Time Is Money, Now More Than Ever

whatever_clock

If you use timestamped posts on your blog, can you tell me why? My guess would be because it is a basic out-of-the-box feature that either WordPress or your favorite WordPress theme provides you with, and you never thought of taking it out. Am I right? Most blogs use timestamped posts, and they might just be missing out on a lot of traffic and comments because of this.

Just look at it this way – Why would anybody waste their time, commenting on someone’s several months old blog post? It’s old, outdated, and ancient history in Internet time. Besides the blog owner, not a whole lot of people would read the comment. It’s sad but true – a lot of people just comment for the sake of eyeballs. They want a huge audience to read their comment, so that those visitors will click through to their own blog. ( I know, there are those of us that actually do comment to interact with a community, and not just for the sake of traffic and links. Don’t boo me just yet!)

Even though the information in a post might easily be timeless (a how to on a certain topic, a review of a certain program), time stamps have this nasty effect on people, making them believe the information is no longer valuable. They move on, constantly refreshing the front page of Digg to see whats new and what’s fresh.

Internet Marketing today focuses on one major factor – Attention.

Because there is a ton of new information to be consumed every single hour of the day, and people are limited to resources like time, one thing every Internet Marketer or blogger is trying to capture is attention. If you can take away the misconception of offering outdated information, you will already have won half the battle. The visitor will give you the time and attention you want from them.

Now, just imagine if your brain didn’t get triggered by this time stamp, and the post you were reading had several words in it, like “today”, “yesterday” or “just now”, wouldn’t you think you were reading a fresh post? I bet 90% of you would take the time and effort to read it and perhaps even engage in the comments section or subscribe to the blog.

Can anyone give me one good reason to use a time stamp on single posts? I really can’t think of any. Unless your site is news-related, something that has to be edgy and current at all times, there’s no need to out-date today’s post tomorrow. To please the people that really want to know a posts date, you could do the same as what I do – simply have an archive that tells you in what month and year a post was published.

Today’s post was written by Bob Jones – Internationally recognized adviser of all sorts of things.


44 thoughts on “Time Is Money, Now More Than Ever”

  1. Jay says:

    I’ve been considering taking the time stamps off some of my blog sites. So yeah, i think this is a good post.

    1. I don’t like blogs which don’t have a time stamp. I simply ignore them. Since I post about banking deals on my site, it would be stupid not to put a date stamp, which would alarm visitors if they are reading about an offer which has since expired..

      1. So do I, blogs without time stamps are frustrating. I don’t trust them.

  2. EarningStep says:

    this give me idea for my next thing to do . thank for this great tips .

  3. Son says:

    Great Point!!!!

    Bye Bye Timestamps.

    Thanks again!

  4. I was just having a conversation about this yesterday on Twitter. I remove all timestamps from my blogs for this exact reason. Perfectly relevant posts that are 2+ years old get ignored, but without a timestamp, they seem perfectly fresh. The only time I manually insert a date is when my post might be time-sensitive (i.e. a product review), although I keep a private list of these posts and try to update them regularly.

  5. Hirvesh says:

    I’ve already removed the time stamps from my blog posts. This provides me with 2 advantages:

    1. It makes visitors comment more and share more, thinking the post is relatively new…and removes their bias of the post being old – so not worth sharing.
    2. As I discover new blog marketing strategies, it allows me to relaunch my old, not so successful post again, without suffering from criticism that the post is old…

    Great post here!

  6. hospitalera says:

    Taking out the time stamp is one of the first things I do when setting up a new blog, not only for the reason you mentioned, it also makes the url “prettier” for google. For me, only blog name + blog post 😉 SY

    1. But i can’t do, my Permalink involve date and month.

    2. Bob Jones says:

      All you have to do is change your permalink structure in wordpress to something like /%postname%/ That fixes your url. Doesn’t have much todo with the timetamp on the post itself.

      1. Erika Marie says:

        Doh! I should have read your response first!

