To Date Or Not To Date

Our own Ryan Caldwell in the Performancing Hive introduced an interesting question. Should he continue to display date information on his blog posts or should it be removed?

For the most part, users have responded that date information is important in determining if the information presented within the post is relevant or old. In my own experience, articles which don’t have a date published end up frustrating me as I can’t determine how old the information is. Also, I look pretty foolish when I come across an article and end up sharing it to everyone I know, only to find out that the post or subject matter is three years old.

I think the argument between which one bloggers should do is pretty simple. If the information you publish is not time sensitive, then you can probably do away with the timestamp. However, if you are a blog which publishes news or discusses recent events, the time stamp can serve as an important tool for not only your readers, but for search engines as well.

Let me know what you think in the comments. With regards to your feedback, I’d like to know your point of view from both sides. First as a reader, then as a blogger.

10 thoughts on “To Date Or Not To Date

  1. One of the first things I look at is the date. I want to make sure the article is up to date.

    I usually have no use for old articles.   FCC GROL license test

  2. Well I am still building my blog and I consider for myself to include date or not.
    And my opinion for some items a date is very important: a new CD release can be new today but next year … An interesting auction from some music memorabilia .. well it would be nice to know if I can still bid or if I am years to late …
    But some general information will remain timeless, just requires some comments and updates ,

    So I am dreaming of a plugin where I could click publish or don’t publish date , eventually same for comments..

  3. It seems like most bloggers at the very least are keeping the DATE inside of the URL even if the date is not prominently displayed next to the post.

  4. I think dates are essential – especially when relating to some sort of news or anything SEO related. Methods and news change with time and without a date, it seems foolish to read it as like you said – you’re not sure whether it’s old or new.

  5. I think timeline is important in blog and worth including in posts (maybe not very prominently).

    But I consider including date in links (which plenty of blogs do) bad practice. I might click link, read very old post and not even look at date. But when I see ancient date coded in that link I am already thinking it must be outdated even if date is not relevant to post content.

  6. Though I write short stories and poetry stuff in my blog, which are mostly time-insensitive, I still feel that people would like to know when they were written and also to see what the new stuff are like. Moreover, putting everything in a chronological order gives more cleanliness to the blog.

    An interesting debate.

  7. Isn’t a blog without dates a website?

    If you aren’t making a feature of the chronology then I think you need to reconsider the blog format and start writing a magazine. Even then dates are important if there is any technical information, or reference to world events. Which Iraq war? Which President Bush? who knows what the future will bring.

  8. You should show the date as most of the information gets too old too soon..

    I have been using permalinks with year and month to make sure that people know whether the post is relevant any more..

  9. Your point about old posts being the most popular seems to be true, at least for own blog. I receive quite a bit of search engine traffic thanks to my archive. I’m glad though that those search engine referral users will be able to tell how old the content is within that article they discovered.

  10. What I do now, I don’t show date information. However, if I think the date is important, I’ll include it within the body of the blog post.

    I won’t get into all the issues involved, but consider that your old posts are often the most popular, and you are probably revising those posts for whatever reason, maybe in response to new comments.

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