A lot of popular marketing blogs now hide the dates of their posts from their readers. A number of you have emailed me to ask why this happens and why Jim’s Marketing Blog doesn’t remove the post dates.
Firstly, here’s why so many marketing blogs have removed the dates: It’s a proven way to increase the number of times an old post is reshared on social networks and linked to.
It works like this:
- One of your friends shares a post on Facebook, Twitter, etc.
- You see their update and click the link. It then takes you to the blog post.
- With no date to guide you, you assume this newly shared post is current.
- You then share it, thinking the information you’re sharing is up to date.
- And in doing so, you’ve just shared inaccurate, potentially damaging information with your friends.
- The blogger gets the extra traffic and social links.
As you can see, it’s all about the blogger. It’s 100% selfish. More importantly, it’s extremely reckless.
Why marketing blogs need dates on their posts
Marketing blogs offer information, which hard working people use in order to build their businesses. If a business owner makes decisions based on inaccurate marketing advice, it can seriously damage their business.
Imagine you have found a marketing blog post, on a blog that hides the dates from its readers. Unknown to you, you’re reading a post on how to get organic traffic from Facebook Pages, which was written in 2010. Back then, Facebook Pages were a great driver of organic traffic. Today, Facebook Pages are a terrible source of organic traffic. That post is not only out of date, it’s highly toxic. If you follow it you will waste your time and your money.
Marketing is not an evergreen subject
If you write on an evergreen subject, like baking, the date of a post is less important. A dessert you make from a recipe that’s 5 years old, will taste just as delicious today.
But marketing is not an evergreen subject. The tools change, as with that Facebook Pages example. And things change regularly too. Just last month, Apple decided to allow the blocking of ads on iPhones and iPads — changing the face of online advertising in the process.
By deliberately hiding the date of a marketing blog post from his or her readers, the blogger intentionally removes a vitally important element. They remove the data the reader needs, to know whether the advice is current or not. And they do this, just to get some extra traffic and social network links.
Here’s the thing about THIS marketing blog: I don’t like the idea of trying to fool people. I want you to know if you’re reading something I wrote in 2008 or something I wrote this week. That helps you evaluate the information more accurately.
And that means more to me than an increase in traffic.