    3. Erika Marie says:

      I do like your point about leaving it out of the URL. I wonder if I can figure out a work around this…

  7. I think you are right…for most blogs there is no reason for it and it is just one less distracting thing for readers to look at.

    However, for my site http://www.FiveDailyGratitudes.com I post five daily gratitudes each day and people get a daily email reminder to post their own on the site. I think my readers knowing when I post my own is a bit of additional information they may want since many of my gratitudes are based on the time of day I wrote them. Does that qualify as a good reason? =)

  8. Jammy says:

    Agree completely.
    That’s the reason, you can never find any time stamp on any of my posts..!!!

  9. I like to know that the stuff I’m readingis current. I make it a purpose to look for a date on a post.

  10. Christian says:

    I leave time stamps on the home page, where content is always brand new, but everywhere else, time stamps are gone. Tim Ferriss clued me in to that a while back. Good stuff.

  11. Jesse says:

    Love reading this in a post on a blog that has the date on the post.. Kinda like someone who drives a Ford trying to sell me a Chevrolet.. Good info though and worth considering for some.

  12. BLOGERCISE says:

    I agree to the extent that I usually remove timestamps (and actually a lot of people do in my experience!)

    But! the counter argument is that actually sometimes people are actually looking for up to date information and I for one have bounced right off posts with no date on them because I want to be confident the information is actually current and is up to date!

    There you, go, one reason to use timestamps – who wants to get half way through an article only to realise the post is about last years events.

    Like everything, it is something to consider and is certainly something that many will benefit from dropping. It would be nice to have a quick “hide dates on this post”, or global etc function in WP.

  13. Erika Marie says:

    I’m not trying to trick my readers into thinking something is new when it isn’t. I don’t want to get them excited about a certain event, or some news flash when it’s old news that may no longer be applicable. I think the quality of my blog would be in jeopardy if I didn’t allow them to see how up to date the blog is. Information changes daily and I don’t want to steer them in one direction when a year has gone by and that direction might currently be null and void, or worse, a poor direction to choose. As a reader, I always check the time stamps. If the content seems to be still relevant, I will still read. However, I’m not going to keep reading about an upcoming event I should look forward to when it happened 5 years ago.

  14. Ruben Ricart says:

    This is a great post…..but what about the comments and the dates on it…?

    I say this because typically when i comment on an article I skim through the comments and if I notice that it’s 2009 and the first comment was left towards the end of ’07 that kind of gives me an idea about when the post was published……

    I guess this would apply to the readers that don’t care much for what other readers have to say, but I typically like to notice the interaction and dynamic between the readers……..is there a way to remove the date out of the comment folks leave?

  15. To me either way, that’s what you think your readers mind are, I rather take driven type of reader rather then just looking around for dates. Content always win over anything online, that is even it’s 1990 content I think still people will read it if the content is good.

  16. Patrick says:

    I personally like to see date/ time stamps on blog posts. Not having it is like reading a newspaper or magazine with no date as to when the article was written. I probably wouldn’t subscribe to a Blog without a date/time stamp.

  17. Doug Dillard says:

    Time Ferriss mentioned this in one of his posts a while back and it totally makes sense. I am hoping Google doesn’t use the date to track anything.

  18. AffPortal says:

    Hey John, that’s a great point. I hadn’t thought about that. Removing time stamps on my mini sites that I use for PPC landers could have a positive effect despite being overlooked by me. Actually I feel foolish for not doing this earlier…

    1. Ruben Ricart says:

      Hey Aff, John didn’t write this. This is a guest post……

      1. AffPortal says:

        whoops, just noticed that…

  19. @EricJohnTan says:

    must be the topic this week… read similar article in two other sites, but with different point of view. I’m glad I read this one though, very in-your-face.

