Do dates in URLs determine freshness?

Do dates in URLs determine freshness?


Question: Do dates in the URL of blogs or websites help determine freshness of the content or is it largely ignored? -Filipe Santos, NYC

Do website or blog URLs determine the freshness of the content?

To search engines, no, spiders crawl then index those pages which determines the freshness. To users, yes, users will look at the URL to determine out fresh that post is and see if it is relevant to what they are searching for.

I really like how Matt Cutts put this answer because I see bloggers trying to trick Google News or other blog news related websites and keep their post  at the top of the ‘most recent news’ list by constantly changing the date in the URL; honestly, it’s somewhat annoying.

However, Google does do a very good job determining the age of a blog post by caching it super fast and then caching every so often to check for new content and changes to that post. You will find the more popular one particular post is, the more that page will get cached. Frankly, I’ve found that changing the date in your post URL or changing URLs period is not a good practice and should be avoided – create the post and let Google do the rest.

Some Quick SEO Tips for Your URLs

  1. Remember to create keyword rich URLs – static page & blog post URLs
  2. Never put a date within a static page URL
  3. Avoid long URLs – you want something simple and to the point
  4. DON’T, I repeat DON’T have dynamic URLs
  5. Avoid changing URLs often and if done be sure to use proper 301 redirects
  6. Leverage your internal linking by linking to other pages within your website ie: link from blog post to static pages
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