Confirmed: Publication Date Effects Search Standing

Delivering the latest headlines

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.

Delivering the latest headlines

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 An old sales page might be built well for conversions, but if the information provided is outdated – or even if Google thinks it might be – you are probably missing out on a lot of valuable traffic.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!

Building tall

Updating and modifying outdate information is a great way to keep content fresh and relevant, but it is also worth taking a look for expansion, too.

In the last few years, there’s been a major trend toward pages with more content ranking higher in the results. That means more content, more details, and more rich media in the form of pictures and video.

Are there any other important details you’ve left out? Are there related themes and topics that would be useful for your readers? Are there new utilities and tools that can help demonstrate or fix the issues being discussed?

By asking these questions and writing the answers in to your existing content, you can take advantage of the search engines’ preference for thorough and complete content. As competition heats up and the potential value of organic reach declines, every bit of advantage will be increasingly important to secure.

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