  20. I agree. Usually the first thing I do when I do a new blog install is to rip out the datestamp.

  21. S.K Sharma says:

    Good question John.
    Date/Time stamp is necessary only for News sites,Event sites etc.
    But if the site or blog is related with tutorials of any niche,time stamp is not necessary because if you are teachning the people “make money on twitter” or “how to monetize your blog” or like me “What is the PageRank” These are full of forever knowledge whether you read it today or tomorrow.
    You just read “Wikipedia” it’s only encyclopedia.
    Same you & me don’t need to put the time stamp on the posts.

  22. Interesting article, thanks for good read

  23. Makes sense.

    Whenever I read a blog, If I know the post is old chances are I won’t comment. But as long as I know the post is fresh – there is a high chance I’ll leave feedback.

    Igor

  24. Rhyaniwyn says:

    If you blog about technology — about Facebook strategies, about web design coding techniques, etc. — then your information is to some degree time sensitive. There are plenty of very old HTML, PHP, and Flash tutorials out there which teach techniques that are out of date. I definitely agree with your point, though: I’ve seen feed readers that use “Today”, “Yesterday”, “Last Week” … but once it gets past a certain point, a timestamp should date content so that self-aware readers can look for alternative sources in order to see if the content is still relevant.

  25. afzal says:

    It is important to me to get the idea of the age of the post. It will show how popular the post is. If it was posted on 2007 but has comment recently, it’ll show that the post has very valuable information.

  26. fas says:

    Time stamp is not such a bad idea. YOu write a post at 1AM in the night, everyone has slept, and wordpress will ping the service. But whats the use, people will only read in the morning, so timestamp at 7AM 🙂

  27. Gerry says:

    The best way is to close the comment for ever, lol.

  28. Whether you used time stamp or not but even your old posts or may be 10 early posts will come under old.

    Because of Digg, Twitter now people knows which one is fresh and which one is old irrespective of date.

  29. SEO Tips says:

    I can’t think of a good reason to timestamp, now that you put it like that. I’m going to remove all timestamps immediately.

  30. Interesting concept to manipulate the brain of the viewer without doing any harm. The only problem would be if you recommend or try to teach something outdated and the viewer does it totally wrong, which causes money loss.

    -Mike

  31. Harry says:

    You guys are funny. It’s like a bunch of sheep. OMGZ OMGZ. No need for timestamps. Seriously guys if you don’t update your blog it’s gonna stagnate no matter what gay tricks you try. Quit being lazy asses and write some content or pay someone to write some content.

  32. Deep Arora says:

    Well – I still see a timesstamp on this blog post..and all others, here 😉

    yeah, it is a good trick and I learnt it from fourhourworkweek blog: http://www.fourhourworkweek.com/blog/2009/06/29/how-to-build-a-high-traffic-blog-without-killing-yourself/

    This video has some more nice blogging tips..take a look.

  33. Great info! I’ve done that months ago and it looks like my comments increased. Well it will surely depend on what niche a blog has. For example, a celebrity news blogs should have a time stamp in it to avoid confusing readers. Timeless post will do just do just fine.

  34. Jack says:

    Take out the time stamps? Duh, take a look and see the timestamps here on this post in the comments. The comments tell us when this post was made.

    I agree that taking out a time stamp can be a good idea, but I think a better idea might be to take the time stamp out of the top of the post, take the time stamps out of the comments and then insert a single small type italicized line at the bottom of the post saying “Originally Posted 8/17/09” or “Post last updated 8/17/09” or something similar. No tricks on the user and the user doesn’t realize it’s old until they get all the way to the bottom.

    Heck with a bit of coding, you could have the post update date even change based on the date of the last comment.

    Maybe when I get some free time I can do this on my own site. Thanks for the idea in the right direction!

  35. Michael says:

    not necessarily to update it everytime but with just once a day will do.

  36. Joe says:

    Time stamp is not such a bad idea. YOu write a post at 1AM in the night, everyone has slept, and wordpress will ping the service. But whats the use, people will only read in the morning, so timestamp at 8AM!… it’s really good option!

Comments are closed.