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Front Line SEO: Dating Your Pages

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Google measures fresh content by the time stamp of the physical file found on a server. If you upload your website on November 15, 2010 then many of your pages will have that November 15 time stamp.

Time stamping on files is also how Google determines original ownership of intellectual property. If your time stamp is oldest then your images and articles will be considered the original source of that particular information.

There is a growing problem with this time stamp concept when using content management systems. In a Google training video in 2010, someone asked what Google was doing about management systems that create a static page, but populate it with new information daily.

When Google checks the time stamp on a web page, it ignores the page if the time stamp is still the same as its last visit. In other words, Google ignores your website.

In the video, Google suggested an esoteric method of correcting the problem, but that's not within reach of most jewelry store owners and also not necessarily programmable by content management system companies.

We've recently discovered another potential solution for this issue. Although we've not tested this for months, we did take the time to review more than 6 jewelry websites across several different search phrases and saw the same exact situation.

For a long time, Google has been able to find a posting or publication date of a blog entry when using a standardized blogging program. Most blog programs use the same methods that allow Google to know what the original posting date was. These blog dates have been visible in the SERPs for a long time.

However, you can also tag your web pages with dates even if they are not in a blog.

We've found 3 different formats of date stamping you could use on your pages; there might be others, but we know the following 3 work.

Let's say you want Google to know you updated your events page on March 1, 2011. Somewhere on your events page you would need to include a blank line with the date formatted like this:
1. Use brackets like this: [posted on March 1]
2. Show the date in the standard format for your country: 3/1/11 or 1/3/11
3. Show the date written out like this: March 1, 2011

Google will eventually find this date and associate it with the last time the page was updated. In the SERP, it will show the date at the beginning of the description.

For this example, the SERP would show "Mar 1 2011"

Without further testing we don't know how long it takes Google to find these dates and include them in the SERP, but eventually it happens. To speed up the process, we also suggest sharing any newly updated pages on your site to Facebook, Twitter, Digg or anywhere else you want to share or blog about it.

We suggest time stamping all your pages from now on, even if at the bottom you simply state it like this:

This page last updated on:
May 17, 2011

This simple tactic will make your web pages more important when they are newer, and it will allow your website to show up in date range searches.
AT: 05/17/2011 01:32:22 PM   LINK TO THIS GOLD NUGGET
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