Bloggie Wednesday: Should I Add Dates To My Blog’s Permalinks?

Bloggie Wednesday: Should You Add Dates To Your Permalinks

Yeah I wish my desk setup looked like this!

Have you noticed that some blogs have months and days in their URL and some just has the title or words that are part of the blog post’s title in their links? For instance, my blog posts’ URLs have the year and month each respective post is written on. Only my pages (e.g. About Me, Press, Archives, etc) don’t contain the year and month in the links. And then there are blogs that don’t have any sort of time line in their blog posts.

For example:
Permalink with date:
Permalink without date:

So when it comes to your blog, which is better? Is it better to put a date in your permalinks? Or is it better to remove the dates and have the topic of the content as part of the link?

The simple answer is this: if your content is evergreen, then you don’t have to add dates to your permalinks. If your content is time-sensitive, then it’s recommended to include dates in your permalinks.

Let me explain.

What is evergreen content?

Think a year down the road. Two years. Three years and so on. Will what you blog about today be relevant to your audience 3 years down the road? If you’re a beauty blogger, think about the reviews that you write. Will those products still be relevant a year or even more later on? If you write tutorials, will they be still be useful in future?

What do the SEO experts say?

Most SEO experts recommend we avoid adding dates to our permalinks as they “date” our older posts in search results, possibly getting lower click throughs over time. Another issue with adding dates to your permalinks is that it makes it harder for you to go back to that post and republish it at a later date. You can create a whole new, updated post for that old post and delete the latter, but that also means that you’ll lose SEO juice with Google that came with the old post.

Niches that benefit from dateless permalinks

There are many niches that can benefit from not adding a sort of timeline to your permalinks. Food blogs are one of them. Unless the ingredients are going to disappear over time (I hardly think so), then the recipes are going to be evergreen. Blogs on blogging that focus on blogging tips aren’t particularly time-sensitive either, unless they predominantly blog about the latest trends and ever-changing platform algorithms. Parenting blogs that focus on parenting tips and advice can benefit from dateless permalinks too.

Niches that benefit from dated permalinks

Niches that I believe perform better with dated permalinks are personal blogs, especially the ones that read like journals. Any sort of blogs that record the growth/progress of something would benefit from having dates in their permalinks. Blogs that are time-sensitive that report the latest events and trends are another example for dated permalinks. If you blog about celebrities à la Perez Hilton, then it’s important to keep the dates in your permalinks because it shows a timeline to all the going-ins and outs. I could go on and on but I’m sure you know what I mean.

What about beauty blogs?

Beauty blogs fall into what I’d call a middle ground. If a beauty blog contains only product reviews, tutorials, tips and tricks without any personal stories in it, then it’s all right to have dateless permalinks. I chose to have dates in my blog because I wanted a timeline for the products I review and the personal stories I share. I’ve never had dateless permalinks on BA before so I can’t tell you if this affects the blog’s SEO standing with Google. And frankly, when it comes to this, I really couldn’t give a damn. 😛 (gee thanks Tine, that explains a lot. Hmph.)

So, should you add dates to your permalinks or not? At the end of the day, it really depends on the topics you’re blogging about. It’s also up to you. SEO experts can chew your ear off about this issue. Like I said, if you intend on blogging evergreen content, go ahead and remove dates in your permalinks. If your content is time-sensitive, then leave the dates on. Bear in mind as this is very important: do this on a fresh new blog, not an existing one because if you make changes to an existing blog that already has heaps of content, the change in permalinks will strongly affect the SEO juice of your previous blog posts.

Good luck!

Does your blog have dates in its permalinks? By the way, if your permalinks are still on the default p=123, you and I need to have a talk!

Bloggie Wednesdays is a series of articles just on blogging. They contain tips, how-tos, discussions about anything and everything you need to know about blogging and how we can be better bloggers. If you have any suggestions, tips and tricks about blogging you would like to share with us, or if you have any questions you would like me to address, please let us know in the comments.
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6 comments… add one
  1. Yip

    I’ve got mine set on dated permalinks but that’s because I never knew you could change them! I think I’d probably leave them on just so I can see when I reviewed each product etc 🙂
    Yip recently posted..Review: Elf Eyelid Primer in ChampagneMy Profile

    1. Tine

      That’s a good idea. I find that having dates work for beauty blogs especially when we’re writing about new releases. Having a timeline also serves as our blogging history. 🙂

  2. Mel

    Mine aren’t dated, since mine automatically use the title of the post when I’m writing it. I didn’t even dating it was a thing :P. I’ll think I’m right not dating mine for now. Where time is relevant, like a project pan or something, I usually include the month/year in the title anyway.
    Mel recently posted..What I got for Christmas 2015My Profile

    1. Tine

      Oh yeah yours isn’t dated! I didn’t realise that. Most beauty blogs I know have dates in them. But hey, as long as it works for you, that’s all that matters. As long as it’s not ending with p=123, you’re all right! 😛

  3. Paris B

    Going out on a limb here, but IMO beauty blogs should have dates somewhere on the post, be it in the permalink (which I prefer) or in the meta. The fact is that all beauty topics are time sensitive. What is applicable and true today may be out of date tomorrow. I’m not even talking about products, because those go out of date almost immediately! But it’s helpful to go to a website and know just when a post was written so I know if a) I can expect a reply to a question b) how long ago was it and is it no longer relevant or c) is the product no longer available. If a site doesn’t have dates, I tend to skip it, because I just don’t know how relevant the info is.

    For food blogs, unless it’s a recipe blog, again, dates are important. Often, I don’t read restaurant/food reviews beyond the year in which I’m researching, because often, the restaurant could have moved or even closed down! 😛 That’s why I kept my dates, despite all the SEO experts saying no. To me, it’s relevant and I’m sure, to many, dates are something they pay attention to as well!
    Paris B recently posted..Your Say: Do you buy flowers for your home or are flowers a waste of money?My Profile

    1. Tine

      Oh yeah I meant recipe blogs! I classify them as food blogs, y’see. 😛

      At the end of the day, what makes a blog a blog is the addition of a timeline. There are many digital magazines and the like these days that make them very, er, magazine-y. They lose the essence of a blog even though they call refer to their website as a blog.

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