Why backdating content is bad

Posted on May 28, 2009


WordPress has a wonderful little function that allows you schedule content ahead in time, so that it goes live when you’re not there. This allows your website to be updated and appear fresh when you’re too busy to actually to do it; perhaps you’re in a meeting, on holiday or it’s Christmas Day for example?

While the schedule works well for setting content to go live in the future, it also has a dark, sinister use in that you can travel back in time and fill up gaps in your posts. This makes your website seem as though it’s had content regularly to the average user, but of course you can’t fool Google this way.

Google doesn’t go off the date stamp on your posts, Google works off the time it first indexes the content, which with WordPress is usually helped via the ‘ping’ facility, as WordPress pings Google with updates.

So, if you write five posts in one hour session, and backdate them all to the last few months, your users will see posts that have been listed as being older posts whereas Google will see them as being added all at once.

You can’t fool Google, so don’t try!

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