Displaying the last updated date of a post is something that many bloggers have thought about doing but maybe do not know how to go about fixing it. In WordPress blogs, this would be no headache as there is more than one or two plugins to automatically display the latest updated date of posts, but in blogspot blogs, this is definitely something to worry about as there is no plugin nor script to help perform this duty. I will be teaching you how you can manually display last updated dates of posts in blogger and make search engines display the said date in front of your post in search results.
Before I proceed with the procedures, I would like to tell you a little about what you would expect to benefit from displaying the last updated dates of posts, why you should not worry about displaying the last updated dates in your posts and why you should display no date at all on your blog posts.
Benefits of Showing the Last Updated Dates of Blog Posts
Displaying articles dates is actually a good blogging practice as it gives your readers a better reading experience with an insight on the time an article was published. Nonetheless, blogs or websites publishing evergreen articles do better in generating traffic from search engines without dates on articles or with the last updated dates shown than with the initial publishing dates shown. This is because readers always want to read a more recent article instead of an old article. For instance, when you search for a keyword on Google and in the search result you see different articles with the same title, one dated 2010 and the other 2016. Which of them would you likely click on? I guess it would be the one dated 2016. Also, if you have an evergreen post blog, it would be better to not show any date at all if you don’t know how to display the last updated date than display the initial publishing date. This will leave the readers with no clue on the publishing date. What is important is that the post is evergreen and would still pass a very useful information in years to come. For example, a post with the title, ” Some Interview Questions and How to Answer Them“. Such article does not need a date to generate good traffic from search engines. Though, it would do better with a very recent date shown.
Why You Should not Remove the Posts Dates at all from Your Blog/Website
In as much as blogs publishing evergreen articles do better with last updated dates or no date shown, some blogs especially those on the News niche should forget about it. I call these articles perishable articles as people stop surfing for them after a few days of publishing. News readers always want to know how recent a news is and always lookout for the date before clicking through search engines and removing the publishing dates on your blog would do more damage than good to your blog traffic through search engines. Also, Instead of editing an old news article to show the last updated date, every new update on the news/information should be published in a fresh post as the date of a news post shows when an event likely held.
I ran a test on the effect of date on my blog.
Firstly, I removed the dates totally from all my articles. In doing this, I noticed that some of my articles still performed well which were due to how I structured their headings, while others poorly performed. The overall effect was a decrease on search engine traffic by about 5%.
Secondly, I displayed the initial publishing dates on all articles, then changed the dates on updated articles to more recent dates. My Blog traffic improved by about 7%.
Lastly, I removed date on all my blog posts and then added the last updated dates to those posts that performed better with a more recent date in the previous test. Wow! I recorded a 25% increase in traffic from search engines. I took this to be the best case for my blog and left it like that. You too should find the best condition for yours.
How to Show Last Updated Date on Blogger
In this part, I would discuss how to show dates on all articles while the last updated dates are shown on edited posts and I would also discuss how to show dates only in some articles with no date in others.
How to Show Dates on all Articles While the Last Updated Dates are Shown on Edited Posts.
How to Show Dates Only in Some Articles With no Date in Others.
Note that when you turn off your date stamp on blogger dashboard, dates will no longer be available for all your blog posts. To re-insert the date stamp on only selected posts, we would use a little trick to manually include the date and make search engines believe the shown date is the published date. This is how to do this;
Go to the top of the post you want to display date, Just on top of the first line, type your date, make it bold, give it a color (optional) and give it a one or two line spacing from the first line. For example,
20 May, 2016 or Last Updated: 20 May, 2016.
Your post body then starts on this line and that is it.
Now, when next the search engines crawlers craw your blog again, they will see the written date as the post publishing date.
That is all about this topic at the moment. You can ask you questions for clarification on the comment section.