Best practices for blogging, evergreen content, publish dates

Joined
Sep 8, 2016
Messages
73
My team has published more than 2,000 articles to our blog over the last 13+ years. We've used the URL structure blog/year/mo/dy/page-title/ (e.g. blog/2019/10/16/hello-world/) since we launched it. I am rethinking our blog strategy of publishing 2-3 new posts a week, usually taking a slightly different approach to topics we've already covered several times before.

I'm considering a strategy of identifying the best blog posts we've published in the past, tweaking them, and changing the publish date to the date they we tweak them.

(Note: I would remove the /year/mo/dy/ from the URL structure and setup 301 redirects to redirect blog/year/mo/dy/page-title/ to blog/page-title/ so our existing blog posts don't lose their search rankings )

I read in this article from 2015 that its best not to put a publish date on blog posts at all. I read in this article from 2016 that having dates on blog posts helps when the dates are recent. And I read in this case study from 2016 that showed just changing the publish date without changing the content at all caused a 66% increase in organic traffic.

Interesting articles but they are 3-4 years old. So, I'm curious what you all have to say about best practices in 2019.

1) Show a date on blog posts or not?

2) Use the meta property="article:published_time" to tell search engines when a post was published or not?

3) When refreshing an old blog post change the publish date or just the modified date?

Thanks for your help!
 

Digitaldar

Member
Joined
Dec 8, 2014
Messages
132
I like your plan of changing the URLs as you update posts! One thing I'd propose to do differently is not just choose posts to update based on pageviews for example, but double check the keywords associated with such pages in Google Search Console to ensure that the traffic is relevant. I typically start with pages with zero pageviews and work on figuring out how to handle these pages... it usually opens up a can of worms to say the least :)
 
Joined
Sep 8, 2016
Messages
73
One thing I'd propose to do differently is not just choose posts to update based on pageviews for example, but double check the keywords associated with such pages in Google Search Console to ensure that the traffic is relevant.
Definitely.
 

mborgelt

Member
Joined
Jul 22, 2012
Messages
474
I encourage you to add dates to your posts as a lot of users will prioritize SERP results based on recency. It's also a great way to keep recurring users interested and let them know pages that they've viewed in the past have new info.
 

Yan Gilbert

Administrator
Joined
Oct 15, 2016
Messages
285
I like your plan.

Its a two edged sword. Having recent info is important and I think people appreciate that, but even with evergreen content (depending on the niche), if you see a post over a year old then I think it counts against you.
 

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