Should We Remove the Dates From Our Blogs Posts?

by Rick on August 12, 2010

time stamp on blog

The other day I was blog hopping and commenting on other blogs and noticed something that I had not paid much attention to before.

I noticed that quite a few bloggers did not have the date displayed next to their blog posts.  I decided to do some research and found that approximately 30% of the blogs I visited did not have the dates displayed on their blog posts.  At first I found this kind of strange so I decided to research the reasons bloggers may want to remove the date from their blog posts.

The theory behind this idea is to focus on timeless content.  That is content that will be useful tomorrow, next week, next month, and maybe even next year.

My question then became, should I remove the date from my blog posts?

There are many top blogs on the Internet that Do Not have the date on their blog posts:

Should You Remove the Post Date

The way I see it the date on a post shows your readers when the post is written and allows the readers the opportunity to judge the relevancy of your post.  The date signals to your readers that the post is either current and potentially worth reading or that the post is dated and not worth reading.  

A date on the post could actually be a distraction to your readers. If a reader arrives at a post of yours and sees that it was written in 2007 the reader will most likely think that it is not current and might clickaway and leave your site and never return.

However, if a reader arrives at a recent post and sees the date they can actually get a good reaction because they can get a sense that what they are reading is your latest thoughts or tips you have shared.

Obviously there are advantages and disadvantages.

Other Potential Options

There are other options available to you as a blogger when it comes to adding or removing dates from your posts. Here are a few other options that I noticed during my blog hopping:

  • Dates on Recent Posts But Not on Older Ones - I saw one blog that had the date only show up on the post within the last 3 months.  This allowed the blogger to take advantage of both.  I thought this was ingenious  I have not figured out how they accomplished this but I sure they hacked their blog theme code.
  • Dates on Front Page but Not Single Posts – This is another another solution that I saw on quite a few blogs.  Depending how many blog posts you have on your front page, you will only have that many posts with the date and the other (archived) posts will not.
  • Subtle Dates - Another option is to use dates on your posts that do not ”scream at your readers” that the post is old. Some examples could be dates at the bottom of posts, dates in a smaller font than the headings or even dates that are in a lighter color that the regular text color.

 

Would you be more likely to link or comment on a post without a post date?  Would you be turned off by it?

Do you have dates on your posts? Why or Why Not?

Are there other options?

{ 141 comments… read them below or add one }

Steve Troutman August 30, 2010 at 9:01 pm

Hi Rick,

I never concidered that before. Never really paid much attention to that. There are so many things people see that others don’t and I feel this is why we should visit other bloggers and see what is going on out there and how other people do things.

Thanks for being kind enough to pay attention.

Take Care,
Steve
.-= Steve Troutman´s last blog ..BoilerMaker 15K Road race July 11- 2010 =-.

Rick August 30, 2010 at 9:32 pm

@Michelle,

Thanks for stopping by and sharing.

I’m sorry that I got you to thinking about this:)

Thanks for the Tweet.

Good luck to you!

- Rick

Rick August 30, 2010 at 9:39 pm

@Pete Carr,

Thanks for sharing.

I am really leaning towards keeping the dates on my blog posts.

Good luck to you!

- Rick

Rick August 30, 2010 at 9:51 pm

@Jacinta Dean,

Thanks for checking in and sharing your thoughts.

The blog post date issue can definitely be dependent on the intention of the blog.

I am finished commenting on the 100 other blog posts. I also did social bookmarking/networking with Twitter, StumbleUpon and Delicious.

This was a lot more time consuming than I thought it would be but I am glad I signed up because I have come across some really great blogs and bloggers.

Thanks for the opportunity!

Good luck to you!

- Rick

Rick August 30, 2010 at 10:33 pm

@John Edler,

Thanks for sharing your decision.

I am also leaning towards keeping the dates on the blog posts.

Good luck to you!

- Rick

Rick August 30, 2010 at 10:36 pm

@Pierre Trudel,

Pierre:

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and your decision to not use the dates.

