SEO Tip #45: Do dates in URLs determine freshness?

Matt Cutts: I think dates in the URL or the content can be very useful but people can also try to optimize that and say they are always ten minutes old. So we have our own measures of how fresh pages are; for example the first time that our crawler saw a page.

We also look at revisiting pages how much the content changes. So I think it’s a good idea to have a URL very clearly somewhere on your page that people can find out how old the content is. But I don’t think that you necessarily need to do it for Googlebot’s sake.

So it’s a good usability thing but Google has its own ways of measuring how fresh various content is. You don’t need to worry about having the date in the URL or directly in the content just to convince Google that it’s fresh. We already do that computation to figure it out for ourselves.

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About the Author

Andy Johnson

Andy Johnson has been on the Internet since the its dawn(ie his first computer program was recorded on cassette tape) and his first hard drive cost about as much his current MacBook. His first byline was in 1993 for a local newspaper rag he eventually helmed, and his last “real job” was at a computer start up which ended when it ended. Throughout it all he’s freelanced and blogged. Now he is mesmerized by Search Engine Optimization forever trying to “rise to the top” for the right reasons. He’s been married to his wife Julia for as long as he can remember and has two lovely, wonderful children. He looks forward to sharing the latest in the technical best for all the online entrepreneurs.