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If you’ve made an update to one of your older WordPress blog posts, it is a good idea to update the publish date. This is very basic, but if you’ve never done it before, it’s something you’ll want to know and can

Updating the publish date of your post can be beneficial to you in four main ways:

  1. Users like to know when an article has been published to they can quickly tell if the information they are reading is current or out-dated.
  2. The publish date of your posts appears in the SERPs and a newer published date can improve your CTR.
  3. Alternatively, displaying older publish dates can significantly decrease organic performance (Source: Shout Me Loud).
  4. Studies have found that updating the publish date of your articles can increase organic rankings and traffic (Source: case study by Anthony D. Nelson on Moz).
    (Although, I don’t recommend ‘faking freshness’. You should only update your publish date if you have made significant changes to your content.)

Here’s how to update your publish date in WordPress posts:

  1. Go to the ‘Edit’ page for the post you want to update.
  2. In the ‘Publish’ box in the top right-hand corner, hit ‘Edit’ next to the ‘Published on’ date:
    wordpress post edit publish date
  3. Enter the new publish date and time, hit ‘OK’, then hit ‘Update’ to save your new publish date and time:
    update wordpress post save publish date change

For users that are more comfortable with editing WordPress theme files, I’ll be explaining how to get rid of publish date altogether and replace it with the ‘Last updated’ date. Making this change has the benefit of not requiring you to make manual updates to your WordPress publish date.

I’m aware of a few plugins that can take care of replacing publish date with last updated, however, they have not been updated for several years and a code change seems to be the most trustworthy method at the moment.

SEO Rave will consider creating a plugin with this feature in the near future.

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