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The dates on our wizzles

 
Rose
Posts: 29
Message
on 10/09/2013

In the past month I've been updating my wizzles, to make sure that the products listed are still available, and there arn't any typos.

Unfortunately, the wizzles all have a date at the bottom based on when the wizzle was created, which gets quoted in the serps. In my case, it dates back to 2011 - I'm sure surfers think the owner of the page couldn't be bothered to update the page due to laziness, indifference or both.

Is it possible to change the date to the date last updated - or at least remove the date altogether? This problem will get worse as this site ages. Will users be willing to click on links dated five years ago or ten years ago?

Evergreen content isn't evergreen if there is a time stamp on it. It's human nature to look at a date from the past and think, well the world has moved on since then, it's not worth looking at this page because it's out of date. Even though in reality the page has been updated.


Mira
Posts: 487
Message
on 10/10/2013

I think that's a good point, but I would keep both: date created and date updated.

In the meantime, you can write last updated in the text of the article yourself. That's what I do when I update something important. You can write it near the beginning or right at the end, before that date created stamp.


I Zazzle as Mira_2012
Rose
Posts: 29
Message
on 10/10/2013

If they keep both, the search engines will pick the older date to display in the blurb in the search results. So we're back to the original problem, which is users reluctant to click through to what they see as "old" and "out of date" pages.

I think showing the date last updated would be better, or failing that, removing the date altogether.


Mira
Posts: 487
Message
on 10/10/2013

Hm. Don't know what I think. Let's see what others have to say.


I Zazzle as Mira_2012
Rose
Posts: 29
Message
on 10/10/2013

Hi Mira. I've tried putting an "updated on xxxx" line at the bottom of my wizzles - did this a month ago - but the search engines picked up the older "created on" date that is at the bottom of the wizzle.

Can you check the wizzles where you have put an "updated on" line - does the blurb in the serps pick up the new date? 


Simon
Admin
Posts: 620
Message
on 10/10/2013

Search engines don't pick up the date mentioned on page. They show the actual date, when the article was first published - just like we do.

Changing  a few parts of the content doesn't make it a whole new article. Which is why Google doesn't change the date. If you rewrite the whole content, however, then there is a chance Google might notice this and change the date, too. However, why would anybody do that? In such a case it's probably a better idea creating a new article from scratch and leave the old one untouched.


An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made, in a narrow field.
Niels Bohr (1885-1962)
Rose
Posts: 29
Message
on 10/10/2013

 

Simon: 10/10/2013 - 03:00 PM

Search engines don't pick up the date mentioned on page. They show the actual date, when the article was first published - just like we do.

Changing  a few parts of the content doesn't make it a whole new article. Which is why Google doesn't change the date. If you rewrite the whole content, however, then there is a chance Google might notice this and change the date, too. However, why would anybody do that? In such a case it's probably a better idea creating a new article from scratch and leave the old one untouched.

I'm sorry but that's completely incorrect - and I can prove it!

Consider the following page I have on Zujava (which publishes without dates):

http://www.zujava.com/tassimo-single-serve-coffee-makers

If you put the url in the search engines it will say this in the blurb under the url:

"Aug 5 2013 - There are many different brands of single cup coffee makers, and this page will be reviewing the Tassimo and comparing it to it's main rivals."

If you look at the page you can see that at the bottom it has a note from me that says "Updated: August 5 2013"

The page was in fact created in November 2012 and the wayback machine has a capture on May 18th 2013:

http://web.archive.org/web/20130518065350/http://www.zujava.com/tassimo-single-serve-coffee-makers

Feel free to check this out for yourself by putting the url into the serps and checking what date is displayed and checking out the waybackmachine's date. But it conclusively proves that the date displayed in the serps is the one on the page rather than the date first indexed.

If you are uncomfortable with having the last date updated being displayed, then remove the date altogether. But don't invent stuff about what the search engines do - observe what actually happens!

The date displayed affects the click through rate. Have you seen any content in the SERPs dated say seven or eight years ago? No, and that's because Google's user monitoring has indicated that people refuse to click through on anything with an "old" date. For example: Squidoo was created about seven years ago but they don't display dates either - for the very good reason that no-one would click on an article that was originally created in 2007 or whenever with the date on display.

News needs to be dated but evergreen content does not. I'm guessing from your comment that you believe Wizzley to be a news site rather than a repository of evergreen content?

 


Mira
Posts: 487
Message
on 10/11/2013

G'day Rose,

I checked one of my articles

http://wizzley.com/salmon-with-tropical-fruit-and-mint/

and Google gives this:

wizzley.com/salmon-with-tropical-fruit-and-mint
04.08.2012 - Say you think you can't cook, but you want to make something special. Here's a very tasty recipe for cooking newbies. Easy to make ...
August 4, 2012 is the date I wrote the article. I updated it on August 21, 2012.

I Zazzle as Mira_2012
Rose
Posts: 29
Message
on 10/11/2013

Thanks Mira. That confirms my findings.

