote that article (two days ago), I also changed the date on the content in question – back to a Feb. 2015 publication day that more closely reflects the last time the content was updated and reviewed.
The Results are Quick and Unambiguous
It took exactly two days for Google to look at the content again and record the new dates in to their own records. And as soon as the date was updated in Google, so too did the search position return.
So here’s the final verdict: With all other things being equal, the page published last weekend outranks the page published last year – by about two and a half pages. There were no other big changes to the content or domain in that time, and no other apparent changes in Google’s search results, so it is pretty safe to say that this one variable can have a large impact on where you end up in the mix.
Putting the knowledge to work
So what advice can we draw from this? What actions can help out our marketing efforts?
Well, if you have an old but important piece of content, it’s probably a good time to revisit it and make sure everything is still relevant. An old sales page might be built well for conversions, but if the information provided is outdated – or even if Google thinks it might be – you are probably missing out on a lot of valuable traffic.
So keep a close eye on your older, successful content: the newer and fresher you can keep it, the longer it will stay relevant in search results!