Maybe it is just me, but does it annoy you when you can’t find a blog post’s date? Sure, the advice to remove the date from your blog post was given by well-meaning people who wanted to help your content always look fresh, but let’s get real. For some niches, where the information is timeless, that isn’t such a bad thing.
But if your blog covers coding, SEO, social media, technology, health, etc., then there should be a date. Then there’s nothing worse than not being sure when something was published, especially if it is advice that could have stopped working about two application versions ago or doesn’t fit the new search engine algorithms. If you’ve seen a blog post with a screenshot, then went to the site and found everything has changed, you probably know what I mean.
So how can you find out when a blog post was published? Here are a few ways, starting from the easiest to the most time consuming.
1. Check out the URL
Sometimes, even though the blog post itself doesn’t have a timestamp, the URL does. You might at least get close enough to a month and a year.
This isn’t always a sure bet though, as most people don’t use a date.
2. Look at the Comments
While many blogs may find the way to hide the timestamp on the post, some of those might not have figured out how to remove it from the comments. Try to find the oldest comment on the post – that should be the closest date to when it was published.
3. Search Using Wolphram Alpha
For blogs that say 601 days ago, 6 months ago, etc., you can use the Wolfram Alpha search engine. Just type in the time period stated, and it will convert it into a date.
4. Google It
Try to search for site:domain.com intitle:keyword in Google. Sometimes the search results will display the date of the post.
5. Subscribe in Google Reader
If you really want to know when something was published, subscribe to the blog in Google Reader. Nine out of ten times, it will show you the post date. You might have to search for the post in question using the search box if you don’t want to scroll, but you should be able to get the date this way.
Some blogs, for some reason, will load only the latest 10 posts, all with the same date. If that happens, leave the feed and come back again… it might just take a few moments to populate all of the data.
The Alternative to Removing Your Post Date
What is the alternative to removing the date from your post and keeping your blog’s content fresh? If you can’t keep up with the post frequency, look to outside sources including guest bloggers and freelance writers. So long as you at least have one post per week, you should be set!
Does a missing post date drive you nuts when you find an article through search? Do you remove the date on your posts for a specific reason? Please share your thoughts and any additional ways to find a missing post date in the comments!
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