I really enjoy your writing.

Good luck to you!

- Rick

Rick August 30, 2010 at 10:42 pm

@Barry the BurnedOut Blogger,

Thanks for the laugh :)

Good luck to you!

- Rick

Fran Aslam August 30, 2010 at 11:33 pm

Hi Rick:

You choose a topic that made everyone think. Dates or no dates. Well I do not write dates, but still people once they are curious can count by month, how many posts I wrote in a month.

Here is my reason not to write date. Many times people will not even think looking for a date. Some who will not find it will ignore it because they do not have a lot of time.

It is only at the most 5-10% who will miss the date.

So if you give a bad impression to 10 people it is not as bad as telling everyone that I was lazy and I am late writing my post… Creates bad credibility for “myself”. I should avoid thing that creates bad impression for myself

Now you might find my logistics completely wrong and might not agree with it.

But I find it all right. But all bloggers will not mind seeing any date because they know how hard it is to keep writing all the time.

So you got a good idea for the post. It is well written and you already got all the comments.

What’s next on the blog net working agenda?
I want to continue it on a smaller basis, as no one
has the time to write hundred comments.

I will wait to hear from Jacinta.
Thanks for your comments on my blog.
Chat again
Fran A
.-= Fran Aslam´s last blog ..The Future Of eBook And Digital Information Technology =-.

Rob Corrigan August 31, 2010 at 1:33 pm

Hi Rick,

this is not something that I had given very much thought to, but I do admit that I probably would not look at a blog post if it were more than a few months old. I think that it is something we all need to think about.

Cheers
Rob
.-= Rob Corrigan´s last blog ..What Is The Cheapest Way To Start A Business Part 2 =-.

Thu Nguyen August 31, 2010 at 6:22 pm

Hi Rick,

I have thought of this myself, but at the moment I prefer to leave the dates on. After awhile when content is enough to shuffle around, I believe eliminating the dates would be a good idea. It’s just not great for beginning bloggers but the older your blog is, it might be a good idea to get feedback on some of the oldies but goodies. Thanks for the conversation.

Thu
.-= Thu Nguyen@BloggingFor´s last blog ..The Complete Helium Report REVIEW by Bob Younce of The Writing Journey =-.

eamon August 31, 2010 at 7:36 pm

Hi Rick
Very interesting observation.
Myself personally I like blog posts to have the date clearly displayed. In fact sometimes I will not read it until I find the date and that it is recent – at least the same year.
I hope you are enjoying the challenge.
Good luck
Eamon

ElizOF August 31, 2010 at 8:04 pm

Hi Rick,
You raise an important question about the relevancy of a blog topic if it has a date. I think useful content is useful regardless of the date. Remember those textbooks we read in college that were from many years before? I don’t see the date as a problem. When I do Google search for certain topics it does spit back articles with older dates… because they are relevant. I’m fine with that. Are you planning to change yours?
Stopped by on my 11th hour visit for the 100 comment challenge.
Best,
Elizabeth
.-= ElizOF´s last blog ..Yoga Love- Learn to Add Balance to Your Life… =-.

Rick August 31, 2010 at 9:19 pm

@Andreas Spyrou @ Free Online Marketing Tips,

Thanks for stopping by and sharing!

Are you saying that you will go back and change the dates of your blog posts so they look more current? What about the dates on any comments?

Review sites would benefit from not having dates on the blog posts.

Cheers!

- Rick

Rick August 31, 2010 at 9:21 pm

@Dawn Kay,

I appreciate you checking in and leaving your thoughts on the blog post dates discussion.

You’re right, there is no perfect answer as some people will pay attention to the dates and some will not.

I wonder now that we have had this discussion if all the commentors we pay more attention to the blog post dates.

- Rick

Rick August 31, 2010 at 9:23 pm

@Gwen Tanner,

Thanks for stopping by and leaving your thoughts!