If there are two dates on the page, it picks the older one (in wizzley's case, the date at the bottom of the page).

If there is only one date on the page it picks that.

If there are no dates on the page it displays without dates (it doesn't add the date first indexed because they don't appear to be storing that info any longer - database constraints I guess, when there's over 5 billion pieces of content in the index, storing superfluous info gets expensive). 


AlexandriaIngham
Posts: 109
Message
on 10/11/2013

Personally, having the date created appear is much better. When it comes to scrapers and plagiarisers, the date the piece was first published is needed to prove that you wrote it first. If someone copied it, you changed yours slightly later, the plagiariser could then claim that you stole his content and just added to it. That would bring in a whole new problem!

There is the option of adding the date when it was updated. Let's not make it any easier for scrapers than it already is! Yes, Google is trying to clamp down on that but it's not brought an end to it yet.

Simon
Admin
Posts: 620
Message
on 10/11/2013

 

Rose: 10/10/2013 - 07:30 PM

I'm sorry but that's completely incorrect - and I can prove it!

 

Well, not completely, fortunately. That would be kind of embarrassing otherwise ;-)

Anyway, when reading into the matter, I see there's actually a lot of debate about this topic. Just like you said, Google seemingly does scrape the content and tries to analyze dates. Other resources are for example RSS feeds and sitemaps. It's not clear, though, which (or if any) data will be used by Google.

In our sitemap, we actually tell Google when a site was last modified. So, they do know about it, but chose to disregard this date. Yet, you made a point and so - in addition to the sitemap info - we've just changed the date on page Wink.

@aingham69: That's a good thought. On the other hand, I don't think a scraper would actually dare to claim copyrights on a copied article. That would actually be fun dealing with Tongue Out!


An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made, in a narrow field.
Niels Bohr (1885-1962)
Rose
Posts: 29
Message
on 10/11/2013

 

Simon: 10/11/2013 - 04:31 PM

  in addition to the sitemap info - we've just changed the date on page Wink.

Simon - Thank you!!!

While we've got you here being really helpful - is it possible you can look at the issue of legacy articles on the site which do not have the proper introduction module? (i.e. they just have the big ad box, and white space around it, instead of text).

Here's an example:

http://wizzley.com/breville-800-jexl/

Google said a while back they were penalising sites that didn't have the content above the fold See:

http://insidesearch.blogspot.com/2012/01/page-layout-algorithm-improvement.html

As we've mentioned previously, we’ve heard complaints from users that if they click on a result and it’s difficult to find the actual content, they aren’t happy with the experience. Rather than scrolling down the page past a slew of ads, users want to see content right away. So sites that don’t have much content “above-the-fold” can be affected by this change. If you click on a website and the part of the website you see first either doesn’t have a lot of visible content above-the-fold or dedicates a large fraction of the site’s initial screen real estate to ads, that’s not a very good user experience. Such sites may not rank as highly going forward.

If you decide to update your page layout, the page layout algorithm will automatically reflect the changes as we re-crawl and process enough pages from your site to assess the changes. How long that takes will depend on several factors, including the number of pages on your site and how efficiently Googlebot can crawl the content.On a typical website, it can take several weeks for Googlebot to crawl and process enough pages to reflect layout changes on the site.

Is it possible you could email legacy members and ask them to please log in and add some content to the into module? (and obviously if people are reading this, could they go into their old articles and amend the formatting to include the intro box?) I really think this is what is holding back the site.


chefkeem
Admin
Posts: 3394
Message
on 10/11/2013

I've been working on that already. It just takes a little while.


Achim "Chef Keem" Thiemermann is the co-founder of a pretty cool new platform called...um...er...oh, yeah - Wizzley.com.
Rose
Posts: 29
Message
on 10/11/2013

OK - thanks.


AlexandriaIngham
Posts: 109
Message
on 10/12/2013

 

Simon: 10/11/2013 - 04:31 PM

@aingham69: That's a good thought. On the other hand, I don't think a scraper would actually dare to claim copyrights on a copied article. That would actually be fun dealing with Tongue Out!

 

There have been instances of scrapers telling Google that they're the owners. It confuses Google enough so nothing can be done and the real owner has to go through a long process to get the results removed. Some original owners don't even bother trying to fight it, believing that there is no hope.

WordChazer
Posts: 412
Message
on 10/12/2013

 

Simon: 10/11/2013 - 04:31 PM

@aingham69: That's a good thought. On the other hand, I don't think a scraper would actually dare to claim copyrights on a copied article. That would actually be fun dealing with Tongue Out!

Wanna bet? The blighters'll try anything if they think it'll give them legitimacy. I had one claim he was paying me to write syndicated articles for him once. Fortunately Google saw the truth and he suffered delisting. I had my article returned intact.

The sooner some geek invents the text equivalent of right click disablement on text the way you can on photos, the better.


Described by one of my clients as 'a literary grammarian', writing, researching and reading are requirements for sanity, at least this side of the keyboard.
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