There has long been strong evidence that Google prefers fresher content – meaning more recently modified content – than stale content. Historically, we believed that by simply providing both the original published date and the last modified date in the schema of content items, that we were letting Google know that content was modified so this was sufficient. It turns out that Google not only prefers that content is frequently modified – making it fresh – but that this is visually displayed to the reader. When a more recent date is displayed to the reader, Google gives preference to that date and displays it in search results next to the content item. In order to maximize the SEO boost that this provides, Tempest displays both the Original Publication date and Updated Date on all content items.
By displaying both dates, you let your readers and Google know that you are actively maintaining the piece of content and keeping it fresh so that it stays relevant. The original publication date also lends credibility to the piece of content, especially for news oriented sites.
However, we understand that not all updates change the content in a meaningful way. For smaller updates, you can use the “Silent Update” option in the CMS. This allows you to make updates to content without changing either the Original Publication date or Updated Date. Silent Updates are useful for correcting typos, moving content, adding rich terms, or any other type of update that doesn’t meaningfully change the content.
Display Publish Date & Updated Date
We have two primary ways in which we Display Dates on Tempest:
- Publish Date - This solves for all use cases in which the end user should see the display date listed as if the item was freshly published. This applies to the following Publication Status changes: Publish, Schedule, Republish, Silent Update (the latter doesn’t change the display date AT ALL so it remains the exact same as it was prior to this action).
- Updated Date - This solves for all use cases in which the end user should see that a content item was explicitly UPDATED. In this case we want to show both the Updated date and the Original Publication Date. Note that precedence is given to the Updated date (it shows up first). This applies to the following Publication Status changes: Update and Silent Update (the latter doesn’t change the display date AT ALL so it remains the exact same as it was prior to this action).
How does this get translated across all screen sizes and channels?
- The Display Dates format is maintained on detail pages across sizes A, B, and C.
- Display Date formats is maintained in AMP.
- Display Date formats is maintained in Apple News (https://developer.apple.com/documentation/apple_news/metadata).
- No changes have been made to RSS feeds.
Display & Programming for Hub Components
- We display the Updated Date on Hub Components. This includes no narrative around it, we simply display the most recent date.
Timestamp Option for Display Dates
If this feature is activated, it works as follows:
- If the content item only has an original publication date displayed, the timestamp should appear appended to the original publication date
- If the content item has both an original publication date and updated date displayed, the timestamp should appear appended to the updated date. The freshest date always receives the timestamp.
- We display the timestamp as appended to the date displayed on hub components if this is activated.
- This display is maintained on all screen sizes A, B, C.
- This display is maintained in Apple News and AMP.
- This display is not a 1:1 on FBIA due to limitations in this platform in what data can be sent and how it can be displayed. Since this is powered by an RSS feed there is only 1 property for the pubDate. That said, so long as the pubDate contains the most recent date that should be good enough for FBIA. Whether or not the display includes both the date and timestamp is a setting within the FBIA style config.
- Publishers can define their timezone through support at firstname.lastname@example.org.