It would be bad to read an older post about SEO, implement the ideas and then find out that the information is outdated.

Good luck to you!

- Rick

Rick August 31, 2010 at 9:25 pm

@Steve Troutman,

I’m glad you had a chance to stop by and share.

This was something that I just recently noticed. Sometimes things just pop out at you when you are visiting other blogs.

Cheers!

- Rick

Rick August 31, 2010 at 10:10 pm

@Fran Aslam,

Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts.

From reading the comments there are quite a few that never paid attention to the dates. I am not sure if I am willing to agree to 5 – 10%.

Did you remove the code for the dates on your blog posts or was it that way originally on your theme.

The 100 Comment Challenge was definitely a challenge. I enjoyed it and found lots of great blogs to follow.

Good luck to you!

- Rick

Rick August 31, 2010 at 10:20 pm

@Rob Corrigan,

Thanks for sharing.

My hope is that people will start thinking about these kind of things and how it could affect their readership.

Good luck!

- Rick

Rick August 31, 2010 at 10:22 pm

@Thu Nguyen@BloggingFor,

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

I agree that beginning blogs should definitely leave the dates on their blog posts.

Best of luck!

- Rick

Rick August 31, 2010 at 10:24 pm

@eamon@affiliate internet marketing,

I’m glad you could stop by and comment.

So you like to see the dates at the top of the post so that it is easy to see.

The challenge has been exactly that but I thank Jacinta for setting this up for us.

Best of luck to you.

- Rick

Rick August 31, 2010 at 10:28 pm

@ElizOF,

Thanks for sharing.

Useful content is useful content but how many people will not stop and read the useful content if their is no date for them to help determine the relevancy before reading.

I ahev several textbooks from my Master’s degree from 6 years ago that were probably outdated 4 years ago. How many people use Visual Basic nowadays.

I am leaning towards keeping the dates, at least on the main page. I may remove the dates on the archived pages.

Good luck!

- Rick

Justin Case September 1, 2010 at 12:36 am

HI Rick,

Lots of useful info there.

Just one problem. I have procrastinated the day of my repentance and have many more blogs to tend to tonight. I’ll have to come back when I can spend much more time.

Good luck and nice to meet you.

Justin
.-= Justin Case´s last blog ..Best Choice â�� Hot &amp Sexy Robin Hood Halloween Costumes =-.

Justin Case September 1, 2010 at 12:36 am

HI Rick,

Lots of useful info there.

Just one problem. I have procrastinated the day of my repentance and have many more blogs to tend to tonight. I’ll have to come back when I can spend much more time.

Good luck and nice to meet you.

Justin
.-= Justin Case´s last blog ..Best Choice � Hot &amp Sexy Robin Hood Halloween Costumes =-.

Alesandra September 1, 2010 at 2:42 am

Hi Rick,

I really like your assessment. I really don’t mind editing dates on my blog until you mention it here. Personally dates has really big impact to the bloggers.

Michael Pedzotti September 1, 2010 at 9:06 am

Rick, I see dates as a way of showing how mature a blogger is in his/her chosen niche. I have no problem reading about something that was posted a few years ago. Time does make somethings stale but unless we are baking bread I suggest that the date is better left there than removed.

Besides, good content will stand the test of time. Imagine if school students could reject old texts in English. Shakespeare, and thousands of English teachers, would be out on the streets begging for some of those stale crumbs.
.-= Michael Pedzotti´s last blog ..Guess who is guest posting =-.

Andreas Spyrou September 1, 2010 at 11:55 am

No I’ve never changed a date but I was thinking it seriously to do it for my affiliate websites (blog). Well what I am doing now is I try selecting a theme that ‘hides’ the date so it is not visible right away and scare the potential buyer.

Cheers!
Andreas
.-= Andreas Spyrou´s last blog ..The Biggest Affiliate Marketing Mistake &8211 Mistake 6 =-.

Vance Sova September 1, 2010 at 12:43 pm

Hi Rick,

I think that having the dates show is more honest and above board.

If the post is good and therefore timeless the date really won’t deter anyone from reading it. Do people stop reading the classics?

Not seeing the date always makes me wonder what the blogger is hiding or when the post was written.

Good and timeless posts can also be updated if there is a new relevant information.

Vance
.-= Vance Sova´s last blog ..John Chow’s Last Dot Com Pho In Vancouver- Live Event Networking =-.

Rick September 1, 2010 at 9:53 pm

@Justin Case,

Glad you could stop by.

Good luck finishing the challenge.

Come back anytime and participate in the discussion.

- Rick

Daniel Sumner September 2, 2010 at 12:38 am

@Rick,

I usually get lost in the blog itself when I start bouncing from link to link! :-)
.-= Daniel Sumner´s last blog ..Have you got a Virus – 5 Viral Marketing Techniques =-.

Dave Whittle September 2, 2010 at 3:16 pm

Hi Rick,

Interesting post.

I must admit I’ve never really given it much thought!
Since I changed my theme the date was not activated but looking at these comments perhaps that might be a good idea.
Hmm. Will have to think about this.

Regards,
Dave
.-= Dave Whittle´s last blog ..How To Make Money With PLR =-.

Tom Harvey September 3, 2010 at 3:58 pm

Rick

Interesting debate – not something that I have considered doing with my main blog as I like to keep the posts dated (albeit showing my somewhat inconsistent posting!!) so people can see what is recent etc. Will probably test with some of my other blogs and see what the effects are.

Tom
.-= Tom Harvey´s last blog ..Video Marketing – Anatomy Of A Successful Affiliate Campaign =-.

Thez September 17, 2010 at 10:45 pm

Hi Rick,

Really interesting post. It good to read a post that teaches and suggest the right thing to do as well. I believe this is the kind of information that every blogger must put into consideration. Thanks for bringing this discussion into life. Hope more interesting discussion will follow.

Rick September 20, 2010 at 1:13 pm

@Thez @ rockstar costumes,

Thanks for stopping by.

I appreciate the kind words.

Don’t you worry, more interesting discussion will follow.

- Rick

Emma September 22, 2010 at 1:26 am

I appreciate your post a lot because you taught me a tips on blogging post. I am excited to apply it in my business. Thank you for paying attention to simple little things that most men neglect makes a few men rich. More power in this post!
.-= Emma @ How To Attract Woman´s last blog ..‘Fireworks with Females’ Review Reveals =-.

Keith Davis September 22, 2010 at 3:52 pm

Hi Rick
Does that say 134 comments at the top of this post?

Fantastic link love you are getting – well deserved for such a well written post.
.-= Keith Davis´s last blog ..Two way traffic =-.

Rick September 22, 2010 at 6:37 pm

@Keith Davis,

Thanks for the kind words.

Actually it is about half that ammount because it also counts my replies as well.

Good luck to you!

- Rick

Keith Davis September 23, 2010 at 1:22 am

@Rick, still pretty good Rick – even at half the number.
Keith Davis recently posted..Two way trafficMy Profile

school grants January 10, 2011 at 8:26 am

Beneficial info and excellent design you got here! I want to thank you for sharing your ideas and putting the time into the stuff you publish! Great work!

Tim Ryan from naples homes for November 10, 2011 at 9:29 am

It all depends on how the blogger is. By putting the date it shows that you are honest.Instead of not putting the date I think such bloggers should re- post the old articles.
Tim Ryan recently posted..Title InsuranceMy Profile

Angel Collins February 13, 2012 at 1:01 am

I also wonder why some of the blog sites doesn’t indicate the date. I think for me its much better if the blog or post has a date at the side of it so that I will know if the post was new or not. Nice post!
Angel Collins recently posted..Feel Good Friday: Finding Fabulous Costume JewelryMy Profile

mohsin July 4, 2012 at 4:28 am

Thanks for sharing